One of the questions we’re inquired most at Real Istanbul Tours is: What’s the ultimate way to spend 1 day in Istanbul? Our 1st respond will always be “Spend more than one day in Istanbul – furthermore, we advise having at the least 3 days in Istanbul to truly to feel the Istanbul city. Though, we are aware that lots of people don’t have that time frame. Moreover, Istanbul is one among the most convenient and walkable of the cities in Turkey – should there be one destination that allows you to make a day count, it’s Istanbul. We spoken with our colleagues in Istanbul and create a guide for making the absolute most out of just one day in Istanbul. Maybe not possible to see all of it however you are going to have 24 hours that you’ll always remember.
Preparing your Itinerary
Plan in advance
This appears to be simple yet we can’t underline it enough. Once you know you just have got one day in Istanbul, you must get the most out of your time. The simple way to accomplish this is a plan for getting in, getting out, and which of the Istanbul sites you desire to visit. There will be 3 key stuff prior to going:
1 .What time you come to visit the Istanbul and what time you leave. Should you have less than one day you should take note of public transportations or transfer options
2 . Where your overnight accommodation is situated and if they’ll permit you to drop your luggage ( in the event that remaining for 24 hours ) . drop off your luggage at the hotel and get on your way. Nearly all lodgings in Istanbul, Turkey do not have an issue with this, but nonetheless, it’s good for verifying beforehand. Should you need to assist selecting the best area to suit your needs, look at our guideline to where to stay in Istanbul.
3 . Museum hours. Several main museums are closed on specific days. It can also help to buy your tickets early in advance, to skip the lines. You may look at the article of Visiting Hours of Istanbul Museums and Istanbul Museum Pass.
Best Itinerary for a day in Istanbul:
Must See Museums + Shopping + Sunset Activity + A Dinner in Authentic Restaurant
Things to See in Istanbul – Must See Museums, Places
The best thing about many sites in Istanbul, they are all located next to each other.
1- Hagia Sophia ( Suggested Visit Time 45 minute to 1h )
At one time the biggest cathedral of the world, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey has stayed more than 1500 years along the shores of the Bosporus Strait and has kept 3 religious communities. Today Hagia Sophia is definitely number 1st museum to visit for many travelers.
2- Blue Mosque (30 min )
Istanbul’s skyline is characterized by the domes and minarets of its numerous mosques, yet none of them draws the eye quite just like the famous Blue Mosque. Instantly identifiable by it’s a half dozen minarets and landmark situation on the hill it shares with Hagia Sophia, it is located in the heart of the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood of the town, and as being one of the leading Istanbul attractions, taking a tour to Blue Mosque is absolutely an excellent thing you can do in Istanbul.
3- Basilica Cistern ( 20 min to 30 min )
Another stunning ancient structure of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern positioned in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Built up for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor ( 527-565 ), this significant underground water storage is called as ”Sunken Palace” among the public will dazzle you as soon as you enter.
4- Topkapi Palace ( 1h to 2.5h )
In the 15th Century, Mehmet the Conqueror built up Topkapi Palace to be utilized as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and the home of the Sultans, Concubines for 380 years. You will uncover the life Of Ottoman Sultans, Concubines and will witness the heritage of one of the biggest empire in the history.
There are tons of Museums that you can visit in Istanbul but for the ones who come for the first time and only got one day in Istanbul. Definitely, the first three ones are must visit. Topkapi Palace takes more than 1.5 h to visit, in the meantime, you can cover some other attraction too.
Shopping in Istanbul
Istanbul is a shopping heaven. Noted for its ancient open and closed bazaars, shopping malls, shopping avenues so here are a few of them you will have a wonderful time.
Bazaars And Markets
1 – Grand Bazaar
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is regarded as the world’s most interesting shopping experience with its more than 4000 stores, 60 covered streets. It attracts thousands of people every day with its jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets and rugs, embroideries, spices or herbs and antique retailers.
A leisurely afternoon spent looking in the bazaar, sitting in one among the cafés and monitoring the crowds pass by, and negotiating for purchases is truly one of the best ways of recapturing the romantic ambiance of old Istanbul
2 – Spice Bazaar
Vividly colored spices or herbs are exhibited along with jewel-like lokum ( Turkish delight ) on this Ottoman-era Bazaar, presenting eye candy for the numerous travelers and local residents who make their route here every day. Shops also offer caviar, dried spices, dried fruits and many other kinds of stuff.
3 – Old Book Bazaar ( Sahaflar Carsisi )
Book fans and bazaar lovers are going to really enjoy foraging through the Old Book Bazaar ( Sahaflar Carsisi ) for novels, second-hand publications, old maps, the Quran ( in different languages ), very old scripts, along with other rare finds. The market, between Grand Bazaar and Beyazit Mosque, was constructed in 1954, yet the bazaar is a used to be a paper market and during the Ottoman Period. the place evolved into a central point for publishing and literary commerce.
Shopping Streets – Avenues
1 – Istiklal Street, Taksim, Beyoglu
Istiklal street is a huge pedestrian market including all sort of shopping with high-quality stuff with fair prices. Clothes mainly they have variety and basically acceptable rates.
2 – Abdi Ipekci Street, Nisantasi
For the last 10 years, the street in the famous neighborhood grown into a location hosting deluxe retail shopping places. Many different trendy and expensive shops featuring Turkish and worldwide designer trademarks, restaurants of global cuisine and cafés are lined up on two sides of the Abdi Ipekci street.
