Istanbul Itinerary: 3, 4, 5, or 7 Day Options

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Written By Sean Lau

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Istanbul is a buzzing city with so much to see and do. As the once ancient capital of the Roman Empire, Constantinople, and the border between two continents, Europe and Asia, it’s a melting pot of history and diverse culture that cannot be found anywhere else on this planet.

While Istanbul is often visited as a stopover destination, being the largest transit hub in the world, anyone who just passes through this energetic city is really missing out.

From ancient landmarks to relaxing Turkish baths, serene nature, and world-class museums, there are tons of exciting attractions you could add to your Istanbul itinerary.

Whether you plan to stay for 3, 4, 5, or 7 days, these Istanbul itineraries will take you around some of the best sites in the city and tell you the best order in which to see them.

But first…

Istanbul itinerary

Planning a trip to Istanbul last-minute?


Make sure you book your tours, places to stay, and airport transfers ahead of time to ensure availability!

Here is our recommended airport transfer in Istanbul:

  1. Airport Shuttle From Istanbul Airport (IST) or Sabiha Gocken International Airport (SAW) (Super affordable!)

Here are our recommended tours in Istanbul:

  1. Luxury Bosphorus Cruise At Sunset (A must-do In Istanbul)
  2. Whirling Dervishes Show (Unique experience!)
  3. Historical Turkish Bath Experience
  4. Istanbul Food And Culture Tour

Here are our recommended places to stay in Istanbul:

  1. Magnuara Palace Hotel (Gorgeous hotel in the historic centre!)
  2. Pera Palace Hotel
  3. Cheers Hostel (Budget hostel near the Blue Mosque!)

How many days is sufficient in Istanbul?

This is the age-old question we get asked the most. The amount of time you spend in Istanbul is usually dictated by how much time you have to spare. 

You could easily spend a week here and not get bored. We even spent two weeks there and didn’t run out of things to do.

We would say the optimal amount of time to spend in Istanbul is between three and five days. You could see all the highlights in three days, but if you have more time on your side, allow an extra couple of days for relaxation and to soak in the culture of the city.

After all, you don’t want to spend your time rushing from place to place and not take in the atmosphere. If you have time on your side, take it slow, don’t rush, and spend some time wandering the streets and take it all in.

📚Read More: A Complete Istanbul, Cappadocia and Pamukkale Itinerary!


The Best Istanbul Itinerary for 3 Days

Most people visiting Istanbul only have a few days before they embark on a greater Turkey itinerary. After all, 3 days is the optimal amount of time to spend in the city.

Below is an Istanbul itinerary for 3 days, which takes you to all the top attractions and iconic landmarks in the city.

Day 1: Sultanahmet

Our itinerary begins in the enchanting city of Istanbul. This once capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empire, named then as Constantinople, is brimming with history and culture. It’s also the only city in the world to span two continents; Europe and Asia.

On the first day of your visit to Istanbul, you’re going to want to explore the neighborhood of Sultanahmet. This is where you’ll find the most iconic landmarks in the city, including the Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and the Basilica Cistern.

This day will do a lot of walking but it’s all within the same area, so you won’t need to travel far today, you’re going to see exactly why Istanbul is a city worth visiting.

Stop 1: The Blue Mosque

The-Blue-Mosque-Turkey-Landmark
The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, or Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is the most beautiful work of architecture in Istanbul, so it makes sense to visit this attraction first. It was built between 1609- 1616 by Sultan Ahmed I. It became famous for its hand-painted blue tiles that you can see inside.

The mosque features more than 200 stained glass windows, as well as a stunning carved marble mihrab that’s worth checking out. It’s also the resting place of Sultan Ahmed I.

The Blue Mosque has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 and is one of Turkey’s most famous sites.

Stop 2: Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia Istanbul Landmark
Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia is just across the park from the Blue Mosque and is another one of the most important mosques in Turkey. It was built in 537 by the Roman Emperor Justinian. It was originally used as a cathedral for Constantinople, where it remained the largest Christian church in the Eastern Roman Empire for over 1000 years ago.

After Constantinople was seized by the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque. It was a museum for a short time between 1935-2000 but was converted back into a mosque. It has some of the most stunning architecture, mosaics, and artistic coverings of all the mosques in the city.

