Whenever you would start making a list of the majestic places around the globe, Istanbul would always be at the top place. It is mainly due to its culture, people, and lifestyle. Well, if you are currently planning to visit Istanbul, consider reading this article.

This would help you in proper planning and make your trip a memorable one. You cannot really study the tourist spots here, but go through the activities you can do. So, do not waste any more time and check out the list of things to do in Istanbul.

The Best Time To Visit Istanbul:

Autumn (September to October) and Spring (April to May) are the ideal months to visit Istanbul – the weather during this time is mild and bright. During April, the whole city celebrates Tulip Festival – the green spaces in the city like parks are bedazzled with colorful bulbs. 

During Summer, the city becomes very hot and sticky and most residents go to the beaches located in the south as soon as possible but the streets are typically alive all night when the air begins to cool off a little. Winter is rainy and grey, showing Istanbul at its most evocative and moody.

Things To Know:

The primary language is Turkish in Istanbul but with a huge international presence in the city, don’t be surprised to hear conversations in Farsi Arabic, or English when you are exploring. Turkish people are usually very helpful, even if you do not speak Turkish, and shop owners (particularly in Sultanahmet, the historic center) will invite you to sit down and share a çay, A.K.A. a mini tulip-shaped cup containing strong black tea. Personal space is often a luxury in this crowded city, so don’t be shocked if you see someone standing a little too close to you while you are in a line, or waiting for a bus — it’s very normal here.

Don’t think that the water which bisects the city is a river. The Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara (and, largely the Mediterranean) and is thereby a primary international shipping route. It’s not very unusual to come across huge container ships floating by you on a commuter ferry.

While Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey, it’s not the capital city – that is actually Ankara, located in central Anatolia. However, the palaces dotting the Bosphorus, remnants of Istanbul’s status as the  Ottoman Empire’s capital might take you back in time.

Top Ten Activities You Must Do In Istanbul

Here are the top ten activities that you can do in Istanbul. The best you can do is go through them and set up an itinerary accordingly. For now, study the following points.

1. Visit The Wonderful Museums In Istanbul

Visit The Wonderful Museums In Istanbul

If you are concerned about things to do in Turkey, Istanbul, make sure to visit the museums. If you are an art and culture enthusiast, the outstanding locations can wonderstruck you all the time. To your knowledge, there are over 80 museums and art galleries in the city.

Well, while in the city, you can visit the Istanbul Archeology Museums, Topkapi Palace Museums, and Hagia Sophia Museum.

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2. Enjoy The Majestic Nightlife

Enjoy The Majestic Nightlife

As per the second entry in the list of things to do in Istanbul, Turkey, you can count on the nightlife. The nightlife of the capital city of Turkey is world-famous, and it attracts tourists from all corners of the world. 

You can always visit the famous Whirling Dervishes Show at night during your stay in Istanbul. Moreover, there are a lot of nightclubs in the city where you can spend quality time. However, you should always be very careful while roaming in the city at night. A responsible approach to exploring Istanbul can always keep you safe.

3. Witness The Sultanahmet Neighbourhood

Witness The Sultanahmet Neighbourhood

As the history of the capital city of Turkey is quite enriched, you can enjoy its fragrance at Sultanahmet. The best you can do is take time for an entire day and spend it in this neighborhood. It would be one of the best things to do in Istanbul.

4. Spend Time In The Exciting Theme Parks

Spend Time In The Exciting Theme Parks

There are a lot of theme parks in Istanbul. If you are crazy about entertainment, get into one and enjoy some rides. Theme parks like Isfanbul, Istanbul Legoland Discovery Center, and so on can give you the best experience while you seek fun.

Make sure you visit the amusement parks while on a family trip. Your kids would always love to have fun in these places.

5. Take The Bosphorus Cruise Ride

Take The Bosphorus Cruise Ride

The Bosphorus Cruise ride is one of the must-do activities when you are in Istanbul. It starts from the east side of the Galata Bridge in the city. After a while, the ship enters the Black Sea. In the entire cruise ride, you can witness a lot of spots and the extraordinary skyline of the city.

6. Roam About The Markets And Shop

Roam About The Markets And Shop

Among the best things to do in Istanbul, you can roam about the markets and indulge in shopping. There are a lot of shops that sell antiques, gift items, clothes, etc. That you can buy. 

You should always visit the Grand Bazar once while you are in Istanbul. Moreover, do not forget to taste pastries and tea from the Bazar itself.

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7. Take A Car Ride At Night

Take A Car Ride At Night

You will not hear everybody doing it, but taking a night-time car ride can be one of the top things to do in Istanbul. This can be a memorable experience for you as you can be a part of the glittering heaven of night-time Istanbul. 

The best you can do is take a small halt and have dinner somewhere before you return to the hotel. You can always find a lot of cabs in the city so it would not be a problem to take a ride.

8. Ride The Tourist Bus During The Daytime

Ride The Tourist Bus During The Daytime

If you have a plan to witness multiple sites of tourist attractions in Istanbul, the best you can do is take the tourist bus. All tourist buses in the city are hoodless, and you can get the best outcome while sitting on the upper floor and roaming about the city getting pictures.

You can hire tourist buses in the hop-on, hop-off system. So, you can get time to explore the places.

9. Taste Dishes Of The Turkish Cuisine

Taste Dishes Of The Turkish Cuisine

You would probably not find a traveler going to Turkey and avoiding Turkish cuisine. There are a lot of dishes that have milk and meat as the base ingredient, So, if you are in Turkey, consider it as one of the best things to do in Istanbul.

As per the fact, Turkish cuisine has a prominent Ottoman influence. So, you can expect every dish to contain a lot of spices. Moreover, you can get some outstanding European cafes and bars to taste food.

The best dish you can eat in Turkey is kebabs. There is a lot of variants of kebabs found in the country. So, all you need to do is choose the best. You can also take the help from your guide when you are looking for the best kebab to try.

10. Spend Time Exploring The Best Views

Spend Time Exploring The Best Views 

The last activity in Istanbul revolves mainly around rejuvenation. This can be an offbeat answer to the question of what things to do in Istanbul. The best time to relax in the city is during the afternoon. So, you can either do it in the hotel or by the Galata River. In case you are a music enthusiast, there are a lot of music parlors where you can sit, relax and listen to Turkish numbers.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Check out the most frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Istanbul.

Q1. What Should I Avoid In Istanbul?

In Istanbul, do not take a hotel or eat your meals in new tourist spots. These hotels and restaurants are highly expensive.

Q2. Which Is The Best Month To Visit Istanbul?

The best months to visit Istanbul are March to May and September to November.

Q3. How Many Days Do You Need In Istanbul?

A basic trip to Istanbul would need only three days. However, you can stay in the city for four to five days.

Q4. Do You Need A Tour Guide In Istanbul?

You would not mandatorily need a tour guide to support your trip to Istanbul. However, a guide can give you added safety.

Final Words

Istanbul is one of the ever-glittering places in the world, and you can understand it once you land in this city. Nevertheless, to expect an outstanding trip, make sure you have a guide with you. Always be friends with your guide and maintain all commands from his end.

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