3 Days In Istanbul Itinerary

3 Days In Istanbul Itinerary

Istanbul, or Constantinople because it was as soon as famously named, was the traditional capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empires. It was known as Basileousia, or “Queen of Cities” and even at the moment, it’s straightforward to see why.

3 days in Istanbul is simply sufficient time to see this vibrant and bustling metropolis is a big metropolis that spans two continents; Asia and Europe. As the capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empire, you possibly can look forward to finding a plethora of historic and interesting points of interest, from the long-lasting Blue Mosque, the traditional Hagia Sophia, the world’s oldest and largest coated market, The Grand Bazaar, and the underground cisterns. In this Istanbul itinerary, you’ll see all of those high points of interest and extra whenever you go to this wonderful metropolis.

The Perfect 3 Days in Istanbul Itinerary

If you solely have three days in Istanbul however need to take advantage of out of your go to, don’t fret. In this three-day Istanbul itinerary, you’ll be capable to discover all the foremost sights that make this nice metropolis so magical. We enlisted the assistance of The Turkey Traveler, the #1 journey weblog on all issues Turkey-related. Offering insider ideas, suggestions, and guides, The Turkey Traveler is your final useful resource that can assist you plan the right journey whenever you go to Istanbul Turkey.

So, whenever you’re prepared for the right Istanbul Itinerary? Let’s get began…

Day 1 in Istanbul – Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, a Sunset Bosphorus CruiseDay 2 in Istanbul – Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Lunch At Eminonu, Galata Bridge, Galata Tower, Istiklal Street and TaksimDay 3 in Istanbul – Turkish Bath (Hammam), Kadikoy, Camlica Mosque, Uskudar

A good way to discover Istanbul is to buy an Istanbul Card. It is legitimate for 7 days from the primary interplay and consists of skip-the-line tickets to Istanbul’s high points of interest. It additionally consists of 10 rides for public transportation and vouchers to Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and a Bosphorus Cruise.

Day 1 – Sultanahmet – Historic Center

There is not any higher option to begin exploring Istanbul than leaping straight into its historic heart – Sultanahmet. It is house to a few of the most iconic historic landmarks in Turkey – from the Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque. No itinerary is full and not using a go to to this neighborhood.


After having fun with a conventional Turkish breakfast, you’ll have loads of power to discover the outdated metropolis. Better often known as Kahvalti, a Turkish breakfast consists of cured meats and dips, recent cheeses, egg, and recent breads together with a Turkish bagel. After the savory you’ll take pleasure in pastries, honey, and jams.

Hagia Sophia

The most well-known landmark in Istanbul is arguably Hagia Sophia, one of many oldest buildings in Istanbul. 

In reality, the constructing was in-built 537, at a time when there was no Istanbul. When it was constructed, Istanbul was Constantinople, a reputation given to the town by the Byzantine Empire. For 1,100 years, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire. And it wasn’t till 1453 did the Ottoman Empire conquer it and named it Istanbul.

That is why Hagia Sophia was initially a Catholic Cathedral. Once the town was seized by the Ottomans, it was become one of the important mosques within the metropolis.

In 1934, the mosque was transformed right into a museum by the federal government. In 2020, the Hagia Sophia grew to become a functioning mosque once more, a lot to the delight of the Turkish folks.

The Hagia Sophia has 4 minarets, which signifies that the mosque was constructed by the sultan. Its exterior is attractive with hints of crimson and gold, however the inside will amaze you even additional. It has huge marble slabs and a 32-meter major dome that exudes nothing however opulence.

Opening Hours: April to October: 9am to 7 pm each day November to March – 9am to 6pm. (closed on Mondays)Free entry to Hagia Sophia with museum cross or 72TL if paying on the entrance.Tram cease – Sultanahmet

The Blue Mosque

Best Things to do in Istanbul Blue Mosque
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Just minutes away from the historic Hagia Sophia is one other certainly one of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks – The Blue Mosque often known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Though the Blue Mosque would possibly look extra spectacular than the Hagia Sophia, particularly with its unintended 6 minarets, the Blue Mosque was solely constructed round 400 years in the past.

Parts of the Grand Palace of Constantinople have been destroyed to construct The Blue Mosque. There isn’t lots of historical past to The Blue Mosque, besides that it was constructed by Sultan Ahmed I to spice up the morale of the Turkish folks after the Fifteen Years’ War.