Stop 3: Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace Istanbul Turkey
Topkapi Palace Treasury

Around the corner from the Hagia Sophie is the Topkapi Palace. The palace was the former home of the Ottoman sultans in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Today, it is a large museum, showcasing artifacts from the Ottoman era. Not all rooms are open to the public, but the most beautiful ones are. The Ottoman Imperial Harem and the treasury are the main reasons to visit this palace in Istanbul.

The Topkapi Palace was also declared a UNESCO site in 1985 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

Stop 4: Basilica Cistern

Basilica-Cistern-Istanbul-Turkey
Basilica Cistern

During the Roman Empire, the Romans built several cisterns under the city as a water filtration system for the city’s palaces. The largest and best-preserved cistern in the city is the Basilica Cistern.

It is just 150 meters away from the Hagia Sophia, so it makes sense to see this historical landmark on the same day.

Stop 5: Istanbul Archeological Museums

The outside of the Istanbul Archeological Museums complex

The Istanbul Archeological Museums is a collection of three museums in the Sultanahmet district. They are made up of the Archeology Museum, The Ancient Orient Artifacts Museum, and the Tile Museum (Tile Kiosk).

They contain historic relics dating back to the early Ottoman period after it captured Constantinople from the Roman Empire.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Alexander Sarcophagus, which is the tomb of Alexander the Great, found in the Archeology Museum, and the Egyptian Grave with two coffins in the Ancient Orient Artifacts museum and the geometric tiles of the Tile Kiosk, one of the oldest buildings in the city.

Stop 6: Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
Grand Bazaar

Another one of the major landmarks in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar. It is the largest and oldest covered market in the world, with 61 streets and over 4,000 shops. It began operating in 1455 after the Ottomans captured Constantinople.

The vibrant Grand Bazaar is the best place to pick up Turkish souvenirs, from Turkish delights, Turkish lamps, rugs, towels, and clothes.

Around the corner from Grand Bazaar is the Spice Bazaar. This is another souk market where you can shop for various teas and spices. The spices are said to help with certain medical conditions, from diabetes control to weight loss, and mood enhancers.

Stop 6: Evening Turkish Hamam

cagaloglu-hammam-Turkish-Bath

After all this walking around, you’re going to want to relax a little. We recommend finishing off the day in a Turkish Hamam, which is similar to a Roman Bath. It’s not just a public bathing space, but a spa where you can get massages and beauty treatments.

Located next to the Hagia Sophia is the Hurrem Sultan Hamam, which was built in the 16th century. It’s a little pricey, but if you’re going to enjoy a Turkish bath, you might as well go to an authentic one!

Day 2: Istanbul: Taksim

On the second day, we’re going to cross the Galata Bridge and explore the Kabataş neighborhood. This is still part of Europe, but also features many iconic attractions that should not be missed.

Stop 1: Galata Bridge

Galata Bridge

We’ll begin at Galata Bridge, a 19th-century bridge that crosses Istanbul’s Golden Horn channel. The bridge is famous because of the fishermen who cast their lines here, attracting hundreds of seagulls.

The bridge has two parts, the top part is where the cars cross the bridge and also where you’ll find the fishermen, and along the bottom part you’ll find many restaurants serving fresh seafood meals.

Stop 2: Galata Tower

Galata-Tower-Istanbul
Galata Tower

Next, we’ll visit the iconic Galata Tower. By now you have probably noticed the tower in the skyline, given that it is the city’s watch tower.

It was built as a part of the Walls of Galata in 1348 by Roman Empire. The Galata Tower has had a tumultuous past, having caught fire in 1794 and 1831. It was also badly damaged in a storm in 1875.

The tower was renovated in the 1960s to look like the original but using concrete instead of wood. You can climb to the top of the tower and witness 360-degree panoramic views of the city. There is also a museum and exhibition hall in the tower.

Stop 3: Istiklal Street

Istiklal-Street-Tram
Istiklal Street tram

Istiklal Street is the most famous street in Istanbul and is where you’ll find a blend of historic and modern. It was historically known as Grand Avenue of Pera, and is a pedestrian street made famous for its red tram that rides from one end to the other.

There are many high-street brands setting up shops here in the old buildings that were once apartments for the Romans. It’s a great place to pick up some street food or find a traditional Turkish restaurant down one of the side streets. If you’re into nightlife, you’ll find vibrant bars in this area.

Stop 4: Pera Museum

Pera Museum

The Pera Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. It was established in 2005 and is home to a large selection of iconic works from renowned Turkish artists such as Osman Hamdi Bey, Cihat Burak, and Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, as well as European artists such as Jean-Léon Gérôme and Jean-Baptiste van Mour.

