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Top Activities in Istanbul

See all 2003 things to do in Istanbul


What to Do in Istanbul: Must See Attractions

Istanbul Attractions

Istanbul is a city that evokes so much charisma and appeal, hard to resist, with rich culture, history, and the sheer colorfulness of its day-to-day life. This transcontinental city in Turkey, located along the Bosphorus, in between Black Sea and Sea of Marmara, offers a tantalizing mix of gorgeous natural and manmade splendors. Istanbul excursions can be a treat for a lifetime, one that can transport you into a voyage into the past while fascinating you with its enigmatic present.

Things to Do in Istanbul with Kids

Istanbul is a fabulous destination for a family break. Take the kids along and enjoy these fun family friendly experiences together:

Experience The Best Of Things To Do In Istanbul With Expedia

With an endless number of attractions in Istanbul, it might be hard for any tourist to pick a few favorites on the map. Book exclusive Istanbul tours right here, and visit the must see places in the city that spreads across two continents. Marvel at the splendid Hagia Sophia, resplendent of the magnificent Byzantine architecture in the Sultanahmet area. Behold the breathtaking Blue Mosque with its intricate minarets and domes. Be prepared to be enchanted by the impressive Topkapi Palace built in the Ottoman era, and don’t miss the famed Istanbul Archaeology Museum. Istanbul activities are not just about the top tourist spots, but also about the innumerable experiences which are hard to find elsewhere.

While you find yourself strolling through the winding streets and local bazaars, in your quest for ancient culture and history, be sure to visit the quaint cafes, shops, and restaurants. Istanbul excursions are rarely complete without the delightful culinary indulgences owing to its rich and diverse heritage. Sharpen your haggling skills at the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest indoor markets in the world. From spices to carpets and clothing to trinkets, shopping for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, from the local vendors, is sure to be addicting.

Now, on Expedia, it is possible to visit and enjoy the city with an insider’s perspective. Book your entire vacation, from start to finish, in a matter of minutes, and fly to your own paradise in Turkey. Coveted for a vibrant culture and enchanting past that seamlessly converge with the present, Istanbul tours can be one rewarding experience.

Free Things to Do in Istanbul

Some say the best things in life are free. Discover the following around Istanbul:

Dogancay Museum - Talk to the staff and find out about the interesting collections exhibited at this museum.

Istanbul University - This popular local landmark is a wonderful backdrop for a selfie or two.

German Fountain - If you're interested in the past, this is one stop you really shouldn't miss.

Beyazit Square - This is a buzzing location where you can soak up the vibe and discover the local way of life.

The Million Stone - Make room in your to-do list to explore this site of local significance.

Firuzaga Mosque - Get an insight into the local religion at this sacred place.

Camlica Hill - Be treated to vistas that'll inspire awe at this natural marvel.

Gulhane Park - Grab your rug, pack some food and find a cozy area to be with nature.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Istanbul


Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue are top sights in Taksim, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Taksim Station or Findikli Station to see more sights in the area.



Enjoy the popular shops in Sultanahmet. Sultanahmet Square is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Sultanahmet Station or Cemberlitas Station to see more of Istanbul.

CathedralsMuseumsHistorical Buildings

Istanbul City Center

Known for its charming cafés and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Istanbul City Center. Check out top attractions like Spice Bazaar and Galata Bridge, and jump on the metro at Laleli-University Station or Aksaray Station to see more of the city.

Historical BuildingsCathedralsMuseums


Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are top sights in Fatih, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Aksaray Station or Yusufpasa Station to see more sights in the area.

CathedralsHistorical BuildingsChurches


Spend some time visiting places like Bagdat Avenue while getting to know Kadikoy, and be sure to check out the abundant dining options. You can hop aboard the metro at Bahariye Station or Kilise Station to see more of the area.



Visitors often come to Besiktas for its abundant dining options, but many stay to explore sights like Dolmabahce Palace and Ortakoy Mosque. Getting around the area on the metro is easy if you catch a ride at 4.Levent Station.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Istanbul on a sunny day?

What is Istanbul famous for?

Bring some walking shoes because there are lots of well-known attractions that are begging to be explored:

  • Blue Mosque
  • Hagia Sophia
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Basilica Cistern

What should I not miss in Istanbul?

You'll want to put these sights at the top of your must-see list to get the most out of your visit:

  • Taksim Square
  • Galata Tower
  • Bosphorus Bridge
  • Dolmabahce Palace

Are there cheap things to do in Istanbul?

A Double Fun: MarinaEye Ferris Wheel + Crocodile Park Aquarium assures a terrific time without costing a packet.

What can you do in Istanbul for free?

Your break in Istanbul needn't send you broke with free attractions like these to keep you busy:

  • Blue Mosque
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
  • Hippodrome of Constantinople
  • Taksim Square