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Turkey Trip Itineraries

Best of how to live Istanbul in a few days

Destination(s): Istanbul

How do you read a city? Or, more precisely, how do you learn to live that city? Simply, by walking all day and observing people.

So, where to start in Istanbul and how to recapture its essence if you have a limited time.

Follow the following best of list to find out about what to do and why to do that...

Enjoy the city! read more about Best of how to live Istanbul in a few days

İstiklal Caddesi

İstiklal Caddesi

  • İstiklal Caddesi
  • Istiklal Cad., Beyoglu
  • Istanbul, 34437
Bosphorus tour on foot

Bosphorus tour on foot

  • Çırağan Caddesi, Yıldız, İstanbul 34349, Turkey
  • Istanbul

A walk from Besiktas until Sariyer is just too long. But, if you were to do it, you would be passing by Ciragan Palace, Ortakoy, Kurucesme, Arnavutkoy, Bebek, Rumeli Fortress, Baltalimani / Boyacikoy, Emirgan, Sabanci House / Museum, Istinye, Yenikoy, Tarabya and Sariyer successively. This entire walk would last for at least 4 hours, maybe 5. However, a smaller version from Kurucesme until Rumeli Fortress is just enough to see the beautiful old houses, the fishermen, the sidewalk groceries and the Anatolian coast across. The same walk is doable on the Anatolian coast as well. There the line starts from Uskudar (across from Besiktas) and continues along Beylerbeyi, Kuleli Military School, Vanikoy (the elite residential place of mansions), Kandilli, Goksu, Anadolu Fortress, Kanlica, Pasabahce, Beykoz. Again this entire trail would be too long and tiresome. The better parts of this are from the Kuleli Military School until Kanlica. Yet, another trail along the coast on the Anatolian side is the parallel of the famous shopping street the Bagdat Street. The parallel of this street runs by the Marmara Sea and the best trail starts from Bostanci and continues along Suadiye, Caddebostan and Fenerbahce. read more about Bosphorus tour on foot

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

  • Sultanahmet Meydanı
  • tel:90 212 522 4422
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34122
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi)

  • Yerebatan Caddesi 13
  • (Near St. Sophia)
  • tel:90 212 522 1259
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34110
Kapali Çarsi (Covered Market)

Kapali Çarsi (Covered Market)

  • 22 Kalpakçılar Caddesi
  • tel:90 212 519 1248
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34975
Spice Bazaar (Mısır çarşısı)

Spice Bazaar (Mısır çarşısı)

  • Behind the New Mosque in Eminönü
  • Istanbul
Galata Mevlevihanesi (Dervish Lodge)

Galata Mevlevihanesi (Dervish Lodge)

  • Galip Dede Caddesi 15
  • Tünel
  • tel:90 212 245 4141
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34430
Galatasaray Hamam

Galatasaray Hamam

  • Junction of Turnacıbaşı and Capanoglu Streets No:24 Galatasaray
  • Galatasaray
  • tel:90 212 252 4242
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul

The Galatasary Hamam was built in 1715 as a public bath, yet it was actually exclusively for men. In 1965 the hamam underwent renovation and a new separate quarter for women was added to the establishment. During the renovation process, much has been kept intact and the main structure has not been altered radically, but architectural details were added. Galatasaray Hamam diverges from the mainstream public baths due to some of these architectural details and its more elitist atmosphere. One major feature here are the marble slabs where bathers can be massaged in semi-privacy rather than on the heated central navel stone. As such, the admission price tends to soar higher above regular bath prices as well. In Euros: 26 for a bath, 35 with a kese (scrubbing the body), 38 with foam massage, 44 for both kese and massage, and 57 for the 'Pasha' treatment – oil massage. Beverages are free and further tips to the keseci (massager) will guarantee further services and better treatment. Visitors to Galatasaray Hamam often complain that they are being ripped off inside by the increasing number of services and additional fees asked for each. But, if you discuss your options and prices before going on, you would now what to expect and not be disillusioned. After all think of hamam as an old-day spa, it was and is not for free.
read more about Galatasaray Hamam

Adalar (Princes' Islands)

Adalar (Princes' Islands)

  • Adalar
  • Istanbul

In Turkish, "adalar" simply means "islands" - though adalar are very familiar territory for Istanbulites, which island you are referring to is still quite important since many Istanbullites use the islands as their summer residence and have a genuine circle of relatives and friends there. Probably the most popular day trip option from Istanbul, at least in the summer, the Princes' Islands are comprised of seven small islands, four of which (Bykada, Kınalıada, Burgazada and Heybeliada) have constant summertime service by ferry from Kabataş and Bostanci. The islands offer treasures of history (Byzantine churches and Greek and Turkish ruins), green parks, and various upscale restaurants and hotels. As no cars are allowed onto the islands, you would be better off renting a horse-backed carriage to go from one part to another; or to arrive on the islands dressed casually and renting a bike. The islands are a wonderful retreat from bustling Istanbul, each with its own unique character and pace of life. read more about Adalar (Princes' Islands)

Santralistanbul

Santralistanbul

  • Eski Silahtarağa Bektrik Santralı Kazım Karabekir Caddesı No.1
  • Eyüp
  • tel:90 212 311 5000 / 90 212 444 0428
  • Visit website
  • Istanbul, 34060