The museum is a cutting-edge cultural space spanning over 5 floors and provides a fantastic space where history and art collide.

Pera has served as a hub for creative expression since it first opened its doors. Amongst its many fascinating collections, there is an art gallery hosting diverse works from across Turkey’s dynamic cultural heritage. Notable pieces include Orientalist paintings and rare photography pieces that explore the late 18th century through to modern-day times.

Stop 5: Bosphorus Cruise

Bosphorus Cruise

If your legs are a little tired from all this walking, then a Bosphorus cruise is a great way to enjoy an afternoon or early evening.

The cruise takes you through Istanbul’s Golden Horn and out into the Bosphorus. It gives you a unique perspective of the city from the water, and it’s also the best way to see the palaces in Istanbul. Many of the palaces were built next to the water, and their beautiful decoration and architecture are best seen from the water.

You will see boats lined up on the waterfront in Eminönü, and there are plenty of cruises to choose from. They are all pretty much the same, but you do need to book your ticket in advance.

You can either head to the harbor early in the morning and book your ticket, or you can book your ticket online.

Day 3: The Asian Side

On the third day in Istanbul, you’re going to explore the Asian side. We’ll be visiting the largest mosque in Istanbul, the hip and vibrant area of Moda, and tasting delicious Istanbul street food.

Stop 1: Çamlıca Mosque

The first stop is Çamlıca Mosque, located at the top of Çamlıca Hill. To get here, you must first take the metro to Üsküdar and then change to the metro to Kısıklı. From here, you simply walk up the hill.

The Camlica Mosque is the largest mosque in Istanbul and measures at 72 m (236 ft). The six minarets measure even higher to 107.1 m (351 ft). This stunning mosque is a sprawling complex large enough to house 63,000 worshipers at one time.

There’s also an art gallery, library, and conference hall. It was designed by two female architects, Bahar Mızrak and Hayriye Gül Totu, and was said to have cost $110 million USD to make.

Stop 2: Kadikoy

After spending time admiring the mosque, head over to the area of Kadikoy, one of the biggest attractions in Istanbul’s Anatolian side. Here you’ll find bustling markets and fishermen on the waterfront. This is the perfect place to sample some street food. We highly recommend the balık ekmek (fish sandwich).

Stop 3: Moda

Uskudar-Maiden's-Tower-Most-Beautiful-Places-Istanbul
Maiden’s Tower, Uskudar

After wandering the neighborhood of Kadikoy, head further south to Moda. This is a hipster neighborhood with street art, boutique stores, cool coffee shops, and a relaxing park.

Stop 4: Whirling Dervishes Show

If you went for an afternoon Bosphorus cruise, then you’ve got plenty of time to enjoy a whirling dervishes show in the evening. This is a traditional Turkish dance where dancers look as though they are floating across the floor.

As well as being a dance, it’s an active meditation exercise, which originated from the Sufi tribes in the 13th century. This is one of our favorite things to do in Istanbul at night.


The Best Istanbul Itinerary for 4 Days

If you have an extra day to spend, you might want to spend it doing something more relaxing. Not many people know this, but Istanbul is surrounded by serene nature, and you don’t have to go far to find it.

In our Istanbul 4 day itinerary, we would suggest following the itinerary for 3 days, and on the fourth day, visit the Princes Islands…

Day 4: Princes Islands

On the fourth day, you’ll need to allow a full day to explore the Princes Islands, or Adalar as they are referred to in Turkish. There are nine islands in total, but only four are inhabited. Each island was once used as an exile home for the rich, famous and powerful, including members of the royal family (hence the name, Princes Islands).

There are no cars on the islands and they can only be explored on foot or by bike. You will notice several examples of luxurious, stunning architecture and 19th-century mansions as you explore each of the islands.

To get to these unique islands in Turkey, you must take a ferry from Kabatas or Kadikoy. The ferry stops at Kınalıada, Burgazadası, Heybeliada, and finally Büyükada, or “Big Island” as it’s often referred to.

It takes 75 minutes to reach the last island, Buyukada, and ferries operate every hour – this gives you an hour to explore each island, so you need to plan your trip accordingly.

You may wish to pick two out of the four islands we mention below if you want a more leisurely day.

Be sure to check out the ferry times here.

