Although Istanbul is a big city, it is still possible to visit most sites by foot, there are also metros and tram but not as convenient as your best friends (legs).
I have been volunteering in Istanbul for a couple of months and roaming around the city mainly by walking.
So in this Istanbul free walking guide, I am going to show you some of the best places to visit in Istanbul that could fill your day.
#1. Taksim Square
#2. Istiklal Caddesi
#3. Galata Tower Area
#4. Galata Bridge And Eminonu
#5. Spice Bazaar
#6. Grand Bazaar
#7. Blue Mosque
#9. Basilica Cistern
#10. Hagia Sophia
#11. Tokapi Palace
#12. The Bospherus Bridge
Istanbul is a city where East meets West, so lets go!!!
I am starting off with Taksim Square because I stayed here most of my time and this is also the drop off point for the airport buses.
There are many money exchanges around here so do compare before changing.
Competitions are high so sometimes they tend to display the buying rate instead of selling rate to trick you. So be careful.
Lined with restaurants selling local food and desserts also you could take a picture of the famous red tram.
This is also the place where all the scams happen, so don't talk or trust anyone unnecessarily.
This area has a lot of local handmade products that are worth buying and also things are a little cheaper.
It is also a good choice to busk infront of the tower as there will be massive crowd traffic.
A very popular and busy spot among tourist and locals. You could find people fishing on the bridge too.
Beware of people walking in front of you and dropping a shoe brush, do not pick it up or you will be scammed wahahaha.
At the other end of the bridge is the famous Balik Ekmek (Fish Sandwich) selling on floating boats. They are all the same so just pick one and enjoy!
I like this Bazaar as compared to the Grand Bazaar as it is nearer, more compact and easier to navigate.
It does sell all kinds of smaller souvenirs and of course not forgetting the Turkish Delights, Teas, Coffee and Sweets.
Walking along here is sometimes a hassle too as all the storekeepers will try to shout out your nationality to start a conversation and get you to buy something.
The biggest indoor market in Europe with more than 250 stores but not all of them are occupied.
The shops are divided into sections depending on the product type.
It is the place where you could find exclusive lamps, carpets, crafts, leather stuff and all other things available in the Spice Market.
One of the two Mosques in Istanbul with 6 minarets, the Blue Mosque is also known as Sultanahmet Camii.
It is a big marvel architecture and the Blue Mosque got its name from the blue tiles used in it. Visiting is free but closed during praying time, so remember to check before planning a visit.
Dress code is very important when entering the mosque, no shorts, singlet or tube. Scarfs are available for women to cover their head.
It is the square between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque with many monuments to look out for.
In the olden time, games and chariot races were held here, take a look at the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column.
An underground palace-like hall located just beside the Hagia Sofia and it is once used to store water supply for the Byzantine Emperors.
It is quite beautiful when it is fully lighted. There is also a carving of Medusa’s head in the northwestern corner.
It is the building with a very big dome opposite the blue mosque, the biggest in Turkey and ranked 4th in the world with 4 minarets.
Hagia Sophia was once a church, and then converted to a mosque during the Ottoman’s era and now it is a museum.
The palace is, of course, the most important site to visit in Istanbul, but I have not done so.
Reason? I was tired after all the walking and it needs an entrance fee. Maybe I will go next time if I’m free.
The Bosphorus coastline is my favorite place to go during sunset as the sky presents you with pigments of pink, orange and red blending with the blue sea.
You could walk from Taksim Square to the coast bank and walk all the way down towards the Bosphorus Bridge.
I must warn you as this is going to be a long walk.
If you are looking for hostel accommodation, try Chambers of the Boheme.
I volunteered there a few times before, so you could get 10% discount when you tell the boss (Ahmet) you are recommended by Danick (ME!!) from Singapore /:)
Also if you visit Turkey, you should not miss the natural landscape of Cappadocia and Pamukkale, they are just so wonderful.
Check It Out:
Food you should not miss in Istanbul
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