Things To Do In Istanbul

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  • Museum (19)
  • Mosque (12)
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1. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia
4.5 /5

0 km
from city center
1 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Arguably the most spectacular example of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia has been a cathedral, a mosque, and today is a museum and one of the country's biggest attractions. The intricate mosaics and frescoes throughout this majestic mosque are marvellous.

2. Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
4.4 /5

0 km
from city center
2 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

This huge and beautiful Sultan Ahman Mosque sits right opposite the Hagia Sofia and houses hundreds of thousands of detailed decorations. It is famous for its blue interiors and is also known as the Blue Mosque. It is Istanbul's most picturesque building, complemented by the breathtaking architecture inside.

3. Cruise the Bosphorus

Cruise the Bosphorus
4.4 /5

15 km
from city center
3 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Bosphorus Strait is the dividing waterway between Europe and Asia. With Europe on one side and Asia on the other, it makes for an ideal cruise for some scenic views of most of Istanbul's landmarks. The Hagia Sofia and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque are also visible from the cruise.

4. Shopping at Grand Bazaar

Shopping at Grand Bazaar
4.6 /5

1 km
from city center
4 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world. The Bazaar encompasses 64 streets, 4000 shops, restaurants, and banks, making it almost its own little city. It is often considered to be among the very first shopping malls in the world. It can be reached through the Beyazıt-Kapalıçarşı tram station.

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5. Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace
4.6 /5

1 km
from city center
5 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Topkapi Palace is a majestic building which served as the main residence of the Ottoman emperors for nearly 400 years. Today it serves as one of the most important museums in Istanbul. It contains some of the rarest items in the world. Though the complex has several hundred rooms, halls and chambers, only the most significant of them are open to the public

6. Explore Basilica Cistern

Explore Basilica Cistern
4.3 /5

0 km
from city center
6 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Basilica Cistern is the largest cistern in the city of Istanbul, built underneath the Stoa Basilica. It has hundreds of decorated columns and is a simply breathtaking piece of architecture. There is only a few feet of water in the cistern today, above which platforms are built for people to tour it.

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7. Explore the Hippodrome (Sultanahmet Square)

Explore the Hippodrome (Sultanahmet Square)
4.6 /5

0 km
from city center
7 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Sultanahmet Square, also known as the Hippodrome, is the centrepiece of Istanbul's Historical Peninsula. It is located a few minutes' walk away from the Sultanahmet tram station. It leads to the city's most fantastic attractions, including the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia and Ibrahim Pasa Palace. Sultanahmet Square is also lined with hotels, restaurants and other places of accommodation and leisure.

8. Golden Ferry to Chora Museum

Golden Ferry to Chora Museum

4 km
from city center
8 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Chora Museum, also known as Kariye Museum, is popular as one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches of the 16th-century. For many, the importance of the Chora Museum is as great as Hagia Sophia. The best way to get to this part of town is to catch the Golden Horn ferry from Karaköy.

9. Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at Galata Mevlevi House

Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at Galata Mevlevi House

2 km
from city center
9 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Located in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, the Galata Mevlevi House is a former dervish tekke (lodge). It has been converted into a museum on the Mevlevi Sufi Islam sect and is home to a wide variety of artefacts. One can witness dervishes “whirling here” as a form of devotion to God; Galata Mevlevi House is one of the only places in the city where one can see them.

10. Dolmabahe Palace

Dolmabahe Palace
4.1 /5

4 km
from city center
10 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Dolmabahce Palace was the main residence of operation for the Ottomans after the Topkapi. It is built along the Bosphorus Strait and is another stunning imperial structure which today serves as a major tourist attraction. It is home to the largest collection of Bohemian and Baccarat crystal chandeliers in the world.

11. Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

0 km
from city center
11 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

One of the most notable historical sites in Istanbul, the Hurrem Sultan Hamam, is a Turkish bath located at the heart of the old city of Sultanahmet. It offers the best spot for a relaxing and rejuvenating afternoon with its many hammam and massage packages under the expert assistance of the Hammam ladies. A basic 30-minutes Hamam treatment starts at 55 Euros and goes up to 185 Euros with more advanced packages.

