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Where to Buy Clothes in Istanbul?

Once a friend who has been to Istanbul various times said: ‘If you live in Istanbul and still wear unfashionably, the only excuse you can have is that you’re tasteless.’’

Being located at the junction of Europe and Asia, Istanbul lies at the intersection of various trade routes. This exceptional location is enriched with bazaars, streets full of stores, and many boutiques spread across the city; making Istanbul heaven for shopping. 

In Istanbul, which meets all the needs of consumers with affordable prices alongside deluxe and luxury stores, it is not uncommon to find a shopping mall hidden in a passage, randomly walk into a vast bazaar, go to a cafe just to see a boutique within…  These are only a few perks of shopping in such a huge historical city, which can give you a hint of how joyful your experience will be.

If you are aiming to shop in such a big metropolis, you should definitely determine where you need to turn your route before going shopping. There are too many options and too many places that you will have to shuttle between, therefore make a list of the places you’d like to visit first!

Where are these places I’m talking about? I divided the post into four categories to inform you according to your preferences. In the first two sections, I will be providing information about where to find luxury brands as well as cheap clothing options. In the last two parts, you will find specific information about the vintage stores and local designers.

Enjoy your read, and shop till you drop!

Part I: I See It, I Like It, I Want It, I Got It

If you do not have any financial difficulties, like to wear expensive brands, and plan to leave Istanbul with 5 extra suitcases, I prepared this section for you.

Istinye Park

Istinye Park Shopping Center is centrally settled amongst one of the foremost elite neighborhoods of the urban center, Sarıyer. Istinye offers distinctive and tasteful styles in addition to well-known brands like Joe Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Prada, Dior, M.A.C., Armani, Burberry, couturier, Chanel, Dolce&Gabbana, Gucci and Michael Kors.

This shopping precinct has been awarded several titles by numerous establishments. Some of these titles embody ‘’Shopping Mall developer of the Year’’ (2008), ‘’Grand gap, enlargement & Renovation and maxi Silver’’ (2009) and ‘’Europe’s Best searching Mall’’ (2009).

📍Pınar Mahallesi, Katar Cd No:73, 34460 Sarıyer/İstanbul

📞(0212) 345 55 55

Zorlu Center

Zorlu houses expensive brands such as Dolce&Gabbana, Elie Saab, Valentino, Saint Laurent, Tiffany& Co, Fendi, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Michael Kors, Moncler, Montblanc, and Vakko. Apart from these luxurious brands, the biggest H&M, Beymen Club, GAP, Pinko, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant, Network, İpekyol, Abdullah Kığılı, Mango, Yargıcı and Lacoste stores in Turkey are also located in this shopping mall. 

The Zorlu Center combines a high – end and exclusive shopping experience with artful design indoors and outdoors. Moreover, it is effortless to access located in the center of Istanbul.

📍 Levazım Mahallesi, Zorlu Center, Koru Sokağı No:2, 34340 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

📞(0212) 970 16 53


Kanyon Istanbul is a popular place to relax with the residents of the city, located in the financial district of Istanbul: Levent. It is home to highly prestigious brands like Harvey Nichols, Douglas, Apple, Swarovski, Max Mar. However, it falls a little behind Istinye Park and Zorlu Centers in terms of luxury brands.

Kanyon Shopping Center with its brilliant design is an alternative shopping center to the indoor shopping centers of the city. It is fresh, semi-outdoor and breezy. Kanyon was awarded the 2006 Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the “Commercial Built” category. If you enjoy a shopping center outside, Kanyon is a good choice.

📍Esentepe Mahallesi, Büyükdere Cd. No:185, 34394 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 317 53 00


This is not a shopping center but a district near Taksim which is known for its sophisticated shoppers.

The shops of the famous world brands are home to Nişantaşı, and it’s a genuine shoppers ‘ paradise. You can find international fashion giants such as Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Lanvin, and Alexander McQueen as you walk down Nişantaşı and find yourself paralyzed by their unique designs.

One of Nişantaşı’s most popular shopping areas is on the Abdi İpekçi street – the center of luxury. Abdi İpekçi is the most expensive and elegant street that hosts prominent Turkish brands as well as luxury department stores of internationally well-known labels.

Bağdat Avenue

Bağdat Avenue is a green and gleaming 14 kilometers long street on the Asian side of the city, parallel to the shore of the Marmara Sea. The luxurious wooden chalet houses built after the 1870s were the first living steps in this area. Some still exist in the upper residential area, which contributes to the luxurious appearance of the vicinity.  ⠀

In 2012, Bağdat Street was named the 4th best shopping street in the world by the Parisian consultancy company ‘’Presence Mystery Shopping’’. Bagdat Street became the world’s most famous 4th shopping street by overtaking Paris’s famous Champs Elysees, New York’s famous 5th Avenue and Tokyo’s Ginza.

Bebek and Arnavutköy

A little away from Istanbul’s center, Bebek is another wealthy neighborhood flanking the Bosphorus with millions of dollar estates that go all the way to Sarıyer. Besides the great restaurants, Bebek has a large number of shops, where you can spend hours exploring the side streets. You will find outstanding clothing boutiques and accessories by local designers. You will also find more great restaurants and shops hidden on the side streets if you walk down to Arnavutköy along the Bosphorus.

Part II: I Want to Afford What I Like

Thanks to Istanbul’s vast clothing opportunities, it is really easy to find cheap clothes. Here are some places where you can find them:

Beyoğlu Business Center (Taksim)

You can add to your style at Istiklal Street, which is Taksim’s most popular avenue, by shopping in stores filled with world brands ‘ special products. Besides brands like Mango, Zara, Koton, you can go to Istiklal Street and find fashionable clothing at affordable prices. The Beyoğlu Business Center is on Istiklal Street’s left side.

📍 İstiklal Caddesi No: 187, Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞 (0212) 251 7986

Terkos Passage (Taksim)

Terkos Passage is located on Istiklal Avenue in Taksim. Terkos, which makes you feel like you are in a market right when you enter the street, contains many products such as cheap t-shirts, dresses, and pants. According to your desires, you can either check the market stalls or just visit the passage. You can buy dresses, skirts, and trousers at prices like 10TL and t-shirts at 20TL.

📍 Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Terkoz Çk. No:2, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Beşiktaş Bazaar, Sinanpaşa Passage (Beşiktaş)

Beşiktaş Bazaar contains many shops and passages. Sinanpaşa Passage, the most notable of these, is in the Beşiktaş Bazaar where we can guarantee you will lose yourself in. In this place, you can find the seconds of popular brands such as Bershka, Asos etc. as well as other products from the world brands. If you want to buy an elegant dress with very reasonable prices here, you can have it for up to 50TL.

📍 Türkali Mahallesi, Nüzhetiye Cd. No:66, 34357 Beşiktaş/Şişli/İstanbul

Tuesday Market (Kadıköy)

There is more than one address in Kadıköy. In addition to these addresses, there is also the famous Kadıköy Tuesday Market, which is well known by everyone: a market that attracts people of all ages in Kadıköy. On Tuesday, we found plenty of clothing to wear, and on Friday we sold fabrics and tailor materials. You can find everything from the most fashionable dresses to the most trendy jewelry, from the most stylish bags to the most attractive shoes.

📍 Ataşehir Ferhat Paşa, 994478, 067201, 29. Sk. No:40, 34779 Ataşehir/İstanbul

Opera Onur Passage (Kadıköy)

Opera Onur Passage is one of the oldest passages of Istanbul. In fact, it was the only clothing address back in time, and today it is a bazaar that everyone in Kadiköy is familiar with. Although not many people go shopping there nowadays; those who used to be long-time customers of this passage are still going to this passage. If you want to buy the products of your favorite brand for a much lower price, you should definitely visit the shops in this passage.

📍 Osmanağa Mahallesi, General Asım Gündüz Cd. No:21, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Saturday Market (Bakırköy)

Bakırköy, which is one of the central districts of Istanbul, has its own every Saturday fixed market. Here you can find brands such as Cavalli jeans and H&M dresses; alongside Turkish brand clothing. You might be asking how it is possible to buy such brands in a traditional bazaar with meager prices. The answer is that these products are either seconds, imitations or end-of-line clothes.

📍 Osmaniye Mahallesi, Çolak İbrahim Sokağı, 34146 Bakırköy/İstanbul

Beylik Bazaar (Beylikdüzü)

The market, also known as the socialite market, has over 100 bazaar stalls and is open every weekend on Sundays. There is even a municipal shuttle service for those who want to go to the market.

📍 Adnan Kahveci Mahallesi, Anadolu Cd. No:14, 34528 Beylikdüzü Osb/Beylikdüzü/İstanbul

Here we made a table for the open bazaars you can visit according to their set-up days.


Part III: Nothing Haunts Me Like the Vintage I Didn’t Buy

When you buy a piece of vintage clothing you’re not just buying the fabric and thread – you’re buying a piece of someone’s past.

-Isabel Wolff

By Retro

Retro will be the first address of the lovers of retro. In this boutique, you can find many products from the 20s trends to the 80s styles. The range of products is so extensive that the costumes of the series and films of many periods are provided here.

📍 Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, İstiklal Cad. Suriye Pasajı 166/C, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞 (0212) 245 64 20

Büyükannemin Sandığı

This shop, which attracts attention with its cute decoration and hundreds of vintage pieces, has many rare pieces collected both domestically and from abroad. The prices are said to be quite affordable, too.

📍 Caferağa Mahallesi, Şair Latifi Sk. 28b, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

📞 (+90) 535 408 64 86

Sentetik Sezar

Sentetik Sezer, consisting of two different branches in Taksim and Kadıköy, carries the old times to the present. This store is literally a vintage paradise with a wide range of retro glasses, pants, and backpacks.

📍 Cihangir Mahallesi, A,, Pürtelaş Sk. No:1, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞 (+90) 530 775 16 48 

AU Vintage

AU vintage is a store that was opened in 2012 by a famous actress. This store contains vintage pieces of famous worldwide brands, as it was opened for the sale of whole pieces of clothes that the actress already had. This boutique also executes online sales; therefore you can get the vintage pieces with one click!

