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3 Days In Istanbul Itinerary

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a fascinating blend of cultures and traditions, with a rich history that spans over two millennia. From its stunning architecture to its vibrant street life, Istanbul is a city that never fails to captivate visitors. Here’s the best places to visit and an exciting 3 days in Istanbul itinerary to experience the best of this great city.

Day 1: Exploring the Old City

The Old City of Istanbul, also known as Sultanahmet, is the heart of the city’s historical and cultural heritage. On the first day of your trip, you can start by visiting the iconic Hagia Sophia. Built in the 6th century AD, this former church and mosque is now a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire its stunning Byzantine architecture and learn about its fascinating history from the audio guide.

Next, head to the nearby Topkapi Palace, the former residence of the Ottoman sultans. This sprawling palace complex houses a fascinating collection of artifacts, including the famous Topkapi Dagger and the Spoonmaker’s Diamond. The palace also offers stunning views of the Bosphorus and the city skyline from its terraces.

After lunch, take a stroll through the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. Here, you can browse through thousands of shops selling everything from spices and sweets to carpets and jewelry. Be prepared to haggle and negotiate prices with the vendors.

In the evening, head to the Sultanahmet Square to witness the stunning Blue Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks. Built in the 17th century, this magnificent mosque is adorned with blue tiles and features six minarets.

Day 2: The Asian Side and the Bosphorus

On the second day of your trip, cross over to the Asian side of Istanbul to explore the vibrant Kadikoy neighborhood. Take a ferry from Eminonu to Kadikoy and enjoy the stunning views of the Bosphorus and the city skyline.

In Kadikoy, explore the colorful streets and the bustling food markets. You can also visit the Moda neighborhood, which is known for its trendy cafes, boutique shops, and stunning views of the Sea of Marmara.

In the afternoon, take a boat tour of the Bosphorus, the strait that divides Istanbul into its European and Asian sides. The boat tour will take you past the city’s iconic landmarks, including the Dolmabahce Palace, the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Maiden’s Tower.

In the evening, head to the Galata Tower, one of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the 14th century, this tower offers stunning views of the city skyline and the Bosphorus. You can also enjoy a romantic dinner at the tower’s restaurant.

Day 3: The Modern Side

On the third day of your trip, explore the modern side of Istanbul, starting with the Istiklal Avenue, the city’s most famous shopping street. This pedestrian-only street is lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes.

Next, visit the Istanbul Modern, the city’s premier contemporary art museum. Located on the Bosphorus waterfront, this museum showcases the works of Turkey’s most talented artists, as well as international artists.

In the afternoon, visit the Taksim Square, the heart of modern Istanbul. This bustling square is surrounded by restaurants, cafes, and shops. From here, you can take a funicular to the Galata neighborhood, known for its bohemian vibe, narrow streets, and historic buildings.

In the evening, head to the Nisantasi neighborhood, known for its upscale shops, restaurants, and bars.

You can also visit the historic Pera Palace Hotel. It was the first hotel in Istanbul to feature an elevator, central heating, and electricity. It was also the first hotel in the city to offer a Turkish bath, a popular feature of traditional Turkish culture.

One of the hotel’s most famous guests was Agatha Christie, who stayed at the hotel in the 1920s while writing her novel “Murder on the Orient Express”. The hotel’s Orient Bar, named after the famous train, is a popular spot for cocktails and has a special corner dedicated to Agatha Christie’s memory.

We hope this guide has provided some inspiration for your trip to Istanbul. Look out for our articles on best restatraunts to visit, how to get about and much more!

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