Stop 1: Kınalıada, Princes Islands

The first stop is Kınalıada, the smallest island in the Princes Island archipelago. It’s the nearest island to mainland Istanbul and its history dates back to the ancient Greeks.

The name Kinaliada means “Henna Island” in Turkish, and it is so named because of the red-color land you see here. This is made by iron and copper deposits which were once mined here.

The first settlers on the island were the Greeks, who used the island as a place of exile from the Byzantine rulers. The most famous exile to live here was Emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, who lived at the Monastery of the Transfiguration on Hristo Peak.

It won’t take you long to explore the small village on the island. Make sure to check out the former Greek Orthodox monastery, the Monastery of Christ, and wander along the small streets to check out the unique architecture. The old fire station and school are particularly beautiful.

After an hour, make your way back to the ferry pier to go on to the next island.

Stop 2: Burgazadası, Princes Islands

Burgazada, or Burgaz Adası, is the third largest in the group and was also an exile settlement for the Greeks. It was once called Antigoni, after Antigonus I Monophthalmus, father of one of the successors of Alexander the Great.

Antigoni built a fort on the island, which you can still see today. The island is small and has one single hill, so you can easily see all the main attractions in an hour.

Be sure to check out the Spanudis Mansion, which was the home to the famous Turkish short-story writer Sait Faik Abasıyanık. Then there is The Church of Iohannes Prodromos which was built in 1899. It was built on the site that was once a prison for St Methodius the Confessor, who was exiled here.

There are also a few monasteries to see, the Monastery of Hagios Georgios Garipi which was a refuge for White Russians fleeing the Russian Revolution, and the Monastery of the Transfiguration, which dates back to the Byzantine era.

Stop 3: Heybeliada, Princes Islands

Heybeliada

The second largest island is Heybeliada, which was once used by the Turkish Navy. Each year, the island holds a few small open-air concerts in the summer, which attracts many visitors to the island.

Make sure to check out the Naval High School, which was founded in 1773 and has stunning architecture. It’s also the home of the only remaining Byzantine church on the island, Kamariotissa, as well as the last church to be built before the conquest of Constantinople.

The grounds are where you’ll find the grave of Edward Barton, who was the second English Ambassador for Elizabeth I of England, who was sent to Constantinople and spent his last days on Heybeliada trying to escape the plague.

As with all the other islands, Heybeliada also has a monastery, named Hagios Georgios tou Kremnou, which was built in the 16th century. There are also the ruins of the Hagios Spyridon monastery which was built in the 19th century.

You can also visit the house of the second President of Turkey, Mavromatakis Köşkü, which is a museum, as well as several other beautiful 19th century mansions.

Stop 4: Büyükada, Princes Islands

Princes-Islands-Adalar-Istanbul

The last island is the biggest island, Buyukada. If you only have time for one, make sure this is it. You can see many of the island’s notable landmarks, including the Merkez Eczanesi, a pharmacy from 1870, and the ruins of a villa where Trotsky lived during 1929-1933 on Hamlaci Street 4.

Since this island is much bigger than the rest, we recommend you rent a bike and cycle around the island, taking in the quietness and beauty of the island. See the Greek Orthodox Church, St. George Church, which sits on the highest point of the island with amazing views of the city.

Other notable landmarks on the island are the former Greek Orphanage, which was the largest wooden house in Europe.

You can also find a beach for swimming and relaxing on, as well as a huge green park. You could easily spend more than an hour here. Be sure to stay for sunset and try one of the top-rated restaurants on the waterfront.


The Best Istanbul Itinerary for 5 Days

For those blessed with five full days in the city, you might be wanting to see more off-the-beaten-path places in Istanbul. On our fifth day, we are going to explore the Fener district.

This is home to Balat, the Jewish district of Istanbul. Here you get to see the diverse cultures of Istanbul and see a unique side of the city in its architecture, history, and general way of life.

If you’re looking for a 5 day Istanbul itinerary, we suggest following the itinerary above and adding the following stops on your fifth day…

Day 5: Fener District

The Fener District is where you’ll find the remnants of Istanbul’s Jewish Population. In the late 15th century, Sultan Bayezid II offered citizenship to the Jews fleeing the Inquisition in Spain and Africa, and most of the immigrants ended up here.

The Fener District is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Historic Areas of Istanbul. Fener has become a melting pot of culture, with ethnic minorities from places like Armenia, Bulgaria, and more.