📍 Bebek Mh., Küçük Bebek cad. No:34 Balcıoğlu apt. D:1, 34342 İstanbul

📞 (0212) 252 68 36

Ragn’n Roll Hand and Vintage

Balat Streets have always had an excellent atmosphere, constituting one of the perfect places to have a nostalgic experience. Balat, which is an excellent place for photoshoots, is a must for those who like clothing in the retro style. Pay a visit to Ragn’n Roll Hand and Vintage to have this nostalgic journey during your stay.

📍 Balat Mahallesi, Yıldırım Cd. 31a, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul

📞 (+90) 533 724 38 88

Pied De Poule

It is a world-famous store which contains second-hand products as well as products designed by the shopkeeper. This store, which includes clothes, bags, and accessories of every period from the 1920s to the present, is one of the most colorful vintage shops. Şelale Gültekin, the owner, opened this shop when the collection of her grandmother’s clothes did not fit in the house anymore. Nowadays, there are a lot of different accessories in the store; from the Queen Victorian prom crowns to the corsets, silk stockings and undergarments belonging to the Ottoman period. The success of Pied De Poule has also been seen abroad that this store got to the pages of the New York Times.

📍 Kuloğlu Mh., Faik Paşa Cd. 19/1, 34333 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞 (0212) 245 81 16

Atölye Mariposa

Atelier Mariposa, one of the most popular stores in Cihangir, will impress you as soon as you enter the gate. The store, which also starts selling bridal gowns, can literally manipulate you into getting married.

📍 Teşvikiye, Teşvikiye Cd. 21/1, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 327 81 77

Eleni Vintage

Miss Eleni has a complete French nostalgia in her products, as the name of Eleni suggests. The store offers all kinds of items from gloves to hats. You’re going to feel yourself in the 1920s as soon as you enter the store.

📍 Serdar-ı Ekrem Caddesi No: 8/A, 34425 Galata/İstanbul

📞(+90) 532 506 50 19

Madam Mare Vintage

Madam Mare, which is consisted of clothes that are very affordable compared to many other vintage stores, has great products in it. The store is small, but the quality of the products is excellent. For a vintage enthusiast, this is a place worthy of your time.

📍 Cihangir Mahallesi, Kazancı Ykş. 26/A, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞(0212) 418 99 74

Mozk Vintage

Mozk is a cute shopping place with a unique decoration. The prices are a bit pricey, as the products are antique.

📍 Cihangir Mahallesi, Çubukçu Çk 2/A, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞(0212) 252 34 99

Part IV: Fashion Is Like Eating, You Shouldn’t Stick to the Same Menu

If you are looking for unique designer clothes that can speak to your soul, make sure that you check the stores listed below! Keep in mind that not all of them are expensive and do not forget to check their working hours before going.


In this store located in Galata, you can find extraordinary pieces of exclusive brands not sold elsewhere. Many special designs can be purchased here, from clothes and shoes to paintings and sculptures. You can also enjoy a little break in the cafe inside the boutique, where you can also find home accessories.

📍 Şahkulu Mahallesi, Seraskerci Çk., 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

📞(0212) 245 32 55

Boz Sisters

One of the store’s most important features is that four sisters own it. In the store, it is also possible to find casual clothes as well as haute couture dresses. There is no limit to creativity and diversity with different product groups renewed every month, from custom production to handmade bags.

📍 Harbiye Mahallesi, Abdi İpekçi Cd. No:32, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 234 45 56


Building, one of the most unique places of Galata and Erenköy, is an address where you can eat while shopping. Colorful clothes, shoes, accessories, bags open up the doors of a completely different world. The collections change in every three-four months.

📍 Serdar-i Ekrem Caddesi 27/A, Beyoğlu

📞 (+90) 212 243 0717


Casette, which has three branches in the city, is famous for its 100 percent leather and handmade shoes. The most important feature of the store is that it’s not built upon mass production. Each outfit model is only produced one for each store. If you can capture the model you like, you are one of the lucky ones.

📍 Ihlamur Yolu Sokak, No: 16/5A Teşvikiye Şişli / İstanbul

📞 (0212) 230 64 16 

Date Desig-ner’s Corner

Date Desig-ner’s Corner is one of the newest boutiques of Beyoğlu. It is so new that most of its designers such as Gamze Saraçoğlu, Simay Bülbül, and Nej, do not sell these designs even in their showrooms yet.

📍 Asmalımescit Mah. Asmalimescit Mah. Ensiz Sok. No:1/B Asmalımescit Beyoğlu / İstanbul

📞 (0212) 243 81 26

Kumpanya 62

Kumpanya, one of the favorite stores of Nişantaşı, which is home to the products of young Turkish designers, took its place among the famous boutiques.

📍 Teşvikiye, Prf. Dr. Orhan Ersek Sk. No:25, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 246 68 75


One of Kuledibi’s extraordinary stores is Laundromat, which opens a different window to our lives. The store’s owners, Yasemin Özeri and Öykü Thurston, exhibit their own designs as well as the work of young designers.

📍 Galip Dede Caddesi 93/B, Kuledibi

📞 (+90) 212 249 98 92

Midnight Express

Midnight Express, which has collections of local and foreign designers, has two stores in Bebek and a store in Nişantaşı. At one of the boutiques in Bebek, only unique design jewelry is featured. In other branches, you can find clothing, jewelry, furniture, and home accessories.

📍 Bebek Mh., Küçük Bebek Cad. No:3/A, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

📞(0212) 263 21 11

Nr 39

NR 39, which is the name of the apartment building in Nişantaşı, made a quick entrance to our lives as a shop and design workshop. This store produces a small number of shoes made of leather, pure silk, genuine leather goods, as well as a lot of creative bridal models.

📍 Halaskargazi Mahallesi, Süleyman Nazif Sok. No:39, 34371 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 241 40 59


Zeckie has two stores in Nişantaşı and Galatasaray and has a very different and creative collection in design. Jewelry designer Zekiye Koçarslan’s gold, silver, bronze, and brass accessories, as well as its unusual line, fascinate jewelry enthusiasts. Especially hand-crafted handbags are among the favorites.

📍 Teşvikiye Mah. Değer Apt. 16/C, Teşvikiye Mahallesi, Ihlamur Nişantaşı Yolu Sokak, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 232 59 37

Dilek Hanif

Represented in both Milan and Paris, by keeping her studio in Istanbul, Dilek Hanif chose to stay close to her Turkish roots. You can browse through her latest collection in a beautiful apartment located in Nişantaşı, the fashion neighborhood of the city, which always abides by a more classic aesthetic. Hanif’s clean lines and subtle decorations speak of a mature style with a unique touch, with both ready-to-wear and high-couture designs.

📍 Teşvikiye, Maçka Cd. Ralli Apt. No:37, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul

📞(0212) 219 37 23

Arzu Kaprol

You will find bold creations in the store of Arzu Kaprol that don’t hide from asymmetry, sharp geometrical cuts, and a futuristic attitude overall. However, if you are looking for daily clothes, you may not find what you are looking for. Kaprol’s clothing, for the most part, is too brave to be regularly worn.

📍 Bostancı Mahallesi, Bağdat Cd. No:460, 34744 Kadıköy/İstanbul

📞 (0212) 284 46 30

Gönül Paksoy

The striking collection of Gönül Paksoy appears to be inspired by the clothing worn by the Sufi dervish, flowing with the intricate details of conventional textiles and using hand coloring and hand-seeded textiles. If your mode leans to costumes like appearances that definitely turn heads, you can choose Paksoy’s designs.

📍 Teşvikiye Mah., Akkavak Sok. Demet Apt. 4/A, 34365 Nişantaşı/Şişli/İstanbul

📞 (0212) 236 02 09

Zeynep Tosun

Zeynep Tosun is among the most successful young designers, who studied in the leading fashion schools of Italy. If you’d like to see her collection and talent, the Akmerkez Shopping Mall displays them.

📍 Akat Mahallesi, Yıldırım Oğuz Göker Sk. No:37, 34335 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

📞(0212) 352 01 56

Related Questions

Where to Buy Men’s Clothes in Istanbul? You can find men’s clothes in every shopping mall. However, if you are looking for other stores, you can check out these places:

  • Bey Karaköy (Karaköy): Bey Karaköy stands out from other retailers for its unique monthly spin of designers, which ensures that new items are always on sight. The store offers a blend of the best local labels and foreign brands.
  • Apparel (Beyoğlu): The collection of the store focuses on the topic of urban culture and includes pieces from international brands.
  • Civan (Beyoğlu): A highly successful men’s fashion house that understands your needs and offers tailor-made solutions.

As it is impossible to list all the stores of men fashion here, we’d like to note that in most of the places we have mentioned above, men clothes are also existent.

Where to Buy Islamic Clothes in Istanbul? Most of the stores that sell Islamic clothes are located around Fatih and Sultanahmet. You can check out Miyasem Islamic clothing in Fatih; and if you prefer buying the clothes online, Moda Nisa is a popular choice of many Muslims.

Where to Buy Baby Clothes in Istanbul? According to user evaluations on the internet, the best stores for baby clothes in Istanbul are Alisa Baby (Fatih), Biscuit Baby (Şişli), Bebetto Laleli (Fatih), İdil Baby&Mamino (Pendik), Sundoll Baby (Fatih), Büşra Kids (Fatih), Chicco (Fatih), Dosso Dossi Kids (Fatih), Nergizler Baby (Fatih) and so on. When we look at the list quickly, we see that most shops are in the Fatih district. I guess it’s not unreasonable to start your shopping in Fatih.

Where to Visit Istanbul in Three Days?

It is not possible to visit a city you can never finish traveling in three days, but it is, of course, possible to take a short but comprehensive tour of Istanbul for short visits. Combining two continents and having a population of more than 15 million, you can easily tour this city for short-term visits.

First of all, I need to tell you from the beginning that you only need your feet and your little backpack. Never expect a tour that the tour agents shine to market! Never join the herd within a city with such richness and ease! All you need to say is that you have a vehicle that will carry you from the continent to the continent! If you have a subway, tram, bus, Metrobus, and sea transportation card, you are free to visit everywhere.

Let’s start the tour. No matter where you live, as long as you don’t deal with heavy traffic, you can easily reach where you want. A 3-day tour will be a compressed program for sure.

