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19 Interesting Things to do in Istanbul 😍

Things to do in Istanbul - featured image
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If there is a city which can claim for the title of “Gateway to Europe and Asia” then it’s obviously Istanbul. Istanbul is the beautiful city that is divided by “Bhosphorus” a narrow waterway. This city has spice and sweetness of both the Asian and Europen culture. With each turn, visitors will sense the contrast of both the cultures <3. There are a lot of things to do in Istanbul.

If you need to really explore the city of Istanbul, you need months to spend there. There are many beautiful places to visit in Turkey. Well, it’s obvious that most of the tourists have a short time and want to visit the maximum places. Here I’ve listed some things to do in Istanbul that I’ve experienced myself and I found the best there. I know you guys will surely love these things to do in Istanbul  :).

Here you go 😀

Things to do in Istanbul – Visit the Spice Bazaar

things to do in Istanbul

Spice Bazar is one of the great bazaars of the world. Here you will get nuts, spices, loose leaf tea, Turkish coffee, and even Turkish delights. Everything ranges from affordable to expensive. I must say that visiting spice bazaar is must to do in Istanbul.

When I visited, I thought they will charge too much for even a little thing but I was wrong. One can enjoy there for less money as well in the grand bazaar Istanbul. Sellers are really nice and friendly. They accept the Euros and Dollars as well.

Cherish the Prayer between Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia

The most beautiful prayer call I listened till now was at between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. It is one of the best things to do in Istanbul. It no longer a mosque but still, it keeps a room for prayer.

One Muezzin sing a part of prayer and the other muezzin respond his part from the other minaret. It is the loveliest thing in my whole trip. If you ever get a chance then grab a seat nearby and listen to the prayer.

Eat a Kumpir

things to do in istanbul

Kumpir is a baked potato mixed with cheese and butter. It is fluffy and light. Now you might be thinking that what’s so exciting in Kumpir?  Well, it’s all about the yummy filling that pile and squashes inside. Ohh just take one bite and I guarantee you that you won’t be able to resist it. You can choose the desired topping. Toppings include corn, peas, pickles, hot dogs, bulgur and many more. Food in Azerbaijan is also very famous with a lot of variety.

 Ok, one last thing I forgot to tell you about Kumpir. If you want to eat the best Kumpir in Istanbul then go to the Ortakoy. it is the father of all the places which serves Kumpir.

Things to do in Istanbul – Get naked at the Hamam

Head over to Turkish bath if you really want to shed over your inhabitants. You can get complete body scrub and massage. And yes it is separate for both males and females. Before making any judgemental statement about Turkish Hamam, just visit for once. When Istanbul weather is hot, then it is the best time for this very activity.

It will be a daunting experience for you if you are visiting there for the first time. when you are entering in Turkish hammam, expect the best and you will get the best I guarantee you 😊. After getting free from Hamam, enjoy the lovely Istanbul weather.

Walk across Galata Bridge

istanbul weather

Walk across Galata bridge, you will able to see many things like the vendors selling the sesame that is covered with pretzels, local people fishing from the bridge and boats that are carrying the passengers to Bosphorus. Enjoy the Istanbul weather and to enjoy the nicest view of Istanbul, and one of the best things to do in Turkey is to saunter across the Galata Bridge.

This bridge spans the Golden Horn, a protected harbor that is protected by nature and inlet of Bhosphorus river which has so many ferries, fishing boats, and tourist boats. The Galata Bridge connects the Former Byzantium to the south and the new city to the north.

Eat Sesame Seeds covered with Pretzels

must do in istanbul

You can get these sesame seeds with the covering of Pretzels from any bakery. I would suggest you grab these from red stands along Istiklal Avenue. You must do in Istanbul. It is such a mouthwatering delight. I just loved its flavor damn!!!

Eat Turkish Chicken Breast Pudding

In this dish, you can’t actually taste the chicken as it is prepared with boiling chicken in water and then the meat is shredded into small fibers. Meat is then boiled again by adding some sugar, milk, vanilla, cornstarch and a little amount of rice flour. This will end up in the form of yummy pudding. You can garnish it with cinnamon powder.

Drink Turkish Tea

Whenever you visit Istanbul, you must drink Turkish tea served in tulip shaped cups in different hotels in Istanbul. They prepare this tea is a unique way. There are two compartments in the teapot.

One has hot water and other is for brewing tea. You first add the tea to the cup and then you add the boiling water to dilute the tea. Damn!! I just loved the Turkish tea and it is one of the must things to do in Istanbul.

Eat Borek

things to do in istanbul

I’ve eaten Borek so many times but the best Borek I ever tasted in my life was in Istanbul. Borek is the traditional Turkish delight that is made of flaky dough. It can be stuffed with mince or feta cheese. If you prefer eating sweet then eat it plain or top it with icing sugar.

You can grab the best Borek at Eminonu. I am recommending you the place which I tried myself:). I’ve eaten the salty one that contains the mixture of mince, cheese, and potato. it was super duper yummy. Enjoy the Turkish Borek in lovely Istanbul weather.

