Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and an excellent place for a mini trip. It is a charming metropolis with old history, trendy streets, and beautiful attractions. You can admire the stunning mosques, spend days wandering around the Grand Bazaar, taste delicious Turkish meals, and more. Curious about what more you can do during your trip to Istanbul? Read on!
1) Visit the Grand Bazaar
When you find yourself in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, a vast covered marketplace, the smells, the colors, the sounds, everything looms over you. Dozens of small streets are lined with hundreds of stores with Turkish herbs, gold jewelry, and accessories. Most of the stalls in the Grand Bazaar sell the same things and are by no means quaint, but they are well worth the trip. You can immediately feel the vibrancy of the city.
Incidentally, another bazaar in Istanbul is even more beautiful and, above all, quieter. It is the Spice Bazaar (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar). It is a lovely property to see and a delight to walk through.
2) Climb Galata Tower
At 61 meters high, Galata Tower is one of the most impressive structures in the Galata/Beyoğlu district. One of the best things to do in Istanbul, the 14th-century stone building remains immaculate. Galata Tower has served a variety of roles over the centuries, including prison and an observatory. Its most important role, however, was as a watchtower for firefighters. Galata Tower is beautifully illuminated at night. You can buy tickets to climb it by lift. If you ride up to the seventh floor, you can see the whole of Istanbul! From above, the city is colorful, and the differences in elevation are apparent.
3) Go Underground at the Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern, also known as the Yerebatan Cistern, is Istanbul’s 6th-century underground water storage facility. You can climb down a ladder for a few euros and walk underground. The 336 columns of the ancient reservoir are beautifully illuminated and make for impressive photographs. At one time, it stored 80,000 cubic meters of water. The Basilica Cistern is a perfect companion to the Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque, as they are very close.
Cultural experiences around the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
The Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is one of the architectural landmarks often cited as a landmark of Istanbul. Its name comes from the blue tile mosaic inside. On a clear day, the park in front of the mosque becomes a “landmark”. Sit on a bench and enjoy the bustle of the surrounding area. You can tour the interior if you wish, but honestly, the atmosphere around the mosque is more enjoyable to absorb.
The Hagia Sophia, once a church and mosque, is now a museum. The exterior of the building is impressive, but it is still the intimacy surrounding it that makes it a special place. Between the Sultanahmet Mosque and Hagia Sophia lies a small park with a fountain, lots of greenery, and benches. You can just pick up some food from a street vendor, sit on a bench and enjoy the atmosphere of Istanbul!
4) Take a Stroll Through the Balat District
Located on the European side of the city, the Barat neighborhood is one of the city’s hidden gems. It is a neighborhood that has become known thanks to Instagram. In Barat, you will see many colorful houses and facades that are Instagram-worthy. The main street of Barat, Vorina Street, is lined with cafes and stores. It is a refreshing place to walk around, quite different from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Share your experience with us in the comments below!