An Example of a 3-Day Istanbul Trip

First Day

First, let’s split the city into 2 and start with the European continent. On the first day, go to the district of Eminönü and Sultanahmet (Fatih) in the morning and in the afternoon, according to your interest. You can visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapı Museum, Istanbul Archeology Museum, Basilica Cistern, Small Hagia Sophia, and all the Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of various sizes around you, according to your time and interest.

The entrance to the Blue Mosque is free, but you have to pay for all other museum entrances. Museum card can be obtained from the entrance of Hagia Sophia museum. Please visit for more information. You have to pay an additional entrance fee for the entrance to the basilica cistern because it does not belong to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In addition, don’t try to tell them that you are a student, you have no money or you are a traveler because they do not accept this kind of excuses.

As I said, you must the Historic Peninsula if you come to Istanbul. The first stop is the Hagia Sophia, the magnificent historical basilica one of the 7 Wonders of the World, both a great architectural masterpiece and an important monument in the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. The interior decorations, mosaics and unique architecture make Hagia Sophia so glorious. In the outer part of the Hagia Sophia Museum II. Sultan Selim’s mausoleum can be seen. The I. Mahmud Library in the interior is also very interesting.

The next stop should be the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultanahmet Mosque. The name of the mosque is coming from its spectacular blue ceramics, and it is one of the most emblematic places in Istanbul. You can witness the rich history of this great empire by visiting the Topkapı Palace in the immediate vicinity of the Blue Mosque, which is also considered the Great Imperial Mosque. Built on a hillside overlooking the Golden Horn, the palace has a unique garden. You should also visit its museum to see the wonderful Iznik tiles, the decorated rooms of the harem and many other values.

Let’s think that you started to tour early in the morning, you should have completed the places I mentioned above at noon until 14:00, in order not to miss the other beauties. Istanbul street delicacies will provide you with a lot of food choice, both economical and delicious. It is enough to just dive into the side streets of the tourist centers, so you won’t pay more for anything. You can find more affordable local restaurants, especially between Sultanahmet and Beyazıt.

After lunch, turn your route towards Beyazıt Square, after a short trip to the closed bazaar, take the bus 86V from Beyazıt Square and head for the Edirnekapı. When you get off at the Edirnekapı stop and dive into the first street, there will be the Chora Museum, a hidden treasure to be visited. You can enter with Muzekart. It’s a Byzantine structure that looks humble on the outside but infuriates you with its mosaics when you enter. You will never regret it.

The next stop should be the Hippodrome, a former circus built in 203 BC by the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus, within walking distance. You can also see II. Wilhelm’s German Fountain on the road, made of 8 marble columns.

If you have time, if you want to relax a little, you should enter the Cağaloğlu Bathhouse located in this region where you can see the unique architecture of the bath and at the same time you can take a bath in accordance with the Ottoman tradition.

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered bazaars in the world, so you must visit there. From handmade carpets to leather goods, from jewelers to Turkish coffee, you’ll take a crack at a completely different shopping experience with small handcrafted shops and unique architecture where almost everything is sold.

Let me write the opening-closing times of the museums as well:

Istanbul Archaeological Museums: April to October: from 9 am to 7 pm, November to March: from 9 am to 5 pm (except Mondays)
Hagia Sophia Museum: April to October: from 9 am to 7 pm, November to March: from 9 am to 5 pm (except Mondays)
Topkapi Palace: April to October: from 9 am to 7 pm, November to March: from 9 am to 5 pm
Chora Church: April to October: from 9 am to 7 pm, November to March: from 9 am to 4.30 pm (except Wednesdays)
Basilica Cistern: It is open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm.

The Chora museum was also visited, and now it is slowly becoming the evening. Don’t be afraid, you can still use your card on bus lines that run until 24:00. Take a bus from Edirnekapı to Eminonu and get off at the last stop. You are no longer in a hurry, go to Karaköy using the Galata bridge, again on the way there are unlimited options to eat.

After this long day, you can complete the night at Istiklal Street which never sleeps, after having a meal break in the nearby restaurants. Don’t skip the Galata Tower when you go there. From the top of the Galata Tower, one of the most important symbols of Istanbul, you can look at the places you have visited all day long. Galata Square will also be a colorful break with its cafes and people. From here you can walk to Istiklal Street and take the nostalgic tram across Taksim Square. Everything you’re looking for from shopping to nightlife will be here.

You can spend your entire night by going through Istiklal Street or entering the main streets. A lot of options. The decision is yours! Even if the first day is over, it was a program which normally equals to a 3-day tour package. You’re in the Taksim, so you can get to anywhere you want in a short time.

Second Day

You must see the Bosphorus view if you visit Istanbul. You can do this either by taking the Bosphorus tour or walking on the coastline. You can start the day with breakfast on the Bosphorus view. There are many breakfast places around Rumeli Fortress. Here you can continue to Besiktas and take the Bosphorus tours which take time between half an hour and 1 hour. Thus, you can witness the fascinating silhouette of Istanbul from Europe to Asia by breathing the Bosphorus in the middle of the sea. You can also visit the historical Maiden’s Tower located in the middle of the sea.

If you want to take a Bosphorus tour, definitely prefer the tour organized by the city lines. There are two options, short and long. I would definitely recommend the long tour. The ferry takes-off from the Eminönü jetty at 10:35 am, and travels to the end point of the Bosphorus, Anadolu Fortress destination. It takes off again at 15:00, back from the Anatolian Fortress. You have 2.5 hours, so do not miss raki and fresh fish flavor in one of the most beautiful villages of the Bosphorus where there are many fresh fish restaurants.

Your ticket is round-trip, so do not miss the ferry that brings you! On the way back you can get off the ferry in Besiktas and hang around. Your second day passed with a quiet Bosphorus tour, couldn’t be better! Agents generally organize a short and simple Bosphorus tour that turns under the second bridge. Choosing the tours organized by private companies is up to you, but I do not recommend!

When you go ashore, you should visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, which has a historical value, since it was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and the house of some of the last Ottoman sultans. After the palace trip, you can continue to the Bosphorus line by visiting the Ortaköy and Bebek beaches. Ortakoy Mosque and the cafes and shops around it are among the places of interest for the locals. You can tour the Bebek Park in Bebek Beach where the stylish people are in the majority and have a coffee break in a nice cafe.

In the evening you can stroll through the colorful streets of Nisantasi and visit the trendy shops as well as dine in one of the trendy cafes. For the night you can go for a stroll in Beyoğlu, and you can have a good time listening to street artists in these narrow and old streets where you can feel the texture of the city. Life is always alive in Istanbul, you can find an event according to your taste anytime.

Third Day

Slowly approaching the end, it is time to visit the Anatolian side. Early in the morning take the marmaray or a ferry to Üsküdar, according to your choice, where you can spend time on the beach and in the center of the district. You can walk in the direction of the Maiden’s Tower or the direction of Kuzguncuk, and again you can find the opportunity to taste the economic regional flavors.

In the evening, it was time to move from Üsküdar to Kadıköy. By bus 12, you can get to Kadıköy for half price. You can spend your whole day along the coast of Kadikoy-Yeldegirmeni-Moda. You can sip your afternoon drink in a variety of places.

You have done more than you can do in three days, so you can complete the missing places next time you come here. It should not be forgotten that Istanbul is very large, perhaps not enough to travel even a lifetime. So, you may also be excited to discover places that are hidden by occasional breaks.

What to Do in a 3-Day Trip to Istanbul

There are many things to see and learn in Istanbul. So much so that once you go to Istanbul, Istanbul will definitely call you again to visit. The name of this city, which has witnessed a great history, has been constantly changing throughout history.

Until today, the city was named Byzantion, Augusta, Antonina, Nova Roma, Constantinople, Kostantiniyye, Islambol, and Istanbul.

Places to Visit in Istanbul in a 3-Day Trip

  • Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower is one of the places you should definitely see when you go to Istanbul. The Maiden’s Tower, located off the coast of Salacak, is the symbol of Üsküdar. The tower is the only building in Uskudar from the Byzantine period. You can go to the Maiden’s Tower through Üsküdar and Kabataş.

  • Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is a place where those who go are really fascinated. It offers a truly unique visual feast with spectacular lights and a humid atmosphere. No matter how many days of your trip to Istanbul, you should visit and see the Basilica Cistern. The cistern was built in time to meet the water needs of the surrounding palaces.

  • Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace, which is one of the most important museums of Istanbul, is a wonderful palace that reflects the history and is filled with great works. In the palace, you can see many important and valuable items about Atatürk. Dolmabahçe Palace, located in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, can be visited between 9 am and 4 pm. I would like to remind you that Muzekart is not valid there.

  • Hagia Sophia Museum

You must visit the Hagia Sophia which became the symbol of not just Istanbul but all of Turkey. This magnificent building will be one of the most important stops of your trip to Istanbul. This structure dating from the Byzantine period is the mosque where the first Friday prayer was held after Istanbul was conquered. You can visit the Hagia Sophia Museum between 9 am and 4 pm. The entrance fee to the museum is 40 TL (around $ 7,5).

  • Galata tower

This tower, which you can see from almost everywhere when you go to Galata, will amaze you. If you wish, you can climb up the Galata Tower for a fee and enjoy the magnificent view of Istanbul. It is a structure that has witnessed many important civilizations such as Genoese, Byzantine, and Ottoman. According to a legend, you would marry the person with whom you climb the Galata Tower. It has been suggested that this comes from the love between the Maiden Tower and the Galata Tower.

  • Pierre Loti Hill

I recommend you to see Pierre Loti Hill, which is called the balcony of the Golden Horn. The hill is named after Pierre Loti, the famous author of French and world literature.

What Else Can You Do in Istanbul in 3 Days?

There are so many alternatives to be done in Istanbul. You can definitely take a tour on Istiklal Street. Even if you spent the whole day here, you can end the day with great fun in the Çiçek Pasajı. Istanbul is a wonderful city with both cultural, historical and entertainment aspects.

There are so many alternatives to travel and do, so you should decide how to complete them in 3 days. If you can find the time, I recommend you to go to Polonezköy, where you can enjoy the green and nature.

Where to stay in Istanbul for 3 days?