From the outside, you would possibly surprise how The Blue Mosque obtained its identify. None of its exterior is blue. Visitors will perceive as soon as they step inside this spiritual landmark how the mosque obtained its identify. 

The dome of the mosque is roofed with ornamental blue ceramic tiles that characteristic conventional Ottoman patterns. Along with the Islamic-style ornaments that dot this huge constructing, the Blue Mosque is solely an architectural masterpiece. 

Though it may not be as historic as Hagia Sophia, its charming decor goes to make you fall in love!

Sultanahmet Square

istanbl itinerary 3 days sultanahment square
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

After visiting the 2 most iconic mosques in Istanbul, stroll round Sultanahmet Square. This is the park that connects each The Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque, nevertheless it has rather more to supply guests.

Check out the Obelisk of Theodosius, an Egyptian obelisk that was re-erected right here within the 4th century AD. 

The park is full of adorned fountains constructed throughout the Ottoman interval. They served as consuming water for vacationers and a spot the place Muslims may purify themselves earlier than coming into a mosque to wish.

Before the Ottomans took over Istanbul, Sultanahmet Square was a Hippodrome, an historical Greek stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. That is why you would possibly discover the odd form of the park. 

Before you head off to the following cease of our 3-day Istanbul itinerary, think about what it was like again then!

See if you will discover a spot that sells Turkish Ice Cream, in any other case referred to as dondurma. The Turkish ice cream right here comes with a bit efficiency whenever you purchase it, and that alone is value each penny (or Lira)!


Basilica Cistern

3 days in istanbul itinerary basilica cistern
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Minutes away from Sultanahmet Square is without doubt one of the most important buildings for the day-to-day lifetime of the Byzantine Empire – the Basilica Cistern. Built in 532 by Emperor Justinian, the Basilica Cistern is the most important of the a whole bunch of cisterns that exist beneath Istanbul. 

Many of those cisterns have collapsed over time, however because of the Basilica Cistern’s 336 columns and plenty of repairs, the cistern is open to guests. Most of the columns got here from salvaged temples and guests can nonetheless see the carvings on a lot of them.

The cisterns have been an underground reservoir water system that was designed to carry massive portions of water and accumulate rainwater. This water is then provided to all the metropolis so that everybody can have clear water to make use of. It’s one of the unimaginable historical Greek applied sciences. This tour provides skip the ticket strains to enter the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, and Basilica Cistern with an area host.

Opening Hours: Wednesday-Monday: 9 am to 7pm (from November to march 9 am to 5pm) Closed on Tuesdays.Cost: 72 TL (be aware this doesn’t embody the Harem) To e book the Harem, it’s one other 42 TL)

Topkapi Palace

3 days in istanbul itinerary topkapi palace
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Topkapi Palace was in-built 1460 after the conquest of Constantinople to function the house and administrative constructing for the Ottoman sultans. It took a complete of 18 years to finish.

The grandeur of the Topkapi Palace is plain, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient for the Ottoman sultans. Starting within the seventeenth century, the sultans began to want spending their time of their palaces alongside the Bosphorus Strait.

In the mid-Nineteenth century, Topkapi Palace was not in use and was become a museum. Inside, guests will discover tons of reveals on Turkish historical past, massive courtyards, and exquisite gardens.

But maybe probably the most well-known part of the Topkapi Palace Museum is the Harem, a personal quarter the place the feminine members of the sultan’s household lived. The tiling contained in the Harem is equally beautiful, if not, extra beautiful than those within the Blue Mosque.

Along with the stained glass home windows and complicated patterns all through the entire inside, the Harem is nothing lower than breathtaking. Get a skip the road ticket that features a guided tour of the Audience Hall, High Court, Historical Kitchens, and The Treasury.


Sunset Bosphorus Cruise

Cruise on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

No Istanbul itinerary is full with out having fun with a Bosphorus sundown cruise. The cruise departs from the Golden Horn and cruises across the Bosphorus Strait, one of the traditionally vital our bodies of water.

Today, the Bosphorus Strait acts because the boundary between Europe and Asia, so visitors technically get a tour of two continents!

All Bosphorus sundown cruises will showcase a few of the most vital buildings alongside the Bosphorus Strait, such because the Dolmabahce Palace and Maiden’s Tower. Guests may go underneath the spectacular Bosphorus Bridge that connects Istanbul’s European aspect and Asian sides.

