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3 Days In Istanbul Itinerary

Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was as soon as notoriously called, was the old funding of the Roman and also Ottoman Empires. It was described as Basileousia, or “Queen of Cities” and also also today, it’s simple to see why.

3 days in Istanbul is simply adequate time to see this dynamic and also busy city is a big city that covers 2 continents; Asia and also Europe. As the funding of the Roman and also Ottoman Empire, you can anticipate to locate a myriad of historical and also interesting tourist attractions, from the renowned Blue Mosque, the old Hagia Sophia, the globe’s earliest and also biggest protected market, The Grand Bazaar, and also the below ground tanks. In this Istanbul schedule, you’ll see every one of these leading tourist attractions and also even more when you see this incredible city.

The Perfect 3 Days in Istanbul Itinerary

If you just have 3 days in Istanbul however wish to make one of the most out of your check out, don’t worry. In this three-day Istanbul schedule, you’ll have the ability to discover all the significant views that make this fantastic city so wonderful. We got the aid of The Turkey Traveler, the #1 traveling blog site on all points Turkey-connected. Offering expert ideas, suggestions, and also overviews, The Turkey Traveler is your supreme source to assist you intend the best journey when you check out Istanbul Turkey.

So, when you’re ready for the best Istanbul Itinerary? Let’s start…

Day 1 in Istanbul – Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet Square, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, a Sunset Bosphorus CruiseDay 2 in Istanbul – Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, Lunch At Eminonu, Galata Bridge, Galata Tower, Istiklal Street and also TaksimDay 3 in Istanbul – Turkish Bath (Hammam), Kadikoy, Camlica Mosque, Uskudar

An excellent method to discover Istanbul is to acquire an Istanbul Card. It stands for 7 days from the initial communication and also consists of skip-the-line tickets to Istanbul’s leading tourist attractions. It additionally consists of 10 trips for public transport and also coupons to Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, and also a Bosphorus Cruise.

Day 1 – Sultanahmet – Historic Center

There is no far better method to begin checking out Istanbul than leaping right right into its historical facility – Sultanahmet. It is residence to a few of one of the most renowned historic sites in Turkey – from the Hagia Sophia to the Blue Mosque. No schedule is full without a browse through to this area.


After appreciating a conventional Turkish morning meal, you’ll have lots of power to discover the old city. Better referred to as Kahvalti, a Turkish morning meal includes healed meats and also dips, fresh cheeses, egg, and also fresh breads consisting of a Turkish bagel. After the mouthwatering you’ll appreciate breads, honey, and also jams.

Hagia Sophia

3 days in istanbul itinerary hagia sophia

The most renowned site in Istanbul is perhaps Hagia Sophia, among the earliest structures in Istanbul. 

In truth, the structure was integrated in 537, each time when there was no Istanbul. When it was developed, Istanbul was Constantinople, a name offered to the city by the Byzantine Empire. For 1,100 years, Constantinople was the funding of the Byzantine Empire. And it wasn’t up until 1453 did the Ottoman Empire dominate it and also called it Istanbul.

That is why Hagia Sophia was initially a Catholic Cathedral. Once the city was confiscated by the Ottomans, it was become among one of the most substantial mosques in the city.

In 1934, the mosque was exchanged a gallery by the federal government. In 2020, the Hagia Sophia ended up being a working mosque once again, much to the pleasure of the Turkish individuals.

The Hagia Sophia has 4 turrets, which shows that the mosque was developed by the sultan. Its outside is lovely with tips of red and also gold, however the inside will certainly astonish you also better. It has large marble pieces and also a 32-meter primary dome that emanates only luxury.

Opening Hours: April to October: 9am to 7 pm day-to-day November to March – 9am to 6pm. (shut on Mondays)Free accessibility to Hagia Sophia with gallery pass or 72TL if paying at the entry.Tram quit – Sultanahmet

The Blue Mosque

Best Things to do in Istanbul Blue Mosque

Just mins far from the historical Hagia Sophia is an additional among Istanbul’s most renowned sites – The Blue Mosque additionally referred to as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Though the Blue Mosque could look extra outstanding than the Hagia Sophia, specifically with its unexpected 6 turrets, the Blue Mosque was just developed around 400 years earlier.

Parts of the Grand Palace of Constantinople were damaged to develop The Blue Mosque. There isn’t a great deal of background to The Blue Mosque, other than that it was developed by Sultan Ahmed I to increase the spirits of the Turkish individuals after the Fifteen Years’ War.

