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What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

Posted at:9 May, 2017 in Blog, EFH News, Travel Tips

If you’re heading to Istanbul then don’t miss out on these cultural gems:

This historic city has startling beauty, history, colours, flavours and energy that you don’t find anywhere else. Straddling two continents, this city ruled by the Bosphorus River links Europe and Asia, there is nowhere to match its vibrancy.

Istanbul is the ultimate city for a cultural break or to enjoy exploring at a slow pace – there’s so much to see here and of course just soaking up the exotic atmosphere. Whether you’re making a pit stop visit or want to linger longer in this metropolis, Istanbul has some unmissable highlights that you’d be crazy to miss!

What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

Topkapi Palace is a great place to start to uncover the real story of Istanbul. Built to house the Ottoman Sultans this eye-wateringly beautiful palace did just this for 400 years, until the sultans moved to more European palaces on the banks of the Bosphorus.

The palace is famed for its exotic stories of harems, eunuchs and courtiers. The harem is so popular and essential to visit that you need to buy a separate ticket to visit. This was the home of up to 300 concubines. While the idea of a harem is something astounding, in reality the power of the women who were educated and brought up here was significant and a visit to the sumptuous rooms will reveal how the Ottoman sultans really lived behind closed doors and who wielded the power!

At the palace you can see first-hand the amazing gardens, world-famous architecture and incredible luxury that the rulers of the Ottoman Empire lived in.

The place is closed on Tuesdays, for more information please visit here

What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

Aya Sofia or Hagia Sophia is a building like no other. Its Byzantine bulk towers over the Sultanahmet district of city. Renowned for its beauty and history this jewel of Istanbul has an unusual history as both a church and later as mosque. Here is the giant building (it’s astonishing dome is over 50 metres high) There is an excellent museum to visit too. Find out more here


If art is your scene then the Istanbul Modern in Beyoğlu district is a must. The Modern is where you need to get up to speed with modern Turkish art. Alongside modern art from Turkey’s most talented folk you can see world-class international exhibitions. The Modern is found in an old warehouse on the banks of the Bosphorus and highlights amazing contemporary art to contrast with this city’s treasure box of history. While you’re here don’t miss out on a visit to the restaurant overlooking the old city. Find out more here

What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

Medieval Grand Bazaar or Kapalıçarşı is a magnet to the world’s serious shoppers and hagglers! This is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with a glorious domed hall of the Cevahir Bedesten at its heart, with more than 4,000 shops this is shopping and exploring on a mind-boggling scale.

Here in the 60 covered streets you can shop to your heart’s delight. You can buy rugs, jewellery, fabrics, fashion, ceramics, spices and antiques in this must see corner of the city. Enjoy winding your way through the bustling historic streets and sampling shopping Turkish style! Visiting the Grand Bazaar is not to be missed but don’t forget to haggle- it’s expected and encouraged by the locals! The Bazaar is open daily except Sundays and Bank Holidays. For more information click here
What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

For the night owls amongst you no visit to Istanbul would be complete without a visit to the Beyoğlu district in the European part of the city where the nightlife is king. Here you can sample some mouth-watering food, hang out in the coolest bars and hear some great live music so make sure you take time to try the city’s latest trendy hang out while you’re in town!

Where to Sleep in Istanbul – Hush Lounge Hostel

Stay at Hush Hostel, the best hostel in Istanbul! Hush Lounge Hostel is an ideal place for travelers seeking the true spirit of Istanbul. They offer you fun, clean and affordable accommodations in a newly renovated historical and stylish building in the heart of Kadikoy, a vibrant entertainment district full of indoor-outdoor bars, live music venues, shops, restaurants and cafes. A great place for backpackers!

We hope you enjoyed our tips on  What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul – check out more great tips on our blog.

What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul

What not to miss on a trip to Istanbul
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