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Ever wondered a perfect spot to kick off your trip in Istanbul? Istanbul is a massive city where romantic attractions like mosques, temples, museums, and markets resound. We have brought you expert today with a list of places to visit and things to do in Istanbul for your 3-4 days wonder.
Original Source: “Istanbul Travel Guide” from Food, Lifestyle & Travel by Adil Musa
stanbul has to be one of my favorite cities I’ve visited. This city is divided into two Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus sea, where in Europe you will find all the modern cultural environment, shops, attractions and in Asia side you will find Turkish very own old traditional attractions and stores. I think staying 3-4 days is enough to cover all the main attractions and places as managed to cover all the main areas of the city within a short space of time.
Free Travel in Istanbul?
If you have an international flight transfer at Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, and the transfer flights are between 6 to 24 hours, then you can apply for a half day tour in Istanbul for free!
1. Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, is one of Istanbul’s most iconic historical sights and an essential part of the city’s skyline with its six magnificent minarets.
This mosque is known to be captured and posted online on social media by many tourist thousand times on a daily basis. The beautiful thing about this mosque is you get to hear the *Azaan*, call to prayers five times a day heard out loud. There have a section for women to pray and the men’s at the front. However, during the prayer times, visitor are not allowed to go inside the main hall until the prayers are finished.
Taking a flight with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul?
Since it joined Star Alliance in 2008, Turkish Airlines has become a hot topic. Especially in 2013, when Aegean Airlines changed its rules of obtaining a gold card, it was the most accessible carrier to get a membership in Star Alliance before. Since then, Turkish Airline has become the easiest airline to accumulate and obtain a Star Alliance gold membership. Hence, a lot of passengers receive the gold membership of Turkish Airline even when they never step a foot on Turkey.
2. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
The Hagia Sophia, which means “holy wisdom,” is a domed monument originally built as a cathedral in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) in the sixth century A.D. It contains two floors centered on a giant nave that has a great dome ceiling, along with smaller domes, towering above.
For the best view to capture the interior designs of the museum can be captured from the second floor. As you basically oversee the whole museum, which looks truly stunning. However, one thing to note is that Hagia Sophia is closed on Mondays.
3. Basilica Cistern, Istanbul
4. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul
The Topkapi Palace is the biggest and one of the most popular sites to visit in Istanbul. It was built in between 1466 and 1478 by the Sultan Mehmet II on top of a hill on a small peninsula, dominating the Golden Horn to the north, the Sea of Marmara to the south, and the Bosphorus Strait to the northeast, with great views of the Asian side as well. The palace was the political centre of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries until they built Dolmabahce Palace by the waterside.
The opening hours during the summer period are 9am to 4:45pm. Your last chance to grab a ticket will be by 4pm as the ticket office will be closed. Please note that the palace is closed on Tuesday, no matter what the season is. The ticket price cost 40 TL to enter here. If you also want to visit the Harem part, it’s another additional 25 TL to enter. Unless you have a Museum pass it is valid to enter both.
5. Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower is located off the coast of Salacak neighborhood in Üsküdar district, at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus.
The Maiden Tower is a popular place known, it has a fantastic restaurant which offers 360-degree views of the Bosphorus and the old city, especially at night with the night lights. There are several shuttle boats going to the tower at certain times from Kabatas neighborhood on the European side of Istanbul and from Salacak neighborhood on the Asian side. You do need to pay to go across to the Maiden Tower, although as we were all tired on that day we just walked across the river and saw the Maiden Tower from the edge.
I did spot people shooting balloons as one of their activities as there floating around the river, where people had a go with a gun to try and pop as many balloons as possible.
If you are visiting the Maiden Tower there are closed on Mondays.
Video Inspiration for Top Things to Do in Istanbul
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