12. Enjot Panoramic View from Galata Tower

Enjot Panoramic View from Galata Tower

2 km
from city center
12 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Galata Tower is one of the most popular attractions of not just Istanbul but Turkey itself. Also known as Galata Kulesi in Turkish, it makes its place in the skyline of Istanbul as one of the oldest and tallest towers in the city. A restaurant and a cafe sit on the top floors of the building from where you can enjoy your meal with a spectacular view of the city.

13. See the Tulips at Gulhane Park

See the Tulips at Gulhane Park
4.1 /5

1 km
from city center
13 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Gulhane Park is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in Istanbul, popular among locals for picnics and recreation. It's especially known for its tulips and attracts many during the Istanbul Tulip Festival.

14. SÙleymaniye Mosque

SÙleymaniye Mosque
4.3 /5

1 km
from city center
14 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Suleymaniye Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul. It took 7 years to build till 1557 and is an iconic landmark of the city. The interiors of the building are simple yet breathtaking.

15. Istanbul Spice Bazaar

Istanbul Spice Bazaar

1 km
from city center
15 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Misir Carsisi, or the Spice Bazaar, is one of the largest markets in Istanbul, a close second to the Grand Bazaar. It offers a wide array of rich and colourful flavours with more than 85 shops selling Turkish delights, sweets, herbs and spice mixes along with a blend of covered and open streets.

16. Discover Restaurants & Cafes at Cicek Pasaji

Discover Restaurants & Cafes at Cicek Pasaji

2 km
from city center
16 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Cicek Pasaji, also known as Flower Passage, is a historic passageway and a covered arcade on İstiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul. It is primarily visited for its many restaurants, cafes and wine houses and is also well-known for its lively nightlife. Some of its popular restaurants include Sevic Restaurant, Mahzen Restaurant, and Kimene Restaurant.

17. Observation Deck at Camlica Tower

Observation Deck at Camlica Tower
3.9 /5

7 km
from city center
17 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Camlica Tower is a telecommunications tower located in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul. Inaugurated in May 2021, it is the tallest structure in Istanbul as well as in Europe. The skyscraper has 49 storeys with an observation deck, a small café and a restaurant.

18. Rustem Pasha Mosque

Rustem Pasha Mosque

1 km
from city center
18 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

An archetype of the Ottoman Mosque, Rustem Pasha Mosque is located close to the Spice Bazaar in the Tahtakale neighbourhood of Fatih district. This Ottoman mosque is another of the stunning works of imperial Mimar Sinan, with various intricate details and designs all over.

19. Ortakoy Mosque

Ortakoy Mosque

6 km
from city center
19 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Ortakoy Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most beautiful mosques and one of the most popular ones in the Bosphorus. Built sometime in the mid-19th-century, it is situated in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul and is officially called the Büyük Mecidiye Camii. The mosque is best seen from the Bosphorus Cruise which takes tourists from the Asian to the European side of Istanbul on a ferry boat.

20. Stroll Through Istiklal Avenue

Stroll Through Istiklal Avenue

3 km
from city center
20 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Isktiklal Caddessi or Istiklal Avenue is the busiest street in Istanbul filled with a long stretch of cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, bars, cinemas and galleries. Estimated to have been visited by over 3 million people on the weekends, it is the best way to experience the vibrant, hustling side of the city.

21. Vialand Theme Park

Vialand Theme Park

9 km
from city center
21 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Vialand, also known as Isfanbul Theme Park, is Turkey’s first mega theme park with exciting rides and shopping outlets. Located in the Eyüp district, it sprawls across 600 square metres and houses Nefeskesen, the 4th biggest rollercoaster in the world. It also houses an exhibition centre, a shopping complex, eateries and a luxury hotel.

22. Boat Tour to Maiden's Tower

Boat Tour to Maiden's Tower

13 km
from city center
22 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Maiden’s Tower is an iconic tower and landmark situated on a small islet off the coast of Üsküdar. Also known as Leander’s Tower, it houses a museum, a cafe and a restaurant offering scenic views of the Bosphorus. It is easily accessible via a ferry or boat.

23. Take Photographs at Column of Constantine

Take Photographs at Column of Constantine

1 km
from city center
23 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Column of Constantine or Çemberlitaş is a 35m tall honorific column in Istanbul, Turkey that was built by the Roman emperor Constantine. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Istanbul’s oldest surviving monuments, it is set in the centre of what was formerly the Forum of Constantine. It is one of the only edifices here that is representative of Roman architecture. It also makes for an ideal photography spot.

24. Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace

6 km
from city center
24 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Beylerbeyi Palace is a 19th-century Imperial Ottoman summer residence situated in the Üsküdar district of Istanbul, Turkey, that has now been converted into a museum. The palace is an impressive edifice constructed using white marble built in the Second Empire style of architecture.

25. Istanbul Archaeology Museums

Istanbul Archaeology Museums
4.0 /5

0 km
from city center
25 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul Archaeology Museums is an incredible museum complex of 3 buildings that houses archaeological collections of more than 1 million items. It contains collections of items dating back thousands of years from ancient Mesopotamia, pre-Islamic Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula.

26. Eyüp Sultan Mosque

Eyüp Sultan Mosque

6 km
from city center
26 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Eyüp Sultan Camii or Eyüp Sultan Mosque in Istanbul’s Eyüp district is the oldest and holiest mosque in Turkey. It is known for its two half domes and elegant interiors which feature chandeliers. Within the mosque complex is a mausoleum where Prophet Muhammad’s standard-bearer and friend Abu Ayyub al-Ansari is believed to have been buried. Large crowds also visit the mosque for the Eyüp Cemetery which is right up the hill.

27. Miniaturk

Miniaturk
4.0 /5

6 km
from city center
27 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Miniaturk is a fascinating miniature model park of Turkish buildings. It is one of the largest such parks in the world. It is a representation of some of Turkey's most important buildings and has a total of 122 models, on a 1:25 scale.

28. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

0 km
from city center
28 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art is an art museum situated in the Fatih district’s Sultanahmet Square. Located in the former palace of Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha, it is filled with collections of manuscripts and inscriptions in calligraphy, Islamic paintings, traditional handwoven and detailed fabrics, and ancient artefacts. It is also famous for the best rug collection in the world, with some being rare 13th-century Seljuk carpets.

29. Uskudar

Uskudar

7 km
from city center
29 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Üsküdar is a region on the Asian side of the city with less concrete and more nature. With the small empty streets, beautiful parks, less crowded markets and a collection of history, Üsküdar is the place for all the peace and nature lovers.

30. Little Hagia Sophia

Little Hagia Sophia

1 km
from city center
30 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Little Hagia Sophia mosque is a former Greek Orthodox Church located between the Cankurtaran and Kadırga districts, in the west of the Sultanahmet neighbourhood in Istanbul. It is one of the original buildings in Istanbul, belonging to the early Byzantine period, known for its stunning architecture. The beautiful marble columns on the ground floor and the gallery on the second floor are a must-see.

31. Yedikule Fortress

Yedikule Fortress

5 km
from city center
31 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Also called Fortress of the Seven Towers and the Dungeons of the Seven Towers, Yedikule Fortress is one of the oldest forts of Istanbul. Located 3 miles south-west from Sultanahmet, it is quite popular among tourists for its dreadful history and fantastic views.

32. Belgrad Forest

Belgrad Forest

20 km
from city center
32 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Belgrad Forest is one of the greenest spaces in Istanbul situated on the easternmost point of the Thracian Peninsula. Open to the public, it is known for its picnic spots, diverse flora and fauna and also for its 9 nature parks including the Bentler Nature Park, Irmak Nature Park and Ayvat Bendi Nature Park. There is a 6 km walking trail within the forest which is surrounded by a serene lake that is ideal for walking, jogging and hiking.

33. Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Istanbul Modern Art Museum

2 km
from city center
33 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul Modern Art Museum, commonly known as just Istanbul Museum, is temporarily located in the Beyoǧlu district while the new building in Karaköy undergoes construction. It is an artist’s paradise and Turkey's first modern and contemporary art museum.

34. Fatih Mosque

Fatih Mosque

3 km
from city center
34 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Fatih Mosque is an Ottoman inspired mosque in Istanbul with one of the most beautiful inner courtyards in the city. Located in Fatih, on Fevzipaşa Avenue, the mosque complex houses a hospice and the tombs of Mehmet II and his wife Gulbahar. On Wednesday, the Fatih Mosque hosts the largest street market in Istanbul (Fatih Pazarı) selling food, clothing as well as household goods.