There are many hotels in Istanbul that can accommodate almost any budget. I advise you to choose the one that best suits your needs and provides you the most convenience in terms of transportation.

Here are 3 pleasant hotels you can prefer.

  • Mytra Hotel

Located in Sultanahmet, the Mytra Hotel is also close to many of the sights you will visit in Istanbul. Moreover, this hotel with high-quality service and very reasonable price can be one of your accommodation alternatives in Istanbul.

  • Malta Bosphorus Hotel Ortakoy

If you go to Istanbul and stay for 3 days, you may prefer to stay in a hotel with a Bosphorus view. In such a case, the Malta Bosphorus Hotel Ortaköy is really ideal for you. This hotel offers high-quality service and you can catch the soul of Istanbul to the end.

  • Casa Fratelli

Located in Asmalı Mescit, Casa Fratelli offers a hostel-style service and is a very nice accommodation option with both affordable rates and superb location. Staying in a historic building will also provide you with a beautiful experience in your 3-day visit to Istanbul.

How to Get to Istanbul for a 3-Day Tour?

You can go to Istanbul with almost every means of transportation. You can reach Atatürk Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport by plane or you can directly use a train. From Ataturk Airport, which is 20 km away from the city center, you can take the regular services to Taksim Square in about 45 minutes. Even if you land in Bursa, you can easily go to Istanbul in 75 minutes by sea.

If you wish, you can go to Istanbul by bus or private car. However, since your trip will take 3 days, I advise you to choose the shortest route.

When Can I Go to Istanbul for a 3-Day Trip?

Istanbul is a city that has another beauty in every season. Therefore, I cannot say that you should definitely go to Istanbul especially in a certain season. When you visit in the summer, you can’t see Istanbul’s white dress, and you will not be able to catch the warm and lively atmosphere of Istanbul when you go in winter. Therefore, you should visit Istanbul at least once every season.

Where to shop in Istanbul in 3 days?

Istanbul is a very famous city with its shopping centers and historical bazaars. Therefore, you have too many alternatives for shopping in Istanbul. If you want to buy historical and city-specific products from historical sites, I definitely recommend the Grand Bazaar. At the same time, Istiklal Street and the passages on the street are also great alternatives for shopping.

What to eat in Istanbul in 3 days?

Istanbul offers many alternatives for dining as well. However, when you go to Istanbul, if you have the possibility, you must enjoy the fish in the Bosphorus. If you are looking for a more affordable option for your budget, fish sandwiches where you can find at the streets will be a great alternative for you.

At the same time, you cannot visit Istanbul and return without eating steamed burgers. I also recommend you to spend some time in front of the mussels on the street and to experience this unique taste after you go to Istiklal Street for a steamed burger.

  • Kizilkayalar

To eat Istanbul’s famous steamed burger, you should definitely not look for another place but Kızılkayalar. In this small shop on Taksim Square, you can eat as much delicious steamed burgers as you like. One is not always enough.

  • Historical Eminonu Fish Sandwich

This place, which serves fish sandwiches in boats in Eminönü for many years, will definitely be a great alternative to eat in Istanbul. Not only with its flavor but also with its nostalgic look.

  • Villa Bosphorus Beylerbeyi

If you want to eat fish and have a sight of Bosphorus view, I definitely recommend Villa Bosphorus Beylerbeyi. Located on the coast of Beylerbeyi, this place can be a really nice alternative with its delicious fish and magnificent Bosphorus view.

The 3-day weather in Istanbul

I can say that Istanbul has a transitional climate between the Mediterranean climate and the Black Sea climate. In fact, it has a temperate climate.

In winter the average temperature in the city is between 2 and 9 degrees. In summer the temperature rises and sets between 18 and 28 degrees on average.

How Much Taxi Cost in Istanbul?

Taxi is a car with taximeter carrying passengers for a fee. It is a commercial vehicle. Taxi fare is a total of 2 fares which are the opening fee and mileage fee.

At the beginning of the service, the number on the taximeter is the opening fee of the taxi and this fee varies according to the city where you use the taxi. The mileage fee on the other hand, is calculated by multiplying the number of kilometers traveled by the price per kilometer. The total cost of the taxi, ie the taxi fare is calculated by adding these two numbers together. This result is also mentioned as taximeter fee.

The summation of the Istanbul taximeter opening fee and the Istanbul taximeter mileage fee determined by the chamber of taxi drivers will give you the taxi fare. Taximeter opening fee in Istanbul is $ 0,75. Taximeter kilometer cost is $ 0,50. So if you know the distance you will travel in kilometers, you can multiply it by 0,50 and add 0,75 to calculate your taxi fare.

Let me give you an example. Let’s assume you want to go from Beşiktaş to Kadıköy in Istanbul by taxi. The distance between these two districts is approximately 14 km. Now if we write our formula, it will be like this: (14 x 0,50) + 0,75. The result of it will be 39. Hence you will pay $ 7,75 to go Kadıköy from Beşiktaş by taxi (and of course additional fees like bridge tolls etc.).

How Much Do Taxis Cost: Working Principles of Taximeters

Under this heading I will explain how the taximeters work. Especially when you go to a city or place where you are foreigner, you can get over the suspicion of falling for a scam with the help of this information.

As everyone knows, taximeters are instruments that measure time and distance. They then convert this data into the currency to which the fare is paid. The fares paid in taxis may vary regionally. So you can pay less or more money in another region by traveling the same distance.

The fare to be paid when using a taxi may vary depending on how many people are in the taxi, the driver’s request to carry your baggage, and the use of roll roads. As mentioned earlier, traveling the same distance may not always correspond to the same fee due to the traffic density or some different reasons.

While measuring the distance and the time, taximeters use electric current. While measuring the distance traveled, the sensors connected to the car’s transmission system are used. These sensors send electrical signals per distance unit predetermined during travel. When the taxi is traveling, a set timer is also running. The timer transmits an electrical signal at the specified time intervals.

To explain the situation, for example, if a taximeter adds a fee per 90 meters but the signals come to the taximeter every 0.9 meters, it means the taximeter reflects the fee when it reaches 100 signals. Let me give you an example from New York City. The opening fee of the taximeter is $ 2.5. In addition to this, 40 cent is added to the fee per 300 meters. Besides these, 40 cents are added per minute when the car does not move. However, due to the traffic conditions in the world, the calculations cannot be performed so simply. In every large city, the fee is calculated by stop-and-go method.

The fare tariff for each city may vary. However, for city taxis in general, you can see the route pricing in the vehicle. For this reason, it is easily learned how much fare will be paid. However, unfortunately, if you have a bad taxi driver, you may not be able to benefit from learning the price you will pay in advance.

Things to Consider When Taking a Taxi in Istanbul

You can use taxis when public transport is insufficient. If you choose to take a taxi in Istanbul, you should take a look at our recommendations below.

Before you take a taxi, you can do a little research about the route you are going to take and how many kilometers it will take on average, as well as how much it will cost from taxi stations or taxi fare calculating sites.

With navigation from your smartphone you can specify the route and give the necessary routing to the cab. Or you can calculate the fare for your route from smartphone applications.

The most important issue you should pay attention to when you pay for a taxi is the scam that the taxi driver change your 50 TL banknot with a 5 TL banknote. This scam can be done not only with 50 Tl but also with other banknotes, so you should be careful. To avoid this, make sure you have some change before taking a taxi. Or go to a business nearby to cash your money.

Always make sure to use the taximeter. Some taxi drivers can give you a fixed price suggestion for the route you are going to take and may enter into negotiations, telling you that traffic is heavy and if you use the taximeter the price will increase. Never accept that. Those who want to swindle you will demand a much more money than the fee you will pay when the taximeter works. Therefore, warn drivers about opening the taximeter. If the taximeter is not working or is corrupt, take another taxi or tell the driver to stand by the first police vehicle you see and inform against the driver.

Be careful about taxi selection. Make sure the license plate is written in the car’s doors and on the roof. You should also prefer taking a taxi from the taxi stands, airports or hotels. These are legal and registered taxis, and you have someone to contact if there is a problem. If you know where the taxi stand is located, it will be easy to contact the authorized person in any situation.

Take a note of the license plate and the name of the stand, or take a picture and record it with your phone.

Let the driver know the attitude and behavior you are uncomfortable with. Express the situations like he should slow down if he is going too fast, turn the volume down if it is too loud, or roll down the window if it is fuggy inside, clearly.

“Bitaksi” application developed for smart phones. This application also has an English-language version. All you have to do is download this application to your smartphone and register. You can call a taxi through the application by seeing the taxis in your neighborhood. Even the information of the taxi and the taxi driver are stored in this system. With this application you can make your journey more secure.

Tipping taxi drivers is not a tradition in Turkey. It’s up to you to do it. You can tip small amounts, especially if they help you when placing your bags.

If you do not speak Turkish, you will have difficulty describing your destination to the taxi driver. Because most taxi drivers in Istanbul do not speak English. Therefore, it is useful to write your address on a piece of paper.

If the taxi driver is having trouble with the address of your destination, call the people you know and ask them to tell the taxi driver about the address.

In addition to the taxi fare in Istanbul, there are some additional fees to pay. These might be bridge, motorway and bus terminal entrance fees. They are added to your taxi fare, do not be surprised.

Until a few years ago taxi fares were charged day and night, but this difference is no longer valid. The opening fee for the taximeter in Istanbul is $ 0,75 and a fee of $ 0,50 per kilometer will be reflected to your fare.

And finally, use the departing passenger gates, not the arriving passenger gates at airports. By this way, you won’t have to wait in line.

What Is BiTaksi

BiTaksi is a smartphone application that draws the passengers looking for taxis and taxis looking for passengers together. Beyond being an application, it is one of the best inventions for metropolitan people.

By using BiTaksi, you can call a taxi to the location where you are with one button. You can see the name of the driver, his score and the license plate of the taxi on the screen and watch his arrival on the map.

You can pay by cash or by credit card. At the end of the journey you can give the driver a rating and write a comment about the trip. Moreover, hearing and visually impaired passengers can also use it easily.

Features of BiTaksi

BiTaxi finds and directs the nearest taxi to you. You’ll see the driver’s name, picture, score, the taxi license plate and the number of minutes in which taxi will show up. You can see the arrival of the taxi on the map. You can also pay by credit card and BKM Express.