Depending on the kind of cruise you’ve chosen, there could be meals and leisure on board. We suggest choosing an opulent Bosphorus dinner cruise, so you possibly can have the possibility to pattern conventional Turkish meals like meze and raki, in addition to expertise cultural dance just like the Whirling Dervishes whereas sipping on Turkish espresso.

We took a yacht cruise to soak up the sights, and this cruise takes you on a 2.5-hour boat cruise of the Bosphorus Strait to see Istanbul’s high points of interest together with Galata Tower and the Dolmabahçe Palace, each the Asian and European Coasts the Küçüksu Palace which was the looking lodge of the Ottoman Empire.

Day 2 – Sultanahmet and Taksim

You’ll be strolling quite a bit on the second day of our 3-day Istanbul itinerary, so be sure you put on one thing comfy at the moment! On the second day, you’ll end exploring the sight in Sultanahmet and head throughout the Galata Bridge into Taksim, the so-called trendy heart of Istanbul.


Grand Bazaar

3 days in istanbul itinerary grand bazaar
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Start your second day in Istanbul with one of many oldest and largest coated markets on the planet – Grand Bazaar. It has an estimated whole of 61 streets and over 4000 outlets, that means that guests can spend a whole day right here and doubtless not see every part.

An attention-grabbing reality about Grand Bazaar  – it’s thought of the primary shopping center on the planet, which makes it the right place to buy some souvenirs! 

You can discover quite a lot of stuff right here – from low-cost counterfeits to antiques. But in case you are in search of one thing to recollect your journey by, then we suggest getting a pleasant Turkish rug, a Turkish lantern, or a nazar amulet.

When you might be drained from strolling up and down the streets, loosen up in one of many native tea outlets. Have a pleasant Turkish Tea (çay in Turkish) and an area snack earlier than you proceed.

If you determine to buy one thing (which you completely ought to), don’t neglect to barter! The Turkish are excellent salesmen and you’ll pay much more than what the merchandise is value!

Hours: 10 am to 6pmTram Stop – Beyazit Kapaliçarsi

Spice Bazaar

3 days in istanbul itinerary spice bazaar
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Located a couple of minutes from the Grand Bazaar is the Spice Market. Unlike the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar is somewhat small. There are solely two streets, they usually kind the letter L.

Constructed within the seventeenth Century, the Spice Bazaar is far newer than the Grand Bazaar and guests can instantly inform by the second they stroll in. It is rather more modern-looking and stylish than the Grand Bazaar.

But maybe probably the most putting characteristic of the Spice Bazaar is the scent. When you go in, your scent is instantly overwhelmed by the totally different spices. A mixture of sweat, tea, spices, and herbs create a novel scent that’s iconic to the Spice Market. If you need to buy Turkish tea, the Spice Bazaar is a superb place to take action. 

Hours: 10 am to 6pmTram Stop – Beyazit – Kapaliçarsi


Lunch At Eminonu

3 days in istanbul itinerary lunch where to eat
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Once you’ve got completed your purchasing spree in these bazaars, it’s time to pattern some native meals. Luckily, Eminonu, the neighborhood the place the Spice Bazaar is positioned, is the right place to take action.

This bustling neighborhood is a superb place to pattern Turkish meals. Unlike eating places in Sultanahmet which might be focused towards vacationers, the eating places right here entice locals because of their inexpensive costs and easy Turkish flavors. 

The greatest option to expertise Eminonu is to stroll round and see what you want. Our favourite restaurant in Eminonu is Sehzade Cag Kebap. Its lamb sis kebap is so wealthy in taste and melts in your mouth!

Galata Bridge

3 days in istanbul itinerary galata bridge
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

After a hearty lunch, it’s time to proceed exploring Istanbul. Head over to the Galata Bridge, which connects the historic heart of Istanbul with its trendy heart. The bridge spans throughout the Golden Horn, an iconic physique of water and one of the widespread spots for fishing. 

It isn’t unusual to see native fishermen lined up from one aspect of the bridge all the way in which to the opposite.

All the fishermen convey forth a ton of seagulls. Combined with the multitude of pedestrians and boats coming from out and in, strolling throughout Galata Bridge is an iconic second. Though solely 490 meters lengthy, it could possibly take a little bit of time to get throughout!