35. Pera Museum

Pera Museum

3 km
from city center
35 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Pera Museum is w well-known private art museum located in Beyoğlu district’s Tepebaşı quarter in Istanbul, Turkey, the Pera Museum. It was founded by the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation and is most popular for its focus on Orientalism in 19th-century art. The museum is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building that was once the historic Bristol hotel.

36. Emirgan Park

Emirgan Park
3.2 /5

13 km
from city center
36 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

This sprawling park of more than a 117 acres is a splendid example of the Turkish gardens from the Ottoman empire.

37. Anatolian Fortress

Anatolian Fortress

11 km
from city center
37 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Anatolian Fortress on the Anatolian (Asian) side of the Bosporus in Istanbul, Turkey is a medieval fortress and an open-air museum. It is also known as Güzelce Hisar or the Beautacious Castle. Istanbul’s oldest surviving Turkish structure, it dates back to the 14th century and was built as a watch fort made of bricks and square-cut block stones. Although a museum, one can only visit its outer walls; the main road passes through it.

38. Obelisk of Theodosius

Obelisk of Theodosius

1 km
from city center
38 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Obelisk of Theodosius is an Ancient Egyptian obelisk situated in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey. The structure was built by the Roman emperor Theodosius in the 4th century AD to commemorate the victory in Mesopotamia. It is made out of red granite and stands tall at a height of about 84 feet or 60.8 feet without the marble pedestal.

39. Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress

10 km
from city center
39 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Rumeli Hisarı or the Rumeli Fortress is a medieval 15th-century fortress now converted into an open-air museum. It is located on the European banks of the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey. The fort is known for its magnificent views of the Bosphorus Strait, the Sultan Mehmed Fatih Bridge and the Asian part of Istanbul.

40. Istanbul Toy Museum

Istanbul Toy Museum

8 km
from city center
40 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Istanbul Toy Museum or İstanbul Oyuncak Müzesi is a toy museum located in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul, Turkey in a former historical mansion. Established in 2005 by the Turkish poet and author Sunay Akın, the museum houses over 4,000 toys from Turkey and more than 40 other countries, many of which date back to the 1700s and were bought at antique shops and auctions.

41. New Istanbul Mosque

New Istanbul Mosque

1 km
from city center
41 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The New Mosque, originally called the Valide Sultan Mosque, is an Ottoman Imperial mosque situated in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, specifically on the Golden Horn. This 17th-century edifice is one of the city’s most prominent mosques, famous for its magnificent architecture. It is also known as the “bird mosque” since there are numerous birds within the complex at all times.

42. Istanbul Akvaryum

Istanbul Akvaryum

16 km
from city center
42 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Istanbul Akvaryum is the biggest thematic aquarium in the world situated close to the Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul, Turkey. The aquarium houses over 1,500 land and water species and is divided into 17 themes. Some of the most popular species here include Gentoo penguins, Capybaras, Cownose rays, Musky caimans, Lemon sharks and Redbelly piranhas.

43. Kucuksu Palace

Kucuksu Palace

11 km
from city center
43 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Kucuksu Palace is a former summer pavilion turned into a museum, situated in the Beykoz district of Istanbul, Turkey. Visited for its architecture and artefacts, the palace was constructed under Sultan Abd-ul-Mejid’s reign and was used by the Ottoman Sultans for short stays. The palace was built in the new-baroque style and has 2 main floors and 1 basement.

44. Cagaloglu Hamam

Cagaloglu Hamam

1 km
from city center
44 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Cagaloglu Hamam is a famous historic Turkish bathhouse situated in Eminönü in Istanbul, Turkey. One of the city’s last major hamams to have been built during the Ottoman Empire, it is constructed in the Ottoman Baroque style of architecture and comprises a bathhouse for women and men. The entry to the women’s section is through a door which is on a side street called Hamam while the entry to the men’s section is from the main road.

45. Legoland Istanbul

Legoland Istanbul
4.0 /5

8 km
from city center
45 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Located within the Forum Istanbul Mall in Bayrampasa, the Legoland Discovery Centre is a fun and interactive entertainment park. Enjoyed most by families of children aged between 3-10 years, Legoland’s activities include rides, play zones, workshops, a LEGO 4D theatre, and more. Some other wonderful attractions are Miniland, a mini Lego city built with replicas of famous monuments of Istanbul.