At the end of the journey, you can give the driver a rating, write a comment about your journey! If you want to travel with top quality drivers, you can easily use this taxi application. If you can’t find a taxi from the stand or on the road, and if you don’t want to drive in the traffic, or wait for busses, try BiTaksi.

Advantages of BiTaksi

• No change problem

It very easy to pay by credit card! Don’t deal with the coins, don’t search ATMs street by street.

• Your journey is recorded

Did you forget something in the taxi? Don’t worry, travels are recorded.

• You can calculate fees

You can calculate how much to pay to the destination from the fare calculation menu.

• You can share the route

During your journey you can share your location with your family and friends. In this way, they can follow the journey on the map.

Live the convenience of technology in transportation.

Added Features of BiTaksi Application With The New Update

BiTaksi users can now choose the destination before or during the journey and do not have to describe the adress they want to go. With the add-on button on the home screen, users can view their destinations and their favorite addresses, and select a destination with one click. The driver who matches the BiTaksi passenger can see his/her destination only at the moment the journey begins.


Uber is a smartphone application. Once installed on the phone, users will be able to locate, find, call, determine the price and route of the transportation vehicle to accompany them to their destination. The user can have the options of going by taxi, luxury vehicle, boat or any other vehicle.

No need to describe where to go to the driver as it is written in the system at the first place. Uber transportation service provides the opportunity to pay by credit card, thus eliminating the obligation to have cash. Uber, which brings together vehicle seekers and vehicle owners, serves in 315 countries in the world together with Istanbul.

To use Uber, you need to be a member of the service first. You can also enroll from or Android or iPhone. Then, when you need a vehicle, you choose the location you want to be picked up over the application. When you request a vehicle according to your location, a driver assumes your request.

Airport Taxi Fares in Istanbul

I made an estimated price list through taxi fare calculation tools and other taxi calling applications for the new (3.) airport in Istanbul. Some central districts of Istanbul are listed. Prices will vary according to neighborhood and street you want to go.

Fee inquiry was made on 1 December 2018 and the taximeter prices may vary according to the time spent in traffic and the route used. Prices do not include motorway and bridge fees. Don’t forget, these taxi fares are estimated.

Arnavutköy 10 KM $ 6 8 MIN
Ataşehir 55 KM $ 30 1 HOUR
Avcılar 50 KM $ 25 45 MIN
Bağcılar 38 KM $ 20 40 MIN
Bahçelievler 40 KM $ 21 37 MIN
Bakırköy 49 KM $ 25 50 MIN
Başakşehir 32 KM $ 17 25 MIN
Bayrampaşa 42 KM $ 22 31 MIN
Beşiktaş 42 KM $ 25 40 MIN
Beylikdüzü 53 KM $ 28 42 MIN
Beyoğlu 38 KM $ 20 30 MIN
Büyükçekmece 58 KM $ 31 45 MIN
Beykoz 50 KM $ 28 40 MIN
Çatalca 37 KM $ 20 40 MIN
Çekmeköy 53 KM $ 29 45 MIN
Esenler 37 KM $ 20 30 MIN
Esenyurt 45 KM $ 24 40 MIN
Eyüp 38 KM $ 20 35 MIN
Fatih 43 KM $ 23 35 MIN
Gaziosmanpaşa 36 KM $ 19 35 MIN
Güngören 43 KM $ 24 35 MIN
Kadıköy 48 KM $ 26 1 HOUR
Kağıthane 34 KM $ 18.50 32 MIN
Kartal 70 KM $ 35 1 HOUR
Küçükçekmece 45 KM $ 24 40 MIN
Maltepe 62 KM $ 33 50 MIN
Pendik 73 KM $ 38,50 1 HOUR
Sancaktepe 64 KM $ 35 1 HOUR
Sarıyer 43 KM $ 24 40 MIN
Silivri 90 KM $ 46 1 HOUR
Sultanbeyli 66 KM $ 35 1 HOUR
Sultangazi 30 KM $ 16,50 30 MIN
Şile 93 KM $ 49,50 1 HOUR 10 MIN
Şişli 38 KM $ 20 40 MIN
Tuzla 83 KM $ 44 1 HOUR 10 MIN
Üsküdar 45 KM $ 24 45 MIN
Ümraniye 52 KM $ 28 40 MIN
Zeytinburnu 43 KM $ 24 40 MIN
Taksim 40 KM $ 22 40 MIN
Eminönü 41 KM $ 22 40 MIN
Bostancı 57 KM $ 31 45 MIN
Şirinevler – Ataköy 41 KM $ 22 35 MIN
Maslak – Ayazağa 37 KM $ 20 30 MIN
Mecidiyeköy 40 KM $ 22 40 MIN
Altunizade 47 KM $ 25,50 45 MIN
Nişantaşı 39 KM $ 21 40 MIN
Bebek 40 KM $ 21 40 MIN
Levent – 4. Levent 36 KM $ 20 30 MIN
Yeşilköy/Atatürk Havalimanı 40 KM $ 21 35 MIN
Zekeriyaköy 33 KM $ 18 30 MIN
Etiler 38 KM $ 21 35 MIN
Caddebostan 58 KM $ 31 50 MIN

Where to Eat Cheap in Istanbul?

There is almost no reliable source on the internet about where to eat cheaply in Istanbul for the tourists visiting Turkey. Take a look at this article, which will be an alternative to guide books and internet sites that give information about popular and expensive restaurants.

Here I will give you a few addresses where you can go and enjoy delicious food at a good price in Istanbul.

Discover Cheap Flavor Stops!

  • Siirt Şeref Buryan Kebab Shop

A small lamb is slowly cooked on the burning coals at the bottom of a well drilled into the ground. The light fat layer on the soft meat is crispy when cooked. Both delicious and reasonably priced. $20 on average for two people.

Address: İtfaiye Street No: 4 Fatih

  • Köfteci Hüseyin

The moment you enter this tiny place, the waiter approaches and asks you: Is it one portion and one and a half? And then the second question comes: Do you want haricot bean salad? Do you ever eat meatballs without haricot bean salad? The meatballs in the size of a coin are also quite fat.

Go to Huseyin and order a one and a half portion of meatballs. When you eat these meatballs served with a piece of fresh bread, a pinch of hot red pepper sauce and fresh onions, you’ll understand why the meatballs aren’t ‘just meatballs’. $10 on average for two people.
Address: Kurabiye Street Akgün İşhanı No: 11 Beyoğlu

  • Pera Sisore, The Charm of the Black Sea

Those who see the plates full of ready-to-eat dishes placed on top of the steam table to keep them warm can confuse Sisore with one of the self-service lunch restaurants available all over the country at first glance.

But there is a difference from the others: someone is seriously dealing with the magic of the Black Sea in the kitchen. Sisore’s favorite dish is the haricot bean pilaki with butter and plenty of tomato paste. $10 on average for two people.
Address: Oteller Street No: 6 Beyoğlu

  • Fürreyya

Fürreyya, a few meters from the Galata Tower, is located at a busy corner and is much more delicious and affordable than other fancy fish restaurants in Istanbul. On the menu, there are mostly fishes cooked in the charcoal grill or fishes floured and roasted.

However, it is not always possible to find every fish; because the fish in Fürreyya varies according to the season. $15 on average for two people.
Address: Serdar-ı Ekrem Street No: 2 Kuledibi Beyoğlu

  • Van Kahvaltı Evi

The breakfast house in the Cihangir neighborhood of Beyoğlu has recently become a popular destination for many people; because it offers you a unique breakfast plate. You can also enrich your breakfast plate with menemen, cheese, potato or spinach pancakes.

Van Kahvaltı Evi is usually crowded on weekends. Therefore, if you want to go to this place to have a nice breakfast, our advice is to hit the road early.
$10 on average for two people.
Address: Defterdar Yokuşu No: 52.1 Cihangir

  • Helvetia

If you try to remember this place with its name, you’re going to have a little trouble. Because there is no sign of this place located at the corner of Sofyalı street. If you can see the Helvetia from the barely read graffiti, you are at the right place.

Let’s leave its name aside, if you have eaten here once, you won’t be able to forget here. They’re really good at olive oil dishes. If you are one of those who likes to eat healthily it means this place is tailor-made for you. $15 on average for two people.
Address: General Yazgan Street / Asmalımescit

Cheap Fish Restaurants in Istanbul

One of the first dishes that comes to mind when talking about Istanbul is fish. Instead of luxury restaurants, you can taste the most delicious fish by going to the shabby fish restaurants. Here are 5 fish restaurants where you can eat cheap fish in Istanbul.

  • Palukçu, Şehremini

Fish Soup followed by cornbread with their own salad and the fish type which is fresh in that season. Horse mackerel, whiting or sea bass. A delicious stop where you can pig out on fish. Must try. No alcohol.
Address: Capa Mahallesi, Buyuk Saray Meydani Caddesi, No 13, Fatih, Istanbul

  • İsmet Baba, Kuzguncuk

Although recently criticized with the higher prices compared to the past, it is an experienced address that comes to mind first when you want to go to a fish restaurant. Special pastry and fish bacon should be tried. There is alcohol as well.
Address: Çarşı St. No: 1 / A Kuzguncuk- Uskudar, Istanbul

  • Sandal Balık Evi, Yeniköy

There are now 2 places of Sandal Balık Evi in Yeniköy. Both are delicious. Their special ”fish simit” is delightful. No alcohol.
Address: Köybaşı St. No: 143 Yeniköy, Istanbul

  • Takanik, Arnavutköy

In addition to the rocket salad with ezine cheese at the branch in Arnavutköy, you should try the mullet or sea bass grills. No alcohol. Cornbreads are really nice, especially if they just come out of the oven. No alcohol.
Address: Bebek St. No: 87, Arnavutköy, İstanbul

  • Adem Baba, Arnavutköy

Calamari is delicious, umbra and whiting fillets are cooked to a turn. The price/performance ratio is very good. No alcohol.
Address: Satış Meydanı St. No: 2 Arnavutköy, Istanbul

Street Food in Istanbul

Istanbul, the most gourmet city in the world, is waiting for you with the best street food. If you want to discover Istanbul’s street tastes, this is the list you need.