From the outside, you could question exactly how The Blue Mosque obtained its name. None of its outside is blue. Visitors will certainly recognize as soon as they tip within this spiritual site exactly how the mosque obtained its name. 

The dome of the mosque is covered with ornamental blue ceramic floor tiles that include typical Ottoman patterns. Along with the Islamic-design accessories that populate this large structure, the Blue Mosque is just a building work of art. 

Though it could not be as historic as Hagia Sophia, its lovely decoration is mosting likely to make you drop in love!

Sultanahmet Square

istanbl itinerary 3 days sultanahment square

After going to both most renowned mosques in Istanbul, walk about Sultanahmet Square. This is the park that links both The Hagia Sophia and also The Blue Mosque, however it has far more to supply site visitors.

Check out the Obelisk of Theodosius, an Egyptian tower that was re-erected right here in the fourth century advertisement. 

The park is full of embellished water fountains developed throughout the Ottoman duration. They acted as alcohol consumption water for tourists and also an area where Muslims might detoxify themselves prior to getting in a mosque to hope.

Before the Ottomans took control of Istanbul, Sultanahmet Square was a Hippodrome, an old Greek arena for steed auto racing and also chariot auto racing. That is why you could observe the strange form of the park. 

Before you avoid to the following quit of our 3-day Istanbul schedule, visualize what it resembled at that time!

See if you can locate an area that offers Turkish Ice Cream, or else called dondurma. The Turkish gelato right here includes a little efficiency when you acquire it, which alone deserves every dime (or Lira)!


Basilica Cistern

3 days in istanbul itinerary basilica cistern

Minutes far from Sultanahmet Square is just one of one of the most crucial structures for the everyday life of the Byzantine Empire – the Basilica Cistern. Built in 532 by Emperor Justinian, the Basilica Cistern is the largest of the numerous tanks that exist underneath Istanbul. 

Many of these tanks have actually broken down in time, however many thanks to the Basilica Cistern’s 336 columns and also great deals of maintenance, the tank is open to site visitors. Most of the columns originated from recovered holy places and also site visitors can still see the makings on a number of them.

The tanks were a below ground storage tank water supply that was developed to hold huge amounts of water and also accumulate rain. This water is after that provided to the whole city to ensure that every person can have tidy water to utilize. It’s among one of the most unbelievable old Greek modern technologies. This trip provides avoid the ticket lines to get in the Hagia Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, and also Basilica Cistern with a neighborhood host.

Opening Hours: Wednesday-Monday: 9 am to 7pm (from November to march 9 am to 5pm) Closed on Tuesdays.Cost: 72 TL (note this does not consist of the Harem) To publication the Harem, it is an additional 42 TL)

Topkapi Palace

3 days in istanbul itinerary topkapi palace

Topkapi Palace was integrated in 1460 after the occupation of Constantinople to act as the residence and also management structure for the Ottoman sultans. It took a total amount of 18 years to finish.

The splendour of the Topkapi Palace is obvious, however it wasn’t sufficient for the Ottoman sultans. Starting in the 17th century, the sultans began to choose investing their time in their royal residences along the Bosphorus Strait.

In the mid-19th century, Topkapi Palace was no more being used and also was become a gallery. Inside, site visitors will certainly locate lots of displays on Turkish background, huge yards, and also lovely yards.

But possibly one of the most renowned area of the Topkapi Palace Museum is the Harem, a personal quarter where the women participants of the sultan’s household lived. The tiling inside the Harem is similarly magnificent, otherwise, even more magnificent than the ones in the Blue Mosque.

Along with the tarnished glass home windows and also complex patterns throughout the entire inside, the Harem is absolutely nothing much less than impressive. Get an avoid the line ticket that consists of a directed trip of the Audience Hall, High Court, Historical Kitchens, and also The Treasury.


Sunset Bosphorus Cruise

Cruise on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey

No Istanbul schedule is full without appreciating a Bosphorus sundown cruise ship. The cruise ship leaves from the Golden Horn and also cruise ships around the Bosphorus Strait, among one of the most traditionally crucial bodies of water.

Today, the Bosphorus Strait serves as the border in between Europe and also Asia, so visitors practically obtain a scenic tour of 2 continents!

