Sitting on the edges of two Continents, Turkey’s capital is loaded with mosques, museums, and markets. Discover ancient Byzantium, classic Constantinople, and cosmopolitan Istanbul on your Istanbul holidays.
Things to Do in Istanbul
- Tour the enchanting city sights. Our top picks are the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. All are bound to impress history buffs and lovers of beautiful buildings alike.
- Haggle for bargains at the famous Grand Bazaar where you’ll find everything from Turkish carpets and crafted lamps, to leather bags and modern clothing. It’s huge, so bring a map.
- Sample the delicious street food. Grab a falafel or kebab from a vendor while touring the city. Or if you’d rather upgrade to a sit-down restaurant, we recommend Çiya Sofrasi.
- Sip cocktails with a view at 360 Istanbul. Few night-time activities surpass admiring a glittering city skyline from a rooftop bar, and 360 Istanbul is our favourite.
Best Time to Visit
Istanbul weather boasts hot summers with average temperatures of around 23°. This is however, also peak season so expect crowds and higher prices.
Winters are less appealing with temperatures of about 7° and occasional rainfall. Overall the best time to visit Istanbul would probably be around September or October, when the weather is warm, mostly dry, and there are fewer crowds.
Shopaholics should head to the Istanbul Shopping Fest in June for extended opening hours and discounts across numerous city malls and boutiques.
Art lovers should check out the Istanbul Biennial. Usually held from September to November, the Biennial features various exhibitions of contemporary artworks throughout the city.
Why We Love It
“Istanbul is offers amazing city breaks. The markets are incredible, you can get anything there. The history is also fascinating, the city is a must-see for anyone interested in ancient European and Middle Eastern history.”
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