The neighborhood also has a number of charming coffee shops and restaurants, as well as art galleries and boutique stores.

Stop 1: Balat District

Balat-Famous-Street-and-Buildings
Portrait-Balat-Famous-Buildings

Balat is the most famous neighborhood in Fener. It’s known for its colorful, narrow wooden houses and cobbled streets. Kiremit Caddesi (Kiremit Street), is the most famous place to find these buildings.

These pastel-colored buildings are some of the most beautiful buildings in Istanbul. But this is not the only reason to visit Balat.

Nestled among the historic buildings and winding streets, are unique, cozy cafes, some of which are an artist’s playground, such as İncir Ağacı Kahvesi which is known for its umbrella installation and colorful huts where you can sip your coffee in.

You can also find many antique shops and vintage shops, if you enjoy thrift shopping. Be sure to check out the Phanar Greek Orthodox College, which you won’t miss as it’s a striking red building ontop of the hill.

Stop 2: Kariye Mosque

The Kariye Mosque, or The Chora Church as it’s also known, is one of the most historically significant mosques in Istanbul. It was built as a Greek Orthodox Church in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine the Great, at the time when the walls of Constantinople were being built.

It was part of a monastery complex outside the walls of the city and served as an Orthodox church until it was converted to a mosque in the 15th century by Ottoman Turks.

What makes this church unique is that it still has stunning mosaics depicting biblical stories and figures, some of which date back to the 14th century. It also hosts a number of incredible frescoes that showcase Ottoman artistry and engineering prowess.

The Kariye Mosque has been under renovation since 2005 and there has been no end date announced at present. We will update this guide as soon as we know of a re-opening date, and this is one site in Istanbul not to be missed.

Stop 3: The Walls of Constantinople

Have you ever wondered if the walls of Constantinople still stand? The answer is yes, but only in some areas. You can see the remains of the walls of Constantinople on Hoca Çakır Cd, this is where they are the most well-preserved.

The walls were built in the 4th century and were used as a defense against oncoming invasions, and they were withheld for many centuries before the great Mahmet II finally seized the city in 1453.

You can walk along the walls in some areas as well, which offer an incredible view of the Marmara Sea and the Golden Horn.


The Best Istanbul Itinerary for 7 Days

For those who have a full week at their disposal, you have time to truly experience the diversity and uniqueness of the city, but now you might be after a bit of adventure.

So on our sixth and seventh day, we plan to take you to the theme parks and on a day trip outside the city.

If you’re looking for a 7 day Istanbul itinerary, follow the itineraries above and add the following stops to day 6 and 7…

Day 6: Theme Park Day

Istanbul is also home to several exciting theme parks. If you are travelling with kids, you might want to have a theme park day!

Stop 1: Vialand Theme Park

Vialand Istanbul

If you only have time for one park, it should be Vialand. There is so much to see and do here, you should spend a full day here.

Vialand Theme Park has something for everyone – from its rollercoaster rides and other thrilling attractions such as Parkour land, mall, and Disney-inspired palace, to its interactive theaters and kid-friendly carnival games.

It opened in 2013 and was the first shopping, entertainment, and living complex in the world that combines a Theme Park and a shopping mall.

The park is spread over a huge 600,000 meters squared and features the world’s 4th biggest rollercoaster, the Nefeskesen, which accelerates to 110 kilometers in just 3 seconds. Don’t miss the “Justice Tower”, which descends from 50 meters, as well as the 7-D movie theatre.

If you’re looking for thrills and entertainment, Vialand has something for even the pickiest traveler!

Stop 2: LEGOLAND

If you have time for another theme park, then we recommend LEGOLAND. You can get a taxi here from Vialand and be here within less than 15 minutes.

Legoland is the perfect place for both grown-ups and children looking for an unforgettable day out. There’s so much to explore – from massive models, three incredible rides, and interactive activities, to 10 LEgo-build areas and Lego workshops.

Open since 2015, it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Turkey within a few years. It not only offers lots of fun to kids but adults can also enjoy themselves playing with large building sets made from genuine Lego bricks.

No matter how old you are, you’ll be sure to find the perfect way to have some incredible fun at Legoland.

Day 7: Day Trip to the City of Troy (Çanakkale)

By now you must be feeling you’ve seen a lot of Istanbul and would like to explore some other parts of Turkey. Located four hours away by car is the ancient city of Canakkale, which is most famous for being where the ancient city of Troy once was.