Galata Tower


Perhaps probably the most well-known attraction within the trendy heart of Istanbul is Galata Tower within the Beyo?lu District. The tower was in-built 1348 underneath the rule of the Byzantine Empire. At 63 meters above the bottom, it was the tallest tower again then and served as a part of Constantinople’s fortification.

Nowadays, the Galata Tower is without doubt one of the greatest locations in Istanbul for panoramic views of the town. From the balcony, you possibly can see Sultanahmet, Golden Horn, Bosphorus Strait,  and even the Asian aspect of Istanbul on a very good day.

Besides admiring the spectacular views, be sure you discover the reveals that element the historical past of the Galata Tower. This tower was an vital a part of each the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire’s historical past.

Opening Hours of Galata Tower: 9 am to 7 pmCost: 35 TL


Istiklal Street and Taksim

istiklal street istanbul itinerary
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

The final exercise on the second day of our 3 days in Istanbul itinerary is to discover Istiklal Street and the Taksim neighborhood.

Istiklal Street is a 1.4-kilometer (0.87-mile) pedestrian-only road in Istanbul that’s at all times bustling. Home to quite a few eating places, fashionable bars, and stylish cafes, you possibly can spend hours right here and never see a few of the greatest issues it has to supply.

Here you’ll discover the historic Istiklal tram that covers half the span of Istiklal Street. Though it could be tempting to get on it and save your self a while, the tram might be slower than strolling due to all of the pedestrian visitors!

The greatest option to see Istiklal Street is to simply stroll round and go into any outlets that may fancy you. Don’t miss the dessert outlets and the possibility to check out baklava, the nationwide dessert of 

Turkey. There are many flavors to it however you possibly can’t go incorrect with the unique pistachio taste.

As you stroll up Istiklal Street, you’ll ultimately end up in Taksim Square. Many folks think about Taksim Square to be the center of recent Istanbul, and also you’ll definitely see much more worldwide manufacturers akin to Mcdonald’s, Burger King, Marriott, and the likes right here.

istanbul itinerary 3 days kebabs
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

On the western aspect of Taksim Square (close to the doorway of Istiklal Street) are a number of doner kebabs outlets. If you haven’t gotten the possibility to strive them but, that is the place to go. Just anticipate a protracted queue and lots of hungry folks shoving round!

Before you permit, take pleasure in a pleasant dinner at one of many rooftop eating places close to Taksim. Our favourite is 360 Istanbul, and it has earned its identify for the 360-degree views its penthouse provides. 360 Istanbul normally turns into a pleasant nightlife venue later within the evening. 

If you need to try the nightlife in Istanbul, this can be a great spot to take action. Otherwise, there are quite a few choices alongside Istiklal road!

An important journey tip is to get an Istanbul Museum Pass to skip the road to widespread museums like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Harem, Great Palace Mosaics and extra widespread museums in Istanbul with the guided tour app. Check out this cross right here.

Day 3 – Asian Side Of Istanbul

Our final day in Istanbul covers the Asian aspect of Istanbul and likewise provides one thing a bit extra stress-free. 


Turkish Bath (Hammam)

spa etiquette tips
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
Dave’s prepared for his Hammam

After a protracted day of strolling round Istanbul, I feel it’s time to loosen up. Luckily, there’s the right place in Istanbul to take action – a Turkish Bath, or Hammam in Turkish.

Turkish Baths have been an vital a part of Islamic tradition, serving as a spot the place guests can cleanse themselves earlier than coming into a mosque, and a spot the place visitors can socialize.

Nowadays, a Turkish Bath is extra of a soothing expertise the place visitors can come out utterly refreshed and the most effective issues to do in Istanbul.

There are loads of Hammams in Istanbul, however we suggest Ca?alo?lu Hammam. Built in 1741, it is without doubt one of the final baths constructed underneath the Ottoman Empire. The inside of the Ca?alo?lu Hammam is attractive and appears like a museum of its personal.

When it involves experiencing a Turkish Bath, there are a lot of packages to select from. Depending on the way you need to be pampered, you possibly can select one thing that’s extra complete or one thing shorter.

Before you go, be sure you try the totally different packages Ca?alo?lu Hammam provides on their official website!



istanbul itinerary three days european side
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Now that you just’ve skilled the principle points of interest on Istanbul’s European aspect, it’s time to head over to the Asian aspect. The Asian aspect is understood for its unimaginable meals and extra laid-back way of life. With loads of residential areas, it is without doubt one of the greatest locations to remain in Istanbul for households.

