İstanbul Travel Tips, Guide

Tips for an unforgettable holiday in the Turkish metropolis

Have you ever been to beautiful Istanbul? The French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte once said: “If there were only one country in the world, Istanbul would be its capital”. Well, if Napoleon says that, then Istanbul must actually be a world metropolis, right? You can find out everything you need to know about the beautiful city, which is located in both Europe and Asia, in my Istanbul tips.

Sights in Istanbul

Once you arrive in Istanbul, there are endless things to do. Of course you can book guided tours and city tours, alternatively you can explore the city on your own. I recommend you to use the public transport in Istanbul. The streets of Istanbul are actually always crowded and chaotic. That’s why you shouldn’t drive yourself or take a taxi. Take a look at my Istanbul tips for sights and let yourself be inspired.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace was once the palace of the sultans. The gigantic complex is packed with Ottoman art treasures, including an 85-carat diamond. You should definitely check out the harem. The view from there alone is phenomenal. Each room is uniquely beautiful and you shouldn’t miss the gardens either.

Suleymaniye Mosque

In Istanbul you will find a variety of mosques and each one is special and beautiful in its own way. One of the most impressive mosques is the Süleymaniye Mosque. The mosque is located on a mountain, making it appear even larger and more impressive than it really is. From there you have one of the best views of the city.

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque with its six minarets is an absolute eye-catcher from the outside, but you definitely have to see it from the inside as well. The ceiling and domes are covered with thousands of hand-painted blue tiles.

Hagia Sophia

Directly opposite the Blue Mosque is the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s most famous building. Hagia Sophia was formerly a church, then a mosque and now a museum. An absolute must-see! Hagia Sophia has been turned into a mosque and admission is free.

Yerebatan Sarnici – The Sunken Palace

One of the most fascinating sights of Istanbul is Yerebatan Sarnici. This underground complex once served as a water reservoir for the city. Don’t miss the Sunken Palace supported by 336 columns! Attention: It is very humid there, so watch out for your cameras.

Istanbul’s magical bazaars

If you are in Istanbul, you must definitely go to at least one of the many beautiful bazaars. Don’t forget to bargain because it’s more than usual in Istanbul.

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is particularly beautiful. Here you will find more than 1,000 shops and the most beautiful little things: Persian carpets, silver jewellery, stained glass, water pipes or Turkish tea sets. So the perfect place to find a souvenir.

The Egyptian Bazaar

Arabian markets are a treat for the senses. Colourful, hectic and everywhere it smells of food. They have stalls full of perfect herbs, bins full of olives, dates and dried figs. The most beautiful of these is the Egyptian Bazaar. It’s always super crowded there, but that’s exactly what makes the bazaar so charming.

Culinary in Istanbul

Well, which one of you thinks of doner kebab first when you think of food in Turkey? However, this is a misconception. The popular kebab comes from our beautiful capital Berlin. In many kebab shops you can now get a Turkish black tea, often even for free. It is actually typical for Turkey and you can get the delicious Cay on every corner in Istanbul.

For breakfast there are different types of bread with numerous sweet and savory spreads, jam, cheese or honey. There is also Turkish kavé.

It is best to have breakfast in so-called breakfast places, where Turks not only meet to eat, but above all to spend time together.

Would that be something for you? But those with a sweet tooth among you can also have a good time in Istanbul.

You can find puddings in all shapes and colors on every corner.

If that’s not sweet enough for you, I recommend Lokum, small sweets made from gelatinized starch and sugar.

5 must-try tasty things in Istanbul:

Turkish coffee
Turkish black tea
Turkish delight

Even though you’ve probably eaten this before in Germany, you shouldn’t miss out on Köfte in Istanbul. Kofte are spicy meatballs that are served with different side dishes.

If you want to try something new, you should try Kororec in Istanbul. This dish consists of lamb intestines wrapped on a skewer and roasted over the fire until crispy. This is then chopped up and eaten in bread.

Insider tips in Istanbul

Istanbul is beautiful and has an incredible amount to see. But if you also want to see a few other corners of the world metropolis, I have a few Istanbul tips for you here.

At least since the Hollywood blockbuster 96 Hours – Taken 2 with Liam Neeson, we know that you should definitely admire Istanbul from above.

You have the best view over the city from the roofs of the city.

You often have to go to bars or restaurants for this.

But if you are more in the mood for a little adventure, I recommend the roofs of Valide Han, which are (still) an insider tip in Istanbul.

If you are interested in street art, you must definitely stroll through the streets of the Beyoglu district. There are really many small and large treasures to be discovered there.

You should also check out the Asian part of the exciting city. So you vacationed on two continents at the same time. Uskudar is particularly beautiful. My tip for you is to take the ferry there. Then you also have a small Bosphorus boat tour right away!

Turkey currency

If you are planning a holiday in Turkey, it is worth thinking about a travel credit card and comparing the free credit cards with each other. Because the official currency of the country is Turkish Lira. But it is also important to know that you can sometimes pay in euros in many holiday resorts.

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