All Bosphorus sundown cruise ships will certainly display a few of one of the most crucial structures along the Bosphorus Strait, such as the Dolmabahce Palace and also Maiden’s Tower. Guests can additionally go under the outstanding Bosphorus Bridge that links Istanbul’s European side and also Asian sides.

Depending on the kind of cruise ship you’ve chosen, there may be food and also amusement aboard. We suggest choosing an extravagant Bosphorus supper cruise ship, so you can have the opportunity to example typical Turkish food like meze and also raki, along with experience social dancing like the Whirling Dervishes while drinking on Turkish coffee.

We took a private yacht cruise ship to absorb the views, and also this cruise ship takes you on a 2.5-hour watercraft cruise ship of the Bosphorus Strait to see Istanbul’s leading tourist attractions consisting of Galata Tower and also the Dolmabahçe Palace, both the Asian and also European Coasts the Küçüksu Palace which was the searching lodge of the Ottoman Empire.

Day 2 – Sultanahmet and also Taksim

You’ll be strolling a whole lot on the 2nd day of our 3-day Istanbul schedule, so see to it you use something comfy today! On the 2nd day, you’ll end up checking out the view in Sultanahmet and also head throughout the Galata Bridge right into Taksim, the supposed modern-day facility of Istanbul.


Grand Bazaar

3 days in istanbul itinerary grand bazaar

Start your 2nd day in Istanbul with among the earliest and also biggest protected markets worldwide – Grand Bazaar. It has an approximated overall of 61 roads and also over 4000 stores, implying that site visitors can invest a whole day right here and also possibly not see whatever.

An fascinating truth regarding Grand Bazaar  – it is taken into consideration the initial shopping center worldwide, that makes it the best location to acquire some keepsakes! 

You can locate a range of things right here – from affordable fakes to vintages. But if you are trying to find something to bear in mind your journey by, after that we suggest obtaining a great Turkish carpet, a Turkish light, or a nazar amulet.

When you are tired from pacing the roads, loosen up in among the neighborhood tea stores. Have a great Turkish Tea (çay in Turkish) and also a neighborhood treat prior to you proceed.

If you determine to acquire something (which you absolutely must), don’t neglect to discuss! The Turkish are great salespersons and also you can pay a whole lot greater than what the thing deserves!

Hours: 10 am to 6pmTram Stop – Beyazit Kapaliçarsi

Spice Bazaar

3 days in istanbul itinerary spice bazaar

Located a couple of mins from the Grand Bazaar is the Spice Market. Unlike the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar is instead little. There are just 2 roads, and also they create the letter L.

Constructed in the 17th Century, the Spice Bazaar is much more recent than the Grand Bazaar and also site visitors can instantly inform by the minute they stroll in. It is far more modern-looking and also stylish than the Grand Bazaar.

But possibly one of the most striking attribute of the Spice Bazaar is the scent. When you enter, your fragrance is instantly bewildered by the various seasonings. A mix of sweat, tea, seasonings, and also natural herbs develop a unique scent that is renowned to the Spice Market. If you wish to acquire Turkish tea, the Spice Bazaar is an excellent location to do so. 

Hours: 10 am to 6pmTram Stop – Beyazit – Kapaliçarsi


Lunch At Eminonu

3 days in istanbul itinerary lunch where to eat

Once you have actually completed your purchasing spree in those fairs, it is time to example some neighborhood foods. Luckily, Eminonu, the area where the Spice Bazaar lies, is the best location to do so.

This busy area is an excellent location to example Turkish food. Unlike dining establishments in Sultanahmet that are targeted towards visitors, the dining establishments right here draw in residents many thanks to their budget friendly costs and also straightforward Turkish tastes. 

The finest method to experience Eminonu is to walk and also see what you such as. Our preferred dining establishment in Eminonu is Sehzade Cag Kebap. Its lamb sis kebap is so abundant in taste and also thaws in your mouth!

Galata Bridge

3 days in istanbul itinerary galata bridge

After a passionate lunch, it is time to proceed checking out Istanbul. Head over to the Galata Bridge, which links the historical facility of Istanbul with its modern-day facility. The bridge covers throughout the Golden Horn, a renowned body of water and also among one of the most preferred areas for angling. 

It is not unusual to see neighborhood anglers aligned from one side of the bridge right to the various other.

All the anglers generate a lots of seagulls. Combined with the wide range of pedestrians and also watercrafts originating from in and also out, strolling throughout Galata Bridge is a renowned minute. Though just 490 meters long, it can take a little bit of time to make clear!