The Oldest Tradition: Grilled Fish Sandwich

Istanbul’s oldest taste is probably the grilled fish sandwich. Thanks to the fertile waters of the Bosphorus, the city of Istanbul has been fishing since ancient times (and perhaps even earlier) and the locals eat the freshest of the Bosphorus fish.

Eminonu is recommended as the best place to eat fish in Istanbul. However, this is not the case. Now you will learn the secret that only fish lovers know: You can find the best fish sandwiches in Bebek and Arnavutköy.

The City That Mussel Sellers Feed You With Their Hands

You can come across all the seaside districts in Istanbul with stuffed mussel vendors. Stuffed mussel was an appetizer sold in Greek taverns in Ottoman times and Armenian cooks prepared the best stuffed mussels in the pre-republic period. Over time, this title pass to the Assyrians who come to Istanbul from Mardin. This is the reason why many mussel sellers are from Mardin nowadays.

The stuffed mussels had their own jargon in the old days. The tradition was eating the mussels from the hands of mussel sellers. Nowadays, this is not preferred because of hygienic expectations.

So where to eat stuffed mussels in Istanbul? The answer to this question depends on you. Our suggestion is to start from Beylerbeyi and go on through Üsküdar, Beşiktaş, and Taksim. You should discover where is the best mussel in Istanbul.

Mussels are also consumed as sandwiches and are called fried mussels. If you want to eat the best fried mussels in Istanbul, you can go to Kadıköy and Beşiktaş streets.

The Taste Warming The Winter Cold: Chestnut Kebab

The most familiar smell of Istanbul’s streets originates from chestnut kebab. This pungent odor struck your nose as you sneak through the streets of the city, pulling you back and making you find yourself chatting with the chestnut seller.

You can find chestnut kebab in many parts of the world, and you can easily prepare yourself at home. Place the chestnuts in the aluminum foil together with the rock salt and cook in a 200 degree heated oven.

Lord of the Speciality Meats: Kokoreç

Kokoreç, another Istanbul street taste who gained his identity with his scent, is a kind of fagot. It is cooked differently based on the region. For example in Istanbul, meat from the intestines of a lamb cooked on a special grill and put between the bread, then sweetened with cumin.

It is unclear who made the Kokoreç first, but in some sources, this recipe goes through even in ancient Greece. According to the written sources, an Albanian dish with the name of kokoretsi, entered Turkish cuisine in Ottoman times.

Much More Than a Potato: Kumpir

Even though it is a very old tradition of cooking and baking potatoes, the idea of putting appetizers such as kashar cheese, olives and corn, as well as spiced mutton liver, sausage, and bulgur salad into potatoes is new. Baked potato with salad named as krumpir in the Balkans was named Kumpir in Turkey and became a much more delicious food.

Although the specific information about the history of Kumpir is not exactly known, it is introduced to Turkey at the beginning of the nineties. In Istanbul, it is said that the kumpir should be eaten in Ortaköy, but I think you should look for the best kumpir of Istanbul in the vicinity of Bakırköy, Kadıköy, Bebek or Avcılar.

Attention to Seagulls: Eating Bagel in Istanbul Steamers

One of the most popular street tastes of Istanbul is a bagel. It is one of the cheapest meals you can buy in Istanbul. When you walk the streets, if you hear a variety of cries from a distance which you don’t understand what’s going on, it means a bagel seller is approaching you. Local people don’t find it strange because they are familiar with this situation.

In Istanbul, there is another pretender of bagels apart from man: Seagulls. Seagulls traveling around the ferryboats of Istanbul can come and eat your bagels gently and sometimes aggressively. My suggestion is to share your bagel with them.

Super Hero of Night Trip Munchies: Rice with Chickpeas

In the evening, many streets of Istanbul are filled with people selling rice. The first choice of people returning from the night entertainment is these mobile cars where there are rice, salad and chicken are served. If you don’t forget to ask for home-made ayran, you can give your stomach a big feast.

So where is the best mobile chickpea rice? Take a look around Tahtakale and Unkapanı, you will find the most delicious rice for sure.

Cheap Food and Drink Guide for Taksim

Anyone who comes to Istanbul and has an active social life visit Taksim Square. Taksim, which is the center of Istanbul in almost every sense, has plenty of alternatives for every taste and every budget.

I’ve compiled for you some recommendations that will reduce your overnight cost considerably, but at the same time add pleasure to your joy. It is not difficult to find both cheap and delicious, especially in Taksim.

  • Beyaz Lokanta

Prepare to be fascinated at the moment you enter the door in this small but cozy restaurant located at İmam Adnan Street. It has a self-service concept but it is a place which makes a difference in decoration. You can find all kinds of meat and vegetables in their original tastes at any time of the day. Grilled meat varieties are also available, especially the meatballs with kashar cheese is one of the most admired dishes. An average of 3 dish types and a drink will cost between $ 6-7.

  • Balkan Lokantası

One of the most famous and oldest restaurants of Taksim, which has a self-service concept in Büyük Parmakkapı Street is Balkan Lokantası. They have no special dishes, especially those that stand out. However, we can say that all the dishes on the menus are very delicious. As time passed by, the taste of the dishes, especially the soups, go bad, so there will be a difference between going during the day and going late. An average of 3 types of dishes and a drink will cost between $ 4 and $ 7.

  • Yemek Kulübü

Yemek Kulübü is located on İstiklal Street. They make people love themselves with their tastes but at the same time making Turkish People sad with their serving sizes. The only disadvantage of it is being a bit far from the Taksim square. The service is quick and the dishes are delicious. Ravioli and chocolate soufflé are the most preferred dishes. It is a place that will always have a place in our minds and hearts even though it is a bit more expensive than others.

  • Mangal Keyfi

Mangal Keyfi, which has long been one of the first places to come to mind when you want to eat some wraps, has enshrined our memory with its music concept and the opposing posters they put on the walls. The wraps are delightful, you can have pleasant conversations with the staff. If you are a student and you haven’t eaten anything on that day, go to Mangal Keyfi and see if there is a voucher on the billboard right away, if you see a voucher there, you can show your student ID and eat your food free of charge because a nice person you have never met has already ordered you to eat.

  • Gala Kokoreç

As you go down the Galata Tower, you’ll see a little kokoreç place at the corner, just enter. It’s the most beautiful kokoreç you can eat on Earth. The only flaw of this kokoreç place, who has been the best for many years, is that it doesn’t sell fried mussels. It is, of course, possible to make do with stuffed mussels, but I hope that they will start selling fried mussels too. 1 quarter of a loaf bread full of kokoreç is $ 1.5.

Cheap and Delicious: Istanbul’s Local Restaurants

Aside from the suitability of prices, the local restaurants that stand out with the taste of their dishes have an important place especially in the dining culture of Istanbul. The local restaurants in Istanbul are the most popular choice especially for those who want to stay away from fast food, pastries, frozen foods, longing for mother meals and prefer a wide variety of meals at modest prices. Here are the most attractive local restaurants.

  • Hacı Abdullah Restaurant, Atıf Yılmaz Street/Beyoğlu

Hacı Abdullah has been serving in Beyoğlu since 1958, but the restaurant’s history dates back to the 1880s. The name of the first restaurant opened in Karaköy was Abdullah Efendi. Then after a few relocations, it took its current place and name. There is a tradition in Hacı Abdullah’s 100-year history, the restaurant is handed down to the apprentice from the master. And of course, there is the pleasure of eating the most delicious dishes of Turkey and the Ottoman cuisine in stylishly designed interiors where the spoken languages are mixed together. Prices at Haci Abdullah are not that high, and the dishes are very special.

  • Şahin Lokantası, Asmalimescit

It is a tiny place that meets the definition of a local restaurant with both food and prices. Şahin Lokantasi, which is one of the popular choices for those who want to eat homemade food in Asmalımescit, has increased its recognition with the praises that spread from ear to ear. Of course, the quality of the food is also great. As the space is small, it can be a little difficult to find a table at noon hours. However, if you go late you may miss the most beautiful dishes of the day due to the demand. The prices are also quite reasonable.

  • Maya Lokantası, Rumeli Caddesi/Nişantaşı

Maya attracts attention with its interior decoration at first glance. Dominant orange color and the meticulous appearance which signposts and tables reflect allows you to warm up to space. When it comes to food, Maya has a rich menu that is made from healthy, good ingredients. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it is on one of the flashy streets of Istanbul because its prices are quite normal. The restaurant has a rich olive oil dishes, salad, and dessert menu. We advise you to taste their own baked bread regardless of loving bread. This place is jam-packed at the weekday lunchtimes. Although it is a two-storey place, it is possible to wait for a table during busy times.

  • Cıncık, Eşref Efendi Street/Pangaltı

It’s a cute, tiny little place like its name. The owner was also conversable, playfully Mustafa Abi. Cıncık has a growing reputation beyond Pangalti’s neighborhood residents. The healthiness of the food is more important than anything. Gluten-free flour, extra virgin olive oil, natural butter, and Himalayan salt are indispensable in the kitchen. Cıncık, which has been serving since 2011, serves 15 dishes each day. This place opens towards the evening, and it is closed at 2-3 at night. In addition to natural ingredients, they are also attentive in cooking methods. For example, according to Mustafa Abi, they cook green beans in low heat for four to five hours. This method is called “salma” in Anatolia. Portions are large, and the prices are reasonable. As it is written in cute lighted signs outside, they are assertive in haricot beans.

  • Bankalar Lokantası, Bankalar Street/Karaköy

It is a beautiful restaurant that will catch your eye right on the right corner when you pass Salt Galata and turn right. The historic stone building, the flowers in front of it and the table captivate you at the first moment you see them. The lighting in the stone ceiling adds color to space. This place, as the name suggests, is also a favorite for many tourists due to its location. Prices are appropriate according to the elegance of the place and the region. Soup is $ 1, rice is $ 1, haricot beans is $ 2, grilled meatballs are $ 3, and a big salad is $ 3.