46. Yoros Castle

Yoros Castle

21 km
from city center
46 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Yoros Castle is a ruined fortress from Byzantine rule, located to the north of Joshua’s Hill in Istanbul. Also known as Genoese Castle, it is one of the most beautiful castles in the city. Only the exterior of the upper castle is open to the general public. Located on Macar Bay, one can enjoy breathtaking views of the conjoining point of the Marman and the Black sea from the top.

47. Nuruosmaniye Cami

Nuruosmaniye Cami

1 km
from city center
47 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Nuruosmaniye Mosque is an 18th century Ottoman Mosque located close to the Grand Bazaar in the Çemberlitaş neighbourhood, Fatih district. It derives its literal name “the light of Osman” from the 174 windows adorning the mosque's interiors. It boasts of prime Ottoman Baroque architecture and stands tall with the fourth largest dome in the city and unique minarets made up of bronze instead of the usual stone.

48. Pelit Chocolate Museum

Pelit Chocolate Museum
4.0 /5

27 km
from city center
48 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Pelit Chocolate Museum in Esenyurt, Istanbul conjures images of childhood tales of Hansel and Gretel. This is the only chocolate museum in Turkey! Located near the Pelit Chocolate Factory all items on display here are created from chocolate. This includes an entire village, animals, mosaic paintings or human figures depicting a shoemaker, chestnut seller, fruit seller, and more, all made using chocolate in different forms and colors.

49. Mall of Istanbul

Mall of Istanbul

16 km
from city center
49 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Mall of Istanbul or MOI is one of the largest malls in Istanbul, located in Mahmutbey. There are more than 350 shops inside the mall, including some of the biggest and leading brand outlets. You can shop your heart out or enjoy at MOI Park one of the largest indoor theme parks with swings, games, amusement tunnels, speed shuttles, a horror-themed restaurant, and more.

50. Hagia Irene

Hagia Irene

0 km
from city center
50 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Also known as Saint Irene, Hagia Irene is the oldest Byzantine church situated in the outer courtyard of Topkapi Palace. The second-largest in Istanbul after Hagia Sophia, it is now converted into a museum and concert hall. Easily accessible by tram with the nearest stop being Sultanahmet, its atrium offers spectacular architectural beauty with structures such as a narthex, three-nave naos and abscissa.

51. Madame Tussauds Istanbul

Madame Tussauds Istanbul
4.0 /5

1 km
from city center
51 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

Madame Tussauds Istanbul is a museum chain for wax replicas of historic icons & celebrities located on İstiklal Caddesi (the Independence Avenue). There are nearly 60 figures of well-known celebrities, including statues of Suleiman the Magnificent, Muhammad Ali, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Leonardo Da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Ronaldo, Neymar, Beren Saat, and more.

52. Tiled Pavilion Museum

Tiled Pavilion Museum

25 km
from city center
52 out of 67
things to do in Istanbul

The Tiled Kiosk Museum or Glazed Kiosk is located within the outer walls of the Topkapı Palace near Gülhane Park in Istanbul, Turkey. It is a museum that is currently home to about 2,000 artefacts including tiles and ceramicware from the Seljuk and Ottoman periods, divided into 6 rooms. It is the oldest of the 3 museums within the Istanbul Archaeological Museum complex.

FAQs on Istanbul

How much does a package cost for Istanbul?

The packages for Istanbul start at INR 58485 which can be further customized based on number of people, days, hotel category, vehicle type and customizations. You can have a look at all packages here

What are the top sightseeing places in Istanbul?

The top sightseeing places in Istanbul are Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Topkapi Palace, SÙleymaniye Mosque, Bosphorus Strait.

What are the top activities in Istanbul?

The top activities in Istanbul are Bosphorus Strait Afternoon Cruise, Bosphorus Strait Entertainment and Dinner Cruise in Istanbul, Istanbul Classics Tour, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, & Basilica Cistern Combo Tour in Istanbul, Bosphorus Bridge, Camlica Hill, and Dolmabahce Palace Tour, Ancient Troy Day Tour from Istanbul.

What are the top hotels in Istanbul?

There are 3205 Hotels in Istanbul which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Istanbul are Galateia Residence, I'zaz Lofts, Hidden Garden Suites, Balat House, Apartment Bosphorus, Manzara Bosphorus. You can see all the hotels in Istanbul here
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