Galata Tower

3 days in istanbul itinerary galata tower

Perhaps one of the most renowned tourist attraction in the modern-day facility of Istanbul is Galata Tower in the Beyo?lu District. The tower was integrated in 1348 under the policy of the Byzantine Empire. At 63 meters in the air, it was the highest tower at that time and also acted as component of Constantinople’s stronghold.

Nowadays, the Galata Tower is just one of the most effective locations in Istanbul for scenic sights of the city. From the veranda, you can see Sultanahmet, Golden Horn, Bosphorus Strait,  and also also the Asian side of Istanbul on a great day.

Besides appreciating the stunning sights, see to it you discover the displays that information the background of the Galata Tower. This tower was a vital part of both the Byzantine and also Ottoman Empire’s background.

Opening Hours of Galata Tower: 9 am to 7 pmCost: 35 TL


Istiklal Street and also Taksim

istiklal street istanbul itinerary

The last task on the 2nd day of our 3 days in Istanbul schedule is to discover Istiklal Street and also the Taksim area.

Istiklal Street is a 1.4-kilometer (0.87-mile) pedestrian-only road in Istanbul that is constantly busy. Home to countless dining establishments, stylish bars, and also stylish coffee shops, you can invest hrs right here and also not see a few of the most effective points it needs to supply.

Here you’ll locate the historical Istiklal cable car that covers half the period of Istiklal Street. Though it may be alluring to obtain on it and also conserve on your own a long time, the cable car might be slower than strolling as a result of all the pedestrian web traffic!

The finest method to see Istiklal Street is to simply walk and also enter into any type of stores that could expensive you. Don’t miss out on the treat stores and also the opportunity to experiment with baklava, the nationwide treat of 

Turkey. There are numerous tastes to it however you can’t fail with the initial pistachio taste.

As you stroll up Istiklal Street, you’ll at some point locate on your own in Taksim Square. Many individuals think about Taksim Square to be the heart of modern-day Istanbul, and also you’ll absolutely see a whole lot extra global brand names such as Mcdonald’s, Burger King, Marriott, and also the sort right here.

istanbul itinerary 3 days kebabs

On the western side of Taksim Square (near the entry of Istiklal Street) are numerous doner kebabs stores. If you haven’t obtained the opportunity to attempt them yet, this is the location to go. Just anticipate a lengthy line and also a great deal of starving individuals pushing around!

Before you leave, appreciate a great supper at one of the roof dining establishments near Taksim. Our preferred is 360 Istanbul, and also it has actually gained its name for the 360-degree sights its penthouse deals. 360 Istanbul normally becomes a great night life place later on in the evening. 

If you wish to take a look at the night life in Istanbul, this is an excellent location to do so. Otherwise, there are countless alternatives along Istiklal road!

An excellent traveling suggestion is to obtain an Istanbul Museum Pass to avoid the line to preferred galleries like Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and also Harem, Great Palace Mosaics and also extra preferred galleries in Istanbul with the led trip application. Check out this pass right here.

Day 3 – Asian Side Of Istanbul

Our last day in Istanbul covers the Asian side of Istanbul as well as additionally provides something a little bit even more relaxing. 


Turkish Bath (Hammam)

spa etiquette tips
Dave’s prepared for his Hammam

After a lengthy day of walking Istanbul, I assume it is time to loosen up. Luckily, there is the best location in Istanbul to do so – a Turkish Bath, or Hammam in Turkish.

Turkish Baths were a vital part of Islamic society, acting as an area where site visitors can clean themselves prior to getting in a mosque, and also an area where visitors can interact socially.

Nowadays, a Turkish Bath is even more of an enjoyable experience where visitors can appear entirely rejuvenated and also among the most effective points to do in Istanbul.

There are lots of Hammams in Istanbul, however we suggest Ca?alo?lu Hammam. Built in 1741, it is just one of the last bathrooms developed under the Ottoman Empire. The inside of the Ca?alo?lu Hammam is lovely and also appears like a gallery of its very own.

When it concerns experiencing a Turkish Bath, there are numerous bundles to pick from. Depending on exactly how you wish to be spoiled, you can pick something that is extra extensive or something much shorter.

