Top things to do in Istanbul

Attractions, tours, and activities in Istanbul

Recommended museums in Istanbul

Where to find art and culture in Istanbul

Istanbul: the city's best neighborhoods

Find a great area to stay in Istanbul

About Istanbul

Including tips for the best time to visit Istanbul

Istanbul is a timeless crossroads of cultures, religions, and civilizations, the meeting point of Europe and Western Asia.

Greek, Persian, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences are all over the city to this day. The breathtaking Hagia Sophia stood as an ornate church for over 1,000 years before being converted into an Imperial Mosque, which it remained for another 500 years. There's also Topkapi Palace, an extravagant complex of courtyards, halls, and terraces with beautiful views over the Bosphorus Strait. Today, both structures are religious museums that draw in millions of visitors every year.

The Blue Mosque is another striking example of Byzantine-Ottoman blended architecture, with its domes, towering minarets, and blue İznik tiles covering the interior. For a full view of the mosque’s design, enter through the crumbling remains of a Roman-era hippodrome in Sultanahmet Square.

However, Istanbul’s oldest landmarks can easily be overlooked. Several hundred ancient cisterns lie deep beneath the ground where water was delivered from a local reservoir through 12 miles of aqueducts. The largest of these is the Basilica Cistern, which you can explore along raised wooden platforms.

Back on ground level, the Grand Bazaar will blow you away with its maze-like network of artisanal shops and cozy teahouses. Work up an appetitie while exploring, before grabbing a Dürüm wrap on a street corner, or some delicious meze in a bistro-style restaurant in Sultanahmet.

Tonight

From $19 per night

This weekend

From $39 per night

Next weekend

From $40 per night

Most popular time to visit July-September
Cheapest time to visit January-March
Local currency € 1 = $1.18
Language Turkish
Average weekend price $93 per night
Average weekday price $94 per night
Average stay 2 nights

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Istanbul reviews

What other travelers say about Istanbul

8.0

the city is wonderful, lot things to visit, but be carful...

September 10, 2021

the city is wonderful, lot things to visit, but be carful with the tourist offices, they don't offer good tour, rather to take you to attraction, they take you to shops in order to get comissions.

Yassine Kari
Yassine Kari Qatar
10

Vibrant, clean and friendly city.

September 8, 2021

Vibrant, clean and friendly city. Rich in history and ready to receive more tourists that it did. Love it and enjoyed the tours and great selections of food and reasonably priced A lot to enjoy, Bazaar, Museums, boat cruise and just walking around. On the top of all is it very safe city to walk around I would love to visit again

Mustafa
Mustafa
8.0

Its a huge city with huge population and visitors , so it...

September 6, 2021

Its a huge city with huge population and visitors , so it will be crowded any time you will visit . It has many thing to visit so it need at least 8-10 days if you want to see everything and to live those days like a local .

Ali
Ali Palestinian Territory
10

So much to do and see.

August 31, 2021

So much to do and see. There are some bad taxis drivers. Make sure they use the meter with no excuses. Also use small vans for transportation, it’s 3.5 tl. Use the bus from to the airport, I think they call them Havais. ISt to city 37tl.

Allan
Allan
8.0

Lovely city with lots and lots to do, with the current...

August 16, 2021

Lovely city with lots and lots to do, with the current devaluation the prices everywhere is really dirt cheap, for walking might be a bit of a problem as all Istanbul is built on hills apparently, one very important thing use Uber (it’s normal taxi by the way) or the metro as dealing with taxi drivers here is a nightmare,won’t stop trying to rip you off whenever they can, other than this it’s a lovely place to visit

Mohamed
Mohamed Egypt
8.0

While we primarily went to Istanbul to visit family and...

August 14, 2021

While we primarily went to Istanbul to visit family and welcome the arrival of a new granddaughter, there was some time for seeing the city. There are numerous street cafe's that offer tasty and reasonable meals. We found cafe waiters and store clerks to very hospitable and accommodating. Most restaurants offer home delivery, if you want to avoid a walk or the traffic. Buying a transit card was inexpensive, simple, and made public transportation very accessible. Taxi service, while reasonable by US comparisons, was frequently more expensive then it should have been - several drivers feigned unfamiliarity with the destination and drove around excessively. The Blue Mosque and Haghia Sofia are must sees. However, security seemed pretty lax and not well organized - we didn't feel especially safe, especially considering State Department recommendations to avoid tourist locations. Be sure to enroll in State Department alerts for travel in Turkey. There are a huge number of shops to explore, with prices frequently significantly less than what would be paid in the US. The European side of the city is where most of the tourist attractions are found and also seems to be the only place to find souvenir items. There are numerous eateries along the waterfront a short distance from the ferry terminal, that offer excellent fresh fish dishes.

Kenneth
Kenneth Tajikistan

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