Istanbul is one of the most breath-taking cities in Europe, full of magnificent architecture with palaces, mosques and streets bursting with history. Here are my top picks for things to do and places to see in Istanbul:
- Visit Galata Tower
Known as Galata Kulesi in Turkish, this is a medieval stone tower in the Galata / Karakoy quarter of Istanbul. It is a restored 5th century tower and former dungeon and prison. It is one of the most striking landmarks of the city overlooking the Bosphorus River and my favourite place in Turkey.
- Drink Turkish Çay
The Turks are known for drinking tea at all times of the day, with every meal and between too! This delicacy is known as Cay (pronounce Shaye). Served in a tiny tea glass, it is a must have! I absolutely fell in love with the Turkish Cay and had it with at every café I stopped at!
- Enjoy The Views From The Bosphorous River
The Bosphorous (or Bosporus) is a narrow, natural strait that connects the European side of Istanbul to the Asian. Many palaces overlook the Bosphorous like the Dolmabahce Palace and the Topkapi Palace.
- Browse Through Local Stores
Istanbul is a lively city, lined with bustling streets and stores at every corner. Just take a walk in one of the streets close to Sultanahmet Mosque or near the Bosphorous and you will find beautiful shops filled with souvenirs from traditional Turkish lamps to hand crafted jewellery.
- Visit Topkapi Palace
This palace is a historic Ottoman-era palace which houses Ottoman treasures and was occupied by the sultans for almost 400 years. This huge, opulent 15th century palace is a dream for architecture loving tourists.
Turkey is a beautiful country that should be on the top of the travel list of every travel enthusiast. Hopefully this list has provided you with some inspiration to help plan your next trip.
Happy and safe travels!