Before you go, see to it you take a look at the various bundles Ca?alo?lu Hammam provides on their main website!



istanbul itinerary three days european side

Now that you’ve experienced the piece de resistances on Istanbul’s European side, it is time to head over to the Asian side. The Asian side is recognized for its unbelievable food and also even more easygoing way of life. With lots of houses, it is just one of the most effective locations to remain in Istanbul for family members.

Our initially quit on the Asian side is Kadikoy, an area recognized for its budget friendly dining establishments with genuine tastes. Seafood is a specialized on the Asian side, so don’t lose out on the opportunity to attempt some packed mussels and also fish sandwiches!

Head in the direction of the sub-neighborhood of Moda, where you can locate a boardwalk along the Bosphorus Strait. Go for a brief walk and also absorb the stunning sights and also revitalizing sea air prior to heading to your following location! 

Camlica Mosque

3 days in istanbul itinerary camlica mosque

Built in 2019, the Camlica Mosque is a brand-new tourist attraction you don’t usually locate in any type of manuals. But if you are following our Istanbul schedule, you’ll not lose out on this surprise treasure.

The Camlica Mosque is the largest mosque in all of Turkey and also its modern-day building and construction makes it a stunning site. Besides being a mosque, it includes an art gallery, a collection, and also a gallery.

Everything in the Camlica Mosque simply mentions high-end and also luxury.

Don’t lose out on the large yard that flaunts stunning sights of the Bosphorus Bridge. Perched in addition to a hillside, the sights from there are magnificent. The Camlica Mosque is located in Camlica Park, a large environment-friendly room that is preferred for family members to appreciate the outdoors. 

If you are still early in the mid-day, invest a long time walking about. You’ll be happy for some fresh air after the previous 2 days on the European Side.



3 days in istanbul itineray Uskudar

After you are done checking out the Camlica Mosque and also its large premises, head over to the enchanting area of Uskudar on the Asian Side. This area is recognized for its busy fish markets and also a long-stretching boardwalk with lots of relaxing coffee shops.

Facing west, the coasts of this seaside area is just one of the most effective locations to capture the sundown in Istanbul. But what makes Uskudar much more magnificent is the historic Maiden’s Tower that rests simply a couple of hundred meters off the coast.

At the best place, the sunlight establishes behind this Byzantine-age stronghold and also its shape is simply stunning.

After the sunlight collections, walk the area and also locate a fish and shellfish dining establishment with a sight for supper!

Where to Stay in Istanbul

Swissotel The Bosphorus – This first-class high-end resort right remains in the centre of Istanbul on the European financial institutions of the Bosphorus. It is a best area for checking out Istanbul with a roof swimming pool and also complimentary WiFi. Check out Availability & Prices at AdvisorSura Hagia Sophia – Located in Sultanahmet, this 5-star resort is completely located to all the piece de resistances. The resort additionally provides a properly designed yard with an appealing swimming pool location and also Free Happy Hour. Check out Availability & AdvisorElite World Europe Hotel – Situated near to the airport terminal, this newly-opened resort provides high-end at bargain. Perfect for a stopover or to stay clear of Istanbul web traffic if you have a trip leaving in the morning hrs. Check out Availability & Prices Advisor

Tips For Visiting Istanbul

turkish delight in istanbul
Make certain to attempt Turkish Coffee and also Turkish Delight

Bring comfy footwear – Istanbul is a city that is finest found walking. The city has a label of “City on the Seven Hills”, so see to it you bring some comfy footwear to walk the city!Dress cautiously – Though Turkey is a little extra liberal than many Muslim nations, it is still a Muslim nation. Make certain you won’t use something as well enlightening. For the mosques, males cannot use storage tank tops and also their trousers need to cover their knees. Hats are additionally not permitted. Women need to cover their heads, shoulders, and also knees. You’ll require to use a headscarf to cover your head prior to you get in. Be Mindful of the Prayer Times – If you intend on going to the mosques, see to it you take a look at the petition times. Visitors are not welcome throughout this moment.Get an Istanbulkart – The Istanbulkart is a requirement when utilizing Istanbul’s transport system. It is a clever contactless card that is made use of to pay the price. You can obtain one from many significant public transport terminals.You might additionally such as: Etiquette in the Middle East- Travel for Men and also Women

To reach and also from the airport terminal, we (Dave and also Deb) took Their solutions were expert and also pleasant! It behaved to have an indication with our name on it waiting on us when we landed at the chaotic airport terminal.

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