Marvel at Hagia Sophia

 Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. It has a long history that is seen from the orthodox cathedral to roman cathedral to a mosque. And now it is a museum. The exterior of a building is not that much impressive but once you enter inside, you will forget the outer world. there are a lot of things to see in this museum. According to me, visiting this place is must do in Istanbul. if you have very less time to spend in Istanbul, I must say just visit this place at least once ❤.

Try Baklava

must do in istanbul

When it comes to sweets, Turkish are best. Baklava is a special dessert that is made with phyllo pastry filled with honey or sweet syrup and chopped nuts. You will enjoy it with a cup of tea. now you might be thinking that which is the best place to eat Baklava in Turkey? Gulluoglu is the best place in Turkey where you can enjoy the Baklava with a hot cup of tea.

Drink a Glass of Aryan

Don’t get fooled by the name :p It is actually a dairy dessert. Aryan is the national drink of Turkey. It is the drink that you will either hate or love it. there is no in between. This is a cold yogurt drink which is more popular in summer. I just loved this drink in Istanbul weather and I always ordered the tall glass.

Buy a glass Lamp for Yourself

glass lamp

You will see these beautiful glass lamps hanging in every establishment in the city. It can be a great souvenir to take back home. If you are thinking of bargaining, then try to buy outside the grand bazaar. You will see a drastic drop down in prices.

Dine in with the best view in Istanbul

If you don’t want to break your wallet and you want to dine in with the best view in Istanbul then I would suggest you dine in Hamdi Restaurant. It will show you the 180-degree view to the Suleymaniye Mosque, Galata tower, Rustempasa mosque, and the Bhosphorus.

There you must try their roasted eggplant and kofte. It is one of the best things to do in Istanbul or must do in Istanbul.

Go to watch a Belly Dance Show

The thing must do in Istanbul is to go and watch the best belly dance of Istanbul and the best entertainment so don’t miss the chance to go to Hodjapasha dance Theatre. It has the best belly dance performances. So try this one of the best things to do in Istanbul and get ready for the glimpse of 1001 Arabian Nights.

Visit the Chora Church (Kariye Museum)

It may not be the biggest church but it is one of the beautiful church in Istanbul. There are many mosaic panels that recreate biblical senses that have been drowned centuries ago. It is a must do in Istanbul to visit this place.

Things to do in Istanbul – Take the Cooking Classes

If you are in Istanbul for a long time and you need some activity to do then must do in Istanbul is to take cooking classes. Taking cooking classes is a new city is absolutely fun. You will learn various new dishes that you can try in your kitchen. Lahmacun, kofte, pide are on top.

Make a whole day Trip to Princess Island

This Princess island is actually the cluster of 9 islands that lie to the Asian shores of Istanbul. It is the popular place to visit for families and couples. The form of transport to reach there is horses and carts and it is very romantic for couples. well, this is the thing that you must do in Istanbul.

Must do in Istanbul-Visit the Blue Mosque

things to do in istanbul

Blue mosque is also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Its prominent features are blue dom exterior and the 6 minarets. You can wear any dress you like for instance if you are a woman then you can wear any dress but it is necessary for you to wear the scarf. visiting this place is also must do in Istanbul.

Eat a Turkish Pizza

who doesn’t like pizza? obviously, everyone loves pizza. Pizza is my first love 😛 and after eating Turkish pizza I find every pizza tasteless. It is a thin dough crust pizza that is topped with vegetables, minced meat, and the herbs.

Eating a Turkish pizza is one of the must things to do in Istanbul. Ozi Pizza and Pasta is the best place to eat yummylicious Turkish pizza.

Visit Emirgan park in lovely Istanbul weather

Emirgan park

Enjoy the beautiful Istanbul weather in Emirgan Park. Emirgan Park is one of the largest Park in Istanbul. Annual tulip festival is host to this park. It is one of the most colorful places in the world. If you are in Istanbul in the season of tulips then this is one of the things to do in Istanbul and you will enjoy this festival.

Eating Turkish Ice Cream

Dondurma is the most entertaining thing to do in Turkey and it is famous all over the world. The Dondurma is a different type of ice cream as it is sticky in texture and it won’t melt so easily. The pranks by the ice cream sellers are also very famous and people enjoy them a lot 🍧. Here is one of the pranks. Enjoy! 😄😆

Whenever you visit turkey, you must try this ice cream as eating this ice cream is one of the best things to do in Istanbul. The cool and nice Istanbul weather makes it more enjoyable to have this ice cream and get it in a unique Turkish way.

Must do in Istanbul-Walk along the walls of Constantinople

things to do in Istanbul

When it became the capital of the Roman Empire then the walls of Constantinople were erected for the safety of the city. This 7 km long wall makes you feel the historical past of the Roman Empire. One of the things to do in Istanbul or you can say must do in Istanbul is to visit this Constantinople and you will never regret it. 

Written by Ayesha Naveed

Ayesha Naveed is a content writer on Express Blogger.

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