Istanbul, Turkey’s award-winning city, is a fantastic place to visit all year round, for family, couples and solo trips.
Having previously won Best European Destination in 2013, it has remained high on the “Best Places to Travel in Europe” by acclaimed travel website European Best Destinations.
Once your flights are booked, you’ll want to research accommodation and exciting things to do. No need! We have done it for you.
All you need to do is pack your suitcase and enjoy the adventure.
9 Unmissable Things to Do in Istanbul
You could spend weeks discovering Istanbul’s treasures, but these are our favourite attractions and activities.
1- Take a Boat Tour along the Bosphorus
Many cruises can meander and sail down the Bosphorus, starting from a 90-minute tour for 10 euros. Boat tours are fun to get a whole new perspective of the city.
What makes Istanbul unique is that it is split across two continents – Europe and Asia. A boat tour lets you see where the waterway connects east from west.
This is probably the experience that’ll have you taking the most photos, as the architecture and beauty are so captivating that you’ll want to relive it at home.
2- Visit Topkapi Palace
Istanbul’s history is most famous for the Ottoman era, dating from 1299 to1922. The exquisite Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman sultans, who were often flamboyant and wanted to show their wealth off.
Highlights include snooping around the huge selection of rooms, which remain in pristine condition and the 86-carat Spoon Makers Diamond.
3- Explore Basilica Cistern
The most fascinating attraction in the city is most definitely the Basilica Cistern. The underground water reservoir was built a staggering 15 centuries ago to store up to 80,000m3 of water. It’s not the only Cistern in the city, but it is the largest and most impressive.
In summer, it provides a fantastic escape from the baking sunshine.
4- Step back in time to the Archaeology Museum
The Archaeology Museum is an enjoyable means to discover additional information about Istanbul and Turkey’s history. Artefacts, treasures, and relics are showcased throughout the museum and provide great insight into the rich and poor’s lives.
5- Shop at Grand Bazaar
Shop addicts beware; the Grand Bazaar is where to go to feel like a local and pick up a few treats. It is one of the worlds’ oldest markets. Don’t expect to pay tag prices; this is the time to sharpen your bargaining tools, as haggling is expected.
Foodies may also enjoy the Spice Bazaar. The traditional indoor market sells spices, herbs, teas, dried fruits, etc. It could also be where you fall in love with Turkey’s most famous sweet, Turkish Delight.
6- Dine at Mürver Restaurant
The sophisticated rooftop terrace of Mürver provides the best panoramic views of Istanbul with a glass of wine in your hand.
The traditional Turkish menu includes plenty of fish and meats cooked over an open fire grill. The “trakya-kıvırcık” lamb is a slow-roasted lamb shoulder, served with mouth-watering smoked firik pilaf, spicy compote and salted it particularly tasty.
7- Use your Imagination at the Museum of Innocence
Book worms will want to add the Museum of Innocence to the Istanbul things-to-do checklist. The museum displays the items “characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected and dreamed of” in the same-titled book by Orhan Pamuk. Reading the book is not necessary to enjoy the museum.
The Museum of Innocence was voted European Museum of the Year in 2014.
8- Unwind After Sunset at Bomontiada
The relatively new and spacious complex Bomontiada is buzzing from sunset as it has everything you need to enjoy an entertaining and memorable night in Istanbul. The compound houses music venues, art galleries, museums and trendy restaurants.
In the summer, the courtyard hosts events, such as free music concerts and movies outdoors.
9- Admire the Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia sits at the top of our list. Built in the 6th century, the Hagia Sophia was originally an Eastern Orthodox church before turning into a Mosque in the 15th century.
Ultimately, it has become a world-famous museum. Istanbul’s crown jewel is not to be missed!
Highlights include the breathtaking, domed ceiling and the Byzantine mosaics.
Accommodation in Istanbul
The luxurious 5-star Limak Eurasia Hotel awaits your arrival to provide you with comfortable deluxe rooms and suites, along with dining facilities that offer a great selection of Turkish and International dishes. After a day of touring, book yourself a session or treatment in the rejuvenating spa, Limak Chiva Spa.
Limak Eurasia hotel’s “city centre location allows guests to explore the top entertainment, shopping and cultural attractions of Istanbul’s European side while enjoying beautiful views of the Bosphorus“.
Book your stay today!