Our first cease on the Asian aspect is Kadikoy, a neighborhood recognized for its inexpensive eating places with genuine flavors. Seafood is a specialty on the Asian aspect, so don’t miss out on the possibility to strive some stuffed mussels and fish sandwiches!

Head in direction of the sub-neighborhood of Moda, the place you will discover a promenade alongside the Bosphorus Strait. Go for a brief stroll and take within the spectacular views and refreshing sea air earlier than heading to your subsequent vacation spot! 

Camlica Mosque

3 days in istanbul itinerary camlica mosque
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

Built in 2019, the Camlica Mosque is a brand new attraction you don’t sometimes discover in any guidebooks. But in case you are following our Istanbul itinerary, you’ll not miss out on this hidden gem.

The Camlica Mosque is the most important mosque in all of Turkey and its trendy building makes it a spectacular landmark. Besides being a mosque, it options an artwork gallery, a library, and a museum.

Everything within the Camlica Mosque simply speaks of luxurious and opulence.

Don’t miss out on the huge courtyard that boasts spectacular views of the Bosphorus Bridge. Perched on high of a hill, the views from there are beautiful. The Camlica Mosque is located in Camlica Park, an enormous inexperienced house that’s widespread for households to benefit from the outside. 

If you might be nonetheless early within the afternoon, spend a while strolling round. You’ll be glad about some recent air after the previous 2 days on the European Side.



3 days in istanbul itineray Uskudar
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest

After you might be executed exploring the Camlica Mosque and its huge grounds, head over to the quaint neighborhood of Uskudar on the Asian Side. This neighborhood is understood for its bustling fish markets and a long-stretching promenade with tons of cozy cafes.

Facing west, the shores of this seaside neighborhood is without doubt one of the greatest locations to catch the sundown in Istanbul. But what makes Uskudar much more beautiful is the historic Maiden’s Tower that sits just some hundred meters off the shore.

At the suitable spot, the solar units behind this Byzantine-era fortification and its silhouette is simply spectacular.

After the solar units, stroll across the neighborhood and discover a seafood restaurant with a view for dinner!

Where to Stay in Istanbul

Swissotel The Bosphorus – This five-star luxurious lodge proper is within the centre of Istanbul on the European banks of the Bosphorus. It is an ideal location for exploring Istanbul with a rooftop pool and free WiFi. Check out Availability & Prices at AdvisorSura Hagia Sophia – Located in Sultanahmet, this 5-star lodge is completely located to all the principle points of interest. The lodge additionally provides a well-designed backyard with a sexy pool space and Free Happy Hour. Check out Availability & AdvisorElite World Europe Hotel – Situated near the airport, this newly-opened lodge provides luxurious at finances costs. Perfect for a layover or to keep away from Istanbul visitors when you’ve got a flight leaving within the early morning hours. Check out Availability & Prices Advisor

Tips For Visiting Istanbul

turkish delight in istanbul
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
Make certain to strive Turkish Coffee and Turkish Delight

Bring comfy sneakers – Istanbul is a metropolis that’s greatest found on foot. The metropolis has a nickname of “City on the Seven Hills”, so be sure you convey some comfy sneakers to stroll across the metropolis!Dress conservatively – Though Turkey is barely extra liberal than most Muslim nations, it’s nonetheless a Muslim nation. Make certain you gained’t put on one thing too revealing. For the mosques, males can’t put on tank tops and their pants should cowl their knees. Hats are additionally not allowed. Women should cowl their heads, shoulders, and knees. You’ll must put on a shawl to cowl your head earlier than you enter. Be Mindful of the Prayer Times – If you intend on visiting the mosques, be sure you try the prayer occasions. Visitors usually are not welcome throughout this time.Get an Istanbulkart – The Istanbulkart is a necessity when utilizing Istanbul’s transportation system. It is a great contactless card that’s used to pay the fare. You can get one from most main public transportation stations.You might also like: Etiquette within the Middle East- Travel for Men and Women

To get to and from the airport, we (Dave and Deb) took Their companies have been skilled and pleasant! It was good to have an indication with our identify on it ready for us once we landed on the hectic airport.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest