Let us tell you this, there is A LOT to see in this city. We bought a thin ”Top 10” Istanbul guide book for the trip on purpose, not to get upset about everything we wouldn’t be able to see in the four days that we had. Still also the top 10 things are quiet hard to handle and you’ll have to be prepared for long days with a tight schedule. We’re always up for that! What we saw: Galata Bridge
It’s a beautiful walk on the Galata Bridge between the New and the Old City. The bridge has two ”floors” and on the lower there are lined up seafood restaurants with views of the Bosphorus. Spice Market
Crowded market with piles of spices, Turkish delights, olives, traditional pottery and fabrics. Interesting and photo friendly. Don’t worry about the sales men, they’re actually not as pushy as people say. Süleymaniye Mosque
The biggest mosque in Istanbul and well worth the sweaty walk up the hill where it’s located. Afterwards make sure to grab a lunch or snack at one of the nearby rooftop cafés, the view of the city is spectacular. Topkapi Palace
Make sure not to miss the Harem with all it’s beautiful rooms and tiles. We bought a 3 day Museum pass here for 58 LR (about 20 €) which allowed us entry and fast track to a lot of places. Hagia Sophia
Obviously one of the most visited museums in Istanbul. That’s right, it’s a museum. Hagia Sophia was originally built as a Church, then transformed to a Mosque and is now since 1934 a museum with a cool mix of Christ mosaics and Islamic decorations. The Hagia Sophia being a museum means you’re allowed to show knees, hair and what ever while admiring the beautiful ceiling as the other tourists take selfies. Grand Bazaar
Would say this is more like a shopping mall rather than a bazaar. But it’s nice to see. Remember to bargain. Apparently one should ask for half the price the seller gives you, ending up somewhere in between. Unfortunately we don’t have the guts to do it and always end up feeling scammed. Museum of Turkish & Islamic Art (Ibrahim Pasa Palace)
We went here while waiting for the Blue Mosque to open for the public after the traditional Friday prayers. This museum is beautifully curated and probably great for people into this kind of stuff. We were too tired to read the signs, but we did see some beautiful books and huge rugs. Basilica Cistern
An underground water cistern from the 6th century which is called ”Sunken Palace” in Turkish. This is a really cool place, one of the high lights. The Cistern is dark with a decorative, dramatic light. Never mind taking pictures with your phone. Blue Mosque
You can’t go to Istanbul without visiting The Blue Mosque. This was the longest queue we had during our stay, but it wasn’t that bad and didn’t take more than about 20 minutes. As a man you’re not allowed entry if your knees and shoulders are shown and as a woman you have to cover hair, shoulders and knees. If you don’t have proper cloth conveniently enough there is a station with suitable cloth which the queue pass on the way. The decorated mosaics ceiling is wonderful. But not as blue as one would imagine. Also prepare for a distinct smell of feet, from all the tourists taking their shoes off. Galata Tower
A tower on a hill in the New part of the town from where you can admire the city 360°. We never went up but had a look at the tower from underneath. İstiklâl Street
Istanbul’s main shopping street goes from the Galata Bridge all the way to Taksim Square in the north. Apparently 2 million people walk this street everyday.
Istanbul Istanbul City Life
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Ola & Maria are full time workers and part time adventurers, follow for photos around the world, over and under water. © sixweeks 2018