Istanbul: 2nd Cheapest Luxury Meal in Europe

Istanbul is the second best place to eat the cheapest meal in Europe with a price of 24.38 USD per person. The food club Gastroclub measured the average cost of a meal in the 30 tourist cities of Europe for the low-income group as well as the high-income group. Copenhagen was the city where the high-income group eat the most expensive food on the list. According to this, a person needs to get an average of 98.67 USD out of his pocket for a luxurious meal in Copenhagen.

In Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, which has the lowest number, it is enough to pay an average of 23.09 USD for a meal. Istanbul is second address on the list with the price of 24.38 USD for a meal. On the other hand, the average price among European countries is 50.85 USD.

In the research, restaurants are divided into two groups as higher-income and lower-income restaurants, and alcohol is not included in the prices per person. It is not surprising that Copenhagen, which is a gourmet city, is the first in the list in terms of prices. On the other hand, Sofia, which is the cheapest city in Europe in terms of living costs, is also the cheapest city in terms of luxury dining.

After Sofia, the two other cheapest cities in Europe are Istanbul and Prague. The fact that these countries are not included in the euro currency and that their currencies are cheap against the USD and euro is of great importance in terms of being the ‘cheapest’ city for both the upper income and the lower income group. Istanbul is one of the cheapest cities in Europe’s food and beverage sector both in lower income and higher income groups.

What to Know Before Visiting Istanbul?

If you are willing to be one of the tourists visiting Istanbul, Istanbul will welcome you together with many people: 15 million. Where is İstanbul? It is one of the metropolitan countries in the world, located in Turkey Marmara region.

With its only official language, Turkish, and its currency, that s Turkish Lira, İstanbul is such a unique experience like Napoleon once said, “If the world was only one country, Istanbul would be its capital!”

Although it uses only one-time zone, which is  Eastern European Summer Time (UTC +3) and having located 594 mi² (1,539 km²) the size of the population of local people and foreign tourists might seem a bit scary for you newcomers.

There are many things you should know before visiting İstanbul to make your trip more enjoyable. There are many things not to miss; eating balik ekmek in Eminonu, having Istanbulkart to be able to travel easily, knowing some tips about the history of İstanbul so that you can understand the structures and stories behind.

Where Is Istanbul?

İstanbul is known as a bridge between Europe and Asia with its nearly 303,000-square-mile (783,000-square-kilometer) sprawl.

In fact, it has quiet strategic importance as a location on the Bosporus strait which links Europe and Asia. Also, this position is important because it locates between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.

As one of the populous city in the world, İstanbul is a historic and commercial center located on its European side and at the same time on its Asian side.

History of Istanbul

There are many historical stories about İstanbul with plenty of cultural backgrounds. Especially the sixth millennium B.C. has a big role in the position of İstanbul today as a modern city.

The Neolithic Revolution during which early humans migrated into Europe from the East has also a big impact on this lovely city.

This area was occupied by Greek settlers in 660 B.C, with the name of Byzantium. Afterward, this place became a city of strategic, economic, and cultural importance so fast.

When it came to 330 A.D., İstanbul was reinvented as Constantinople and remained an imperial capital for a long time, 160 years.

Despite other holders of İstanbul known as the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires, this city remained famous and strategically important for  merchants, traders, business people, and immigrants over many centuries especially because it locates on the Silk Road, between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, and at the confluence of major rail routes.

The other historical importance is İstanbul is about areligious background. When Byzantine empires and the Roman one came, they build here a big area for the Christian religion.

That is still the biggest reason of why Christians visit every year İstanbul so willingly.

This situation is valid for the Ottoman Turks too. Istanbul changed drastically with their arrival in 1453 A.D. and this city trusted to an Islamic country. You can see many signs and architectural structures marked by Islam in İstanbul.

Best Time to Visit Istanbul

Unlike many countries, Turkey and Istanbul are witness four seasons every year. People there enjoy with snow during the winter, and they have fun with swimming and beach during the summer.

Having plenty of seasons and different weather types might make you confuse. Actually, the best time to visit Istanbul depends on your purposes and preferences.

For the months of June, July, and August is generally preferable by a majority of tourist because of many reasons.

However, it is good to know that they are the hottest three months and you have to deal with large crowds and high accommodation rater if you choose this period to visit İstanbul.

For the spring period, that is March to May and fall times, September to November would be better in term of the population of the city. It will be less crowded and lower temperature. It is also because not tourist seasons, you will see some decreases on prices.

If you think economic reasons, of course, winter months such as December and February would be cheaper but you should be ready for the coldest and rainiest months if you want to do it during those months.

How to Use Public Transportation

Travel in Istanbul is relative to cheap compared to other big cities. Please do not forget an Istanbulkart to get public transportation vehicles such as bus, boat, Metrobus, Marmaray and so on.

There are someone pass tickets to use only one, but if you plan to visit many places, I suggest you have one Istanbulkart since there is such a big city that you will need to use transfer may be more than one time.

In short, having an Istanbulkart from kiosks is the best alternative for your travel.

The second thing you should know about public transportation is about the population. Although Istanbul is such a big city, the schedule of vehicles are so intense, so you can find easily the next one if you miss one bus, for example.

It is still good to know that early morning and afternoon 5 is rush hours because of the majority of the work schedule. You can arrange your travel accordingly.

Airport Arrival Process

There are three airports in Istanbul by October 2018. Apart from Sabiha Gokcen Airport and Ataturk Airport, the new one is the Istanbul Airport. You can fly into one of them as foreign or domestic passengers.

After arriving at the airport, you can take Havas to go to your hotel or wherever you want. For instance, from Sabiha Gokcen Airport you can go Kadikoy or you can go across, European side Taksim by Havas.

Also from the newest airport, İstanbul airport, you can take Havas and go Mecidiyekoy or Basaksehir directly. All services will make your life easier at your first arrival in Istanbul.

Things You Must Do When Visiting Istanbul

  • Eminonu is famous for balik ekmekas you will easily realize the smell of it when you arrive. You should try it with tursu suyu that goes well with balik ekmek.
  • The nostalgic tramway in Taksim gives nostalgia feelings, which you should not miss when roaming Taksim. People generally take a picture when standing near, but I suggest you get on this vehicle through the Taksim street.

  • Rumeli Castle is an enchanted place I have ever seen. Not only roaming the shore of Bebek, but you should also climb Rumeli Castle so that you can take Istanbul and the Marmara Sea under your feet. I am sure it will be a very good experience.
  • The other thing you should try from İstanbul’s famous food is Ortakoy kumpir and waffle. The tastes are so delicious when eating in front of the Bosphorus bridge with the view of Bosphorus.

Yet, other things you will realize there is the behavior of seller of kumpir and Ortakoy. They are very insistence and funny to sell their food to people, especially tourist. You should experience their unique ways of marketing their product and enjoy your meal in front of the blue view.

  • The Marmara sea will be your favorite place to take a deep breathe especially if you will be there during the spring or fall. When inside the boat on the way from the Asian side to Europe side, or from the Europe side to the Asian side, the thing what people living in this city do is to feed seagulls with simit. I did not see any person now enjoying this.

  • Are you planning to visit İstanbul with your girlfriend or boyfriend? You should not miss climbing the Galata Tower. According to the legend, whoever you climb there the first time, that person will be the person you will get married. Who knows?

Some Extra Things to Know Before Travelling to Istanbul

When it comes to travel to another city than your own, especially to a different country, there are some vital pieces of information nowadays to know, which will make your travels easier.

Here are some of them:

  • You should know that you will need a European-style adapter so you’ll be able to use your electronics in İstanbul. Also, if you have some small electronics such as blow dryers and hair straighteners, you need to use them with converters because Turkey’s electrical sockets run at 220 volts.

  • When you need to convert money, it is better to use some local exchange currency places to withdraw. Especially the ones in Eminonu are very trustable.

However, ATMs or places in airports might take more money from you than the others. You should be careful about it but still, it is good to know that you can withdraw large amounts of cash prior to departure.

  • What about language will you need? İstanbul is such a global country with many foreign businessmen and high population of tourists. You will even see some sellers knowing some Asian languages such as Bahasa Indonesia and some Indian dialects.

Therefore, apart from English, you can find some people knowing other languages but it is always good to have online English-Turkish dictionary not to make any unexpected mistakes.

  • For the restrooms, not every one of them, but mostly they will request from you some money like one or two Turkish Liras. In short, it is a good idea to carry a few coins with you when roaming around İstanbul.

  • People in Istanbul are too sincere that might come to you so interesting sometimes. They are ‘too sincere’ because they do not hesitate to ask you some questions about your personal life. You can just take it friendly and helpful behavior. They can even order you or offer you some food.

Moreover, they even can invite you to their home for lunch or a good dinner. There is no need to get worried. It is just a part of Turkish hospitality.


To finalize my words and leave you alone to experience this wonderful city, I want to repeat that you should know about the history of İstanbul in order to understand the reasons behind what is happening now and what the reasons behind some historical buildings together with its unique structures.

It is also necessary to check the cuisine of Istanbul and find some places before visiting İstanbul so that you can taste every famous food which is a big part of a culture.

To make your life easier there, you should arrange all details such as IstanbulKart, convert money issue and electronic devices.

If you feel like you are done with everything, now you are ready to visit İstanbul and take it with your deep breathe inside!

10 Must-See Historical Places in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the unique cities of the world which functions as a bridge between Asia and Europe. The city is the only city that has been the capital of three different empires, namely the ancient Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires, and it has been the center of culture, art, architecture, and politics for centuries.

Istanbul, which is one of the most important and biggest metropolises in the world, has valuable artifacts from the history of the city dating back to 3,000 years. These artifacts, which have witnessed many events throughout history and are among the masterpieces of architecture and art, are challenging the ages and are located in both European and Anatolian sides of Istanbul.

Here are the 10 most beautiful historical sites of Istanbul, from world famous basilicas to magnificent palaces, from unique towers to magnificent mosques.

1. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is the largest church of the Eastern Roman Empire in Istanbul and was built three times in the same place. The first church was built in 360 by Emperor Constantius (337-361). The first building, covered with a wooden roof and had a basilical plan, was burnt down as a result of the popular uprising in 404 upon the exile of the patriarch due to the disagreements between Emperor Arkadios’ wife (Emperor Eudoksia) and Istanbul Patriarch Ioannes Chrysostomos.

