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Top sights in Istanbul
Top 10 things to do in Istanbul
Istanbul's strategic location between Europe and Asia on the ancient Silk Road has made it one of history's most important cities. A list of its points of interest would be long enough to bridge the Bosphorus, so here's a top 10 to make your itinerary more manageable!
9. Basilica Cistern
One of Istanbul's most unusual sights, Roman relics have been reappropriated by Byzantian builders to support this complex system that once brought drinking water into the city.
10. Maiden's Tower
Perched on top of a tiny islet in the Bosphorus strait, this historic lighthouse was once a watchtower. It now also serves as a popular restaurant and café with splendid views of the city's shoreline.
Frequently asked questions about Istanbul
What top attractions are a must-see in Istanbul?
The must-see attractions in Istanbul are:See all must-see sights in Istanbul
What are the top things to do in Istanbul this week?
The top things to do in Istanbul are:Explore the best things to do in Istanbul on GetYourGuide
Which tours in Istanbul are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?
These experiences in Istanbul are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:See all Istanbul tours on GetYourGuide
Planning Your Visit
How many days?
Istanbul is a cartographical labyrinth with sights and experiences awaiting you round every corner. How long to stay depends on how immersed you want to get, but a week should be enough to cover the most famous attractions.
How to get from the airport to the city?
Havataş Shuttle Buses are available from outside the terminal and leave every half an hour for Taksim between 4:00AM and 1:00AM. Taking a taxi is, however, the most convenient way, and shouldn't be more expensive than the shuttle service between a group of four. Be sure to ignore the hustlers inside the airport and take an official vehicle from the taxi rank at the terminal exit.
Where to stay?
The key touristic areas are Fatih and Taksim, and which to stay in depends on the nature of your stay. Fatih is the old town and home to many of Istanbul's historic landmarks. Taksim, on the other hand, is modern and appeals more to those visiting the city to shop, dine, and party. Traveling between the two is simple, so don't worry if you fancy hitting the dancefloors after the Hagia Sophia!
Good to know
- Turkish Lira (₺)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+02:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- The weather is good at all times of the year, but it may be a good idea to avoid the summer if you do not like extreme heat.
Other Sightseeing Options in Istanbul
Want to discover all there is to do in Istanbul? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Istanbul
Me and wife want to thank Mr. Matt. We both enjoyed the whole tour, it was a great day. He interspersed history with humour and kept us all interested. He gave us time to explore on our own, as well as guide us though the historical sites. We were very lucky to have had him as our tour guide.
Our guide in Gallipoli, Buland, was excellent. Very knowledgeable. Also excellent was guide Burak for the Troy part of the tour. Really learnt a lot more than if we’d done it ourselves.
The guide was super Mehmet showed us the best places within a short time.I would recommend this tour to everyone whomwants to see a lot of Istanbul within a short time.
Numan is a great guide! He's very pleasant, knowledgeable and flexible. He accommodated to our interests and thanks to him our stay in Istanbul was wonderful
Such a lovely atmosphere, must be on your bucket list if visiting Istanbul