3 – Bagdat Street – Kadikoy, Asian Side Of Istanbul
Extending between Maltepe and Kadikoy for fourteen kilometers on the Asian part Istanbul, the Bagdat Street is amongst the most famous places of shopping.
Shopping Malls in Istanbul
- Forum Istanbul, Kocatepe
- Cevahir Shopping Mall in Sisli
- Trump Towers Shopping Mall in Mecidiyekoy
- Forum Marmara
- Istinye Park
Sunset Activity in Istanbul
With its own impressive silhouette, Istanbul tends to make both travelers and inhabitants fall in love with the Istanbul city. The city may take you back ages with its sites like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and others. No matter if you happen to be get trapped in a traffic jam at the time going across the Bosphorus Bridge from Europe to Asia and get totally stressed out, watching the Istanbul skyline over the bridge will make you ignore all of the side-effects of Istanbul.
Though Istanbul is wonderful just about every hour of each day, the ideal time to appreciate the real beauty of it is within sunset and sunrise.
Listed below are some of the greatest places to watch the sunset around Istanbul,
1- Salacak, Uskudar
The simplest way to express is Salacak is a fantastic spot hidden away in the Üsküdar region on the Asian part of Istanbul. Salacak is the place where Maiden’s Tower salutes Istanbulites all the time. The nearest location to the tower is tea houses found on the shore. Checking out the historic peninsula right behind the Maiden’s Tower, an awesome Istanbul silhouette can be watched perfectly once the sun bids farewell behind one of the 7 hills of Istanbul.
2 – Camlica Hill
Should you want to watch a wonderful sunset in the Istanbul city, Çamlıca hill is an ideal point. Having views of the Prince’s islands, Blue Mosque, Mosque Of Sultan Suleyman The Magnificient, Bosphorus Bridge, Çamlıca Hill presents a host of sites that you can see the sunset. The hill is split up into 2 pieces which are Büyük and Küçükçamlıca. You may have your tea or perhaps shisha yet at the same time seeing a breathtaking Istanbul sunset view
3 – Galata Tower
Think about you happen to be on the top of one of the famous Istanbul sites and also seeing the gripping sunset. First constructed as a watchtower, the historical tower is almost 70 meters high – 9 floors. The city’s highest construction was a viewpoint designed to keep an eye out over the city of Constantinople scattering over the other part of the Halic, Golden Horn. A lift is going to the 7th floor and site visitors should go up and down the 2 left floors. The 360-degree panoramic view of Istanbul’s on top of Galata Tower is going to fascinate you with a view of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the monumental sites in the old town on the sunset. In the event you appear in the evening time, you may party the night away to Turkish melodies.
Dinner In Istanbul
Istanbul is a city of contrasts – it’s a contemporary city with an ancient sense. Right after spending hrs appreciating the superb constructions and vibrant bazaars, you’ll certainly wish for something delicious to have. Our experts and tour guides have made a list of 3 authentic restaurants which will certainly appease your appetite.
1 – Ciya Sofrasi ( Kebaps, Meze, a lot more )
Beyond just the regular Turkish feast, Çiya can be worth the tour to the Asian part of the Istanbul, where 3 individual restaurants are located beside each other on Güneşlibahçe Street. Prestigious for its kebabs, Çiya’s menu further makes an effort to consist of much more containing dishes from Georgia, Syria, Southern Iran, and all parts of Turkey.
Adress: Caferağa Mahallesi Güneşlibahçe Sokak No.43, 44, 48/B, Kadıkoy.
2 – Eleos Restaurant ( Meze, Seafoods )
Eleos is a hidden gem on well-known shopping avenue Istiklal, situated on the second floor of an old structure. You should be aware of this place as this doorway is not exciting but when you go inside the comfy dining area looking over the Bosphorus greets you.
It offers Greek And Turkish Mezes with a great selection of Seafood. Recommended booking a table before. For that view and quality of the foods, it is not pricey too.
Adress: İstiklal Avenue, Hıdivyal Palas, No 231, Floor 2
3- Karakoy Lokantasi
Begun in 2000, Karaköy Lokantası continues to be popular with in-the-know Istanbulites. Being on a tiny street behind the Karaköy shipping docks, Karaköy Lokantası is widely known for serving consistently delicious Turkish food at fair rates. This family-run restaurant is amongst the most famous lunch spots in Karakoy and turns into a great Turkish tavern ( Meyhane ) in the evening. You need to reserve a table as it is a popular restaurant
Adress: Kemankeş street, No 37/A, Karakoy
Tips And Tricks
Wake up Early
This is certainly a basic idea but best way to feel the city is waking up early and to have more time and to be first in the queues to overcome against the people who got a right to skip the lines.
Reserve Your Tickets or Istanbul Museums Pass
If you are going to visit top museums, it is better to book the tickets advance or to get an Istanbul Museum Pass which will make you skip the lines. You should compare the fees of museums that you will visit with the fee of Istanbul Museum Pass.
Take an Istanbul Tour
If you just have 24 hours in Istanbul, you may also consider a sightseeing tour. Each of them is tailored to maximize the number of sites and skipping the lines. Having Istanbul tours take a lot of the stress of planning out of a day tour allowing you free to sit back and absolutely delight in the art, architecture, religions, culture. With just one day in a city like Istanbul, there’s almost nothing as productive and perfect as a tour.