Stop 1: Troy National Park

The City of Troy Turkey

Perhaps the most famous thing about Çanakkale is the nearby ancient ruins of Troy, located in the Historic Troy National Park, which can be visited by guided tours or independently.

This legendary city served as an important historical battleground between Greeks and Trojans in the 8th century BC. Visitors can explore the remains of Troy or take a tour through its open-air museum featuring archaeological finds from Hellenistic and Roman eras. 

According to archaeologists, the City of Troy is only one of nine cities that was built on top of each other, so the findings you see here are that of several civilizations. The oldest city is said to have dated back to 3000 BC.

As well as being historical, it’s also an area of outstanding natural beauty, so take a moment to look out for several species of bird and wildlife that make this park their home.

Stop 2: Cimenlik Castle

Photo credit: Flickr

The city of Çanakkale is also worth stopping off at, since it has some notable historical attractions, such as the Cimenlik Castle.

It was built in 1462 by Mehmet the Conqueror to protect the Ottoman Empire in the Dardanelles. Just right across the Dardanelles, visitors will also find Kilitbahir Castle, another fortress built around the same time.

Both of these castles are now museums and offer spectacular sea views.

Stop 3: Troy Horse

Trojan-Horse-In-Canakkale

Many have heard the legend of the Fall of Troy, which has been passed down through Greek mythology for centuries. The story was also featured in Homer’s Iliad.

If you don’t know the story, the Trojan War went on for years, in which the Greeks tried to break through the walls of the City of Troy but were unable to breach them.

To trick the Romans on the other side, they built a wooden trojan horse and gave it to them as a gift. Little did the Romans know, the Greeks had waited inside the horse until nightfall, and then attacked the Romans as they slept. And thus the war was won.

To remember the story, head to the waterfront of Canakkale, where you can see the huge steel and fiberglass statue of the horse that was used in the 2004 movie “Troy.”


Extend to 10 Days Istanbul Itinerary

If you have fallen in love with the city and want to spend more time here, you could easily extend it to 10 or more days. 

If you’re looking for some ideas for how to spend 10 days, we recommend you fill your time taking some day trips to the cities near Istanbul

Bursa, Kumköy, or Şile are three cities we would recommend adding to your Istanbul itinerary. If you plan your visit right, you could even spend time at the beach in Şile if beaches are your thing.

There are also some beaches closer to Istanbul, which would be the perfect place to spend your days in the summer. 

Best-Beaches-In-Istanbul-Kilyos-Featured

Aside from that, I would spend time wandering the city, shopping for souvenirs, stopping off at traditional cafes, and gorging on street food. 

Explore some of the parks in Istanbul or check out the museums. There is so much to see and do, we know you’ll find something fun to fill in your time on a 10 day Istanbul trip.


Getting Around The City

Istanbul is a very walkable city, as long as you have some comfortable shoes on. We have purposely organized the stops in our itineraries to allow you to be able to walk from place to place, without the need for public transportation.

However, sometimes taking public transportation is necessary, especially if you plan to visit the theme parks or head over to the Fener district.

We have written a complete guide on public transportation in Istanbul for those who are visiting for the first time. Read about how to get around Istanbul here.


Tips for Visiting Istanbul

To help you have the best trip to Istanbul, here are a few words of advice:

  • Go slow and don’t try to pack it all in. I know these itineraries are jam-packed, but you’re going to exhaust yourself trying to see every museum and mosque. Take time to just wander the streets and soak in the atmosphere as well.
  • Get the Istanbul E-Pass, this is a tourist pass that gives you free entrance to many of the city’s top attractions. You can save up to 70% by using this card.
  • Download Offline Google Maps or MapsMe, so you don’t need to rely on data.
  • Pick up a Turkish sim card, but not from the airport. Turkcell is our preferred operator, but you can read more about it here.
  • Dress modestly. This is a Muslim country and even though it’s hot, respectful attire should be worn at all time. Leave the hot pants at home, and bring light clothing that covers your knees and shoulders.
  • Bring a headscarf if you’re a woman. You will need to wear one when entering the mosques.
  • Take out cash, as many places don’t accept credit cards.

Final Thoughts on Istanbul Itinerary

So there you have it, this is how you can spend your days in Istanbul, and as you can see, there is a LOT to see and do.

No matter how many days you plan to spend in Istanbul, we know you will have a great trip.

Do you have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments.

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