Let’s sit and talk about the many ways you can explore the glorious city of Istanbul. You can indulge in a guided tour or have a do-it-yourself tour of the city. Istanbul tour guides are the best if you want more in-depth information of the sites you are visiting. Meanwhile, if you are longing for a bit of solitude, or can’t fit in a guided tour in your budget, then you can plan your own itinerary. What you should also consider is that there may be savings in getting a guided tour as these usually offer discounts, especially for admission fees. So you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.
You can also opt to go for a walking tour, bus tour or boat tour. Whatever the case, it would be helpful for you to know where you are going before embarking on an exploration of what Istanbul has to offer.
You should take note that because of the size of Istanbul, it is virtually impossible for you to view all the sights in one day. You need to have ample time to truly appreciate the many churches, mosques, museums and other sights that about in the city. Most of the sights to see are centered around the vicinity of the Old City and that of Sultanahmet.
Your itinerary may also depend on your interest. Here are some itineraries for you to think about:
– Historical tours
– Byzantine tours
– Art Gallery Tours
– Other tours you can do are the Balloon tours,
Here is also a list of tourist spots you should visit:
– Topkapi Palace: Explore the gardens and the harem section as well. (This will take at least 2 to 3 hours).
– Hagia Sophia: Renowned for its grand proportions, visit booth floors – the second floor has a mosaic.
– Blue Mosque: Marvel at the exquisite blue Iznik tiles.
– Hippodrome: This is where important events were held – imperial weddings, celebrations, royal games and so on. At its square is the Serpentine Column and the Colossus (which is a 60-meter tall obelisk that came all the way from Egypt).
– Grand Bazaar: The Mother of all bazaars, with thousand of shops, restaurants, teahouses all in 76 acres of shopping pleasure.
– Sogukcesme Sokagi: Features a line of Ottoman houses
– Suleymaniye Camii: Sitting on the third of Istanbul’s seven hills, this is an architecture marvel you should see.
– Dohlmabahce Palace: This palace has 285 rooms, all showing European architecture.
– Suleymaniye Hamam: Soak in a relaxing Turkish bath, here and in the many hamams that dot the city.
– Yerebatan Sarnici
– Land walls
– Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsis): bask in the smells and tastes in this unforgettable spice bazaar.
– Galata Bridge
– Taksim Square
– Ferry tour along the Bosphorus
– Saint Irene Church and Museum
– Archeological museum