It was rebuilt in 415 by Emperor Theodosios (408-450). It is known that this structure had a basilical plan as well covered with a wooden roof and with a monumental entrance. The Church was destroyed during the fifth reign of Emperor Justinianos (527ası565) in the January 13, 532, during the great popular uprising aka the Nika Rebellion in history, which emerged as a result of the unification of the blues representing the aristocratic sector and the greens representing the tradesmen and merchants.

Today’s Hagia Sophia was built by Emperor Justinianos, with the signs of the two important architects of the period, Isidoros of Miletos (Miletus) and Anthemios of Tralles (Aydin). According to historian Prokopios, the construction, which started on 23 February 532, was completed in a short period of 5 years and the church was opened to worship on 27 December 537.

Emperor Justinian ordered the gathering of the most beautiful architectural pieces to be used in the Hagia Sophia by sending news to all states in his court for Hagia Sophia to be more magnificent and glomourous. Columns and marbles used in this structure were brought from the remains of the ancient cities located at Anatolia and Syria such as Aspendos, Ephesus, Baalbek, and Tarsus.

All the surfaces except the marble covered walls of Hagia Sophia are decorated with beautiful mosaics. In the construction of the mosaics, gold, silver, glass, terra-cotta and colored stones were used. The plant and geometric mosaics in the building are dated to the 6th century and the depicted mosaics are dated to the iconoclasm period (730- 842).

The Hagia Sophia was the place where the coronation of the Emperors was performed because it was the Imperial Church in the Eastern Roman Period.

2. The Blue Mosque

Because of the color of the eye-catching patterns that adorn the inner walls, the Sultanahmet Mosque also called the Blue Mosque is considered one of the most successful examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture. The building, which brings a whole new perspective to the Ottoman mosque culture with its architectural understanding, is one of the stops to be seen within the scope of the historical peninsula tour.

The religious structure, located in the list of places to be visited by travelers, was built between 1609-1616 in line with the order of Sultan Ahmet I, who is known for the importance he attached to spirituality.

The building which bear the signature of Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, considered one of the most important names of Ottoman architecture after Sinan, is the first sultan mosque built with the allowance allocated from the state treasury.

The Blue Mosque was built in the place of Ayşe Sultan Palace, which covered a large area at the sea facing part of At Meydanı. The palace, which is located in the direction of Qibla, was purchased for 30.000 gold. In the construction of the mosque, many statesmen, including the sultan, worked. In fact, the foundation was laid by I. Ahmet himself. The pickaxe which the Sultan used in the place where the foundation will be laid is now on display in the Topkapı Palace.

3. Topkapi Palace

Topkapı Palace, which is an indispensable part of the list of places to visit in Istanbul for travelers interested in history and architecture, fascinates its visitors for centuries with its glory. The construction of the Topkapı Palace, built on an area of 700,000 square meters on the eastern Roman Acropolis in Istanbul Sarayburnu, began in 1460 upon the order of Fatih after the conquest of Istanbul. The palace, which was completed in 1478, was used as an administration, education and art center of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 4 centuries.

Topkapi Palace has been used as a museum since 1924, consists of 4 courtyards and a harem section. Alay Square, located in the 1st courtyard which is the largest among the courtyards and surrounded by external service buildings, was used in ceremonies such as Friday Salute during the departure and return of the sultans.

The important buildings in the 2nd Courtyard are the Justice Palace built for the sultans to watch the city, the palace and the Divan meetings and Zülüflü Baltacılar Ocağı where the people responsible for the palace works in the Ottoman Empire stay.

In the 3rd courtyard, which is also referred to as the Enderun, the Privy Chamber and the Chamber of Sacred Relics attract the most attention. The 4th courtyard consisting of the Tulip Garden and Sofa-i Hümayun has 2 mansions built in honor of the conquests of Baghdad and Revan.

You will also have the opportunity to examine the Queen Mother Apartment, where the mothers of the sultans lived, the Sofa Pavilion, which is used as a ceremony and reception hall, the unique rooms and the sections belonging to the various groups living here.

4. Süleymaniye Mosque

The mosque was built in 1551 by Mimar Sinan in the name of Suleiman the Magnificent and was completed in 1557. In fact, it is only a part of the Suleymaniye Complex together with mosques, madrasahs, treasures, hospitals, primary schools, baths, libraries, studios, and shops.

Sinan referred to the Süleymaniye Mosque as his qualification stage work. The master architect created incredible acoustics inside the mosque with 65 cubes encircled by the dome and made it possible to pray in the mosque without any technological devices such as microphones. Mimar Sinan designed a soot room for this mosque for the first time in history and gathered all the soot in the mosque in this room in order to prevent the soot originating from the candles and oil lamps used for illumination from damaging the mosque.

This collected soot was used as ink to write many edicts and letters. The ink was so special that it was not able to be completely deleted without destroying the whole paper. There are two windows opened out of the Soot Chamber. When viewed from these windows, one can see the plates written Allah and Muhammad. Mimar Sinan put ostrich eggs in the middle of the chandeliers as a precaution for insects, scorpions, and beetles.

5. Galata Tower

Galata Tower, one of the oldest and most beautiful towers of Istanbul, was built by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius Oilosuz in 528 as a lighthouse tower. Of course, like many wooden structures in Istanbul, he also had his share of big fires. It was rebuilt in 1348 by the Genoese as Christea Turris (Jesus Tower) by using masonry stones.

The tower fell under the Ottoman rule in 1453. The tower which is used for defense purposes until then had assigned other tasks. For example, in the 16th century it is used as the shelter of prisoners at the shipyard, and in the 18th century, the Mehteran Quarry was placed inside it to inform the midnight. In 1874 on the other hand, it was used for fire surveillance and news due to its dominant position in the city. It underwent maintenance and repair many times. Today’s shape was given with the maintenance carried out by II. Mahmut.

The tower was built in rubble masonry. The façade is made of stone. The round-arched window on the door was the watchtower of the soldiers. It is a 9-story building with a high entrance floor. The windows on the cylindrical body are round-arched with brick braiding.

The development of the last two layers immediately beneath the cone roof is emphasized by profiled moldings surrounding the cylindrical body. The building is now used for social and cultural activities. It is structurally robust.

6. Basilica Cistern

The cistern, which was built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in 532, was used in meeting the water needs of the Grand Palace. During the construction process, 7,000 slaves were built and the water was provided through 2 arches extending to the Eğrikapı Su Taksim Center in the Belgrad Forests, 19 kilometers from the city. The arch built by Emperor Valens was 971 meters long, where the one built by Emperor Justinianus was 116 meters long.

After the city entered into Ottoman sovereignty in 1453, the cistern was continued to be used for the water needs of the gardens in Topkapı Palace. However, the structure was abandoned after a while when the idea that it was opposite to the Islamic principles became widespread in the Ottomans.

The Basilica Cistern covers a total area of 9,800 square meters. The cistern can be used for storing up to 100.000 tons of water. The interior of the building is supported by 336 columns, each 9 meters high and 4.80 meters apart.

7. Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace, located on the shores of the Bosphorus, was built between 1843-1856. The palace was built under the orders of Sultan Abdülmecid, the 31st ruler of the Ottoman Empire. It bears the signatures of Garabet Balyan and his son Nikoğos, who are the popular architects of the period.

Another important element that makes the palace magnificent apart from its architecture is the items used in interior decoration. You can explore the furniture, curtains, carpets, and paintings that provide this magnificence as you travel through the guided tours of the rooms of the building, which by the way has the world’s largest palace ballroom.

Dolmabahçe Palace was replaced by Topkapı Palace which was thought to be inadequate by the dynasty. Dolmabahçe was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire until 1924.

After the Ottoman Dynasty, the palace, which had all its properties as the property of the Turkish people, served as the Presidency between 1927-1949. The structure, which was kept open to the public visit for a long time, was turned into a museum-palace in 1984.

8. Rumelian Fortress

The construction of the military structure, which Fatih ordered to be built in front of Anadolu Hisarı to ensure the security of the Bosphorus started on 15 April 1452. The materials used in the construction of the fortress were brought from different parts of Anatolia such as Izmit and Eregli. The stone pieces were removed from the ruined Byzantine structures. According to the architect Ekrem Hakkı Ayverdi, approximately 300 craftsmen and 750 workers, as well as 200 transporters and boatmen worked in the construction of the fortress.

The interior of the historic building which was restored after the earthquake in 1509 and the fire disaster in 1746 was filled with wooden houses. These houses were demolished during the extensive renovation work carried out under the supervision of 3 Turkish female architects commissioned by President Celal Bayar in 1953, giving the building its former glory.

Fortress is now used as a museum and open-air theater. The theater department hosts mainly domestic and foreign music organizations in summer.

9. Maiden’s Tower

The tower, which was built on a small island, is about 18 meters high. The building, which consists of 5 floors, is the last Byzantine structure in Üsküdar District.

The tower, which was mentioned in historical sources for the first time in 410 BC, was built by Athenian Alkibiades in order to control the traffic of the ships in the Bosphorus and to get tax from them. In 341 BC, Chares placed a sarcophagus for his wife in the tower which became a significant control point thanks to the chain pulled from Sarayburnu Beach.

In the Roman period, the structure began to gain today’s appearance. The tower was completed by order of Emperor Manuel Comnenos. The historic tower, which had been ruined many times over the centuries, became the shelter for the Venetian fleet that came to save the city from the Ottoman siege in the last days of Byzantium.

Following the conquest of the city by the Ottomans, extensive renovation work was carried out. In this period, although the structure did not lose its defensive feature, it was used mainly for the performances of the Mehter Platoon.

10. Anatolian Fortress

Anatolian Fortress was built in 1395 at the narrowest point of the Bosphorus and it gives its name to the region. This fortress, which was built as an outpost on the orders of Yıldırım Beyazid, was founded on a seven-acre area.

The fortress consists of the inner and outer fortresses and the city walls. The purpose of construction is to ensure the sovereignty of the Bosphorus and protect the city from possible dangers. Even it lost its military importance over time, it is still one of the important points of the city with the expanding settlement in its surroundings.

One-fourth of the Rumeli Fortress, Anadolu Hisarı is one of the most beautiful settlements of Istanbul and is famous for its mansions.