Things to Do in Istanbul

Things to Do in Istanbul, Turkey - Istanbul Attractions

Things to Do in Istanbul

Top Attractions in Istanbul

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*Likely to sell out: Based on Viator’s booking data and information from the provider from the past 30 days, it seems likely this experience will sell out through Viator, a Tripadvisor company.

What travelers are saying

  • Bwyd
    Jersey, UK244 contributions
    When visiting Istanbul this must be near the top of anyone's "Must Visit" list. A number of the rooms are stunning, the setting is superb and the history of the palace is fascinating. All offering a great insight into how life in the palace was for those who's home this was.

    A few comments that might be of help, based on our visit on a Friday in May.

    1. We timed our arrival for lunch time and found the queue acceptable. It only took us 20 minutes to get in. Towards the end of our visit it was getting very busy, as the afternoon visitors caught up with us.

    2. If you like a rest, or just want to sit down and soak in the atmosphere, take any empty bench you can. There are far too few and many people end up simply sitting on the grass. They should put more benches in and if cost is an issue, get firms, or families, to sponsor them.

    3. If the first cafe you come across is full there are others. Good quality / good value.

    4. The Art Gallery is well worth a visit. However the lighting in some of the rooms is minimal and like large parts of the Palace it is easy trip on the door sills and the like. They need to address this issue.

    5. In some reviews visitors are critical of the staff. We found many of them to be very friendly and helpful. A simple and cheery "Good Afternoon" was always responded to.

    6. Photos. I wanted to take a number of photographs, but observed their rules forbidding it. Frustrating as many/many people were taking pictures on their mobiles. I suggest it is allowed, or people are asked to leave them in a locker.

    7. Photos again. A number of interested people back home are following our trip to Istanbul. I think that the Palace marketing team has missed an opportunity for visitors to promote visitor numbers as people back home cannot see how splendid the interior is. Perhaps they don't want additional visitors?

    In summary a great place to visit on any trip to Istanbul.
    Written May 21, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Greg W
    Port Macquarie, Australia59 contributions
    Hagia Sophia is very special but without a guide you would miss so many interesting details. It is a fascinating place that reflects so much history, and it is great to find somewhere that has integrated Christianity and Islam peacefully. There are licensed guides in the plaza before entry and our expeience with one of them was excellent. You have to remove shoes so be prepared, and, of course, ladies need a head scarf.
    Written May 26, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • sophia f
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK160 contributions
    I’d be shocked if you don’t get scammed. But it’s a grEat place to stay would highly recommend.
    Just have a look round first and take it easy. Don’t buyANYTHING ON YOUR FIRST THREE DAYS. Just walk and ask prices.
    Look for the better deals and never say you’re from a “rich” country
    Written May 25, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Irfaan S
    Collingwood, Canada2 contributions
    Wonderful happy place. Dont miss the terrace restaurants at the back with a view of the Golden Horn.
    Written May 17, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • sophia f
    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK160 contributions
    Go early, even with skip the queue you can be caught. Advise “get your guide” company, go round the back entrance if needed.
    Will take about 5 hours including the harem.

    Really really bad toilets and food . Advise to have a plan for this.
    Written May 23, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Christiaan Verhoef
    Den Helder, The Netherlands21 contributions
    The Bosphorus Strait is a wonderful place for all chilling and relaxing times. The water is a very chill place and there are a lot of cute shops and food stalls everywhere. I really suggest taking a ferry boat trip across the Strait even if you don't have to. It is a really really nice experience to do. My favorite place is the part across the park near the Blue Mosk.
    Written April 28, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Aviral K
    Colorado2 contributions
    The old town is amazing. I recommand you to have a tour guide because istnabul is lots of history everywhere. I enjoyed the city at max with my guide
    Written May 12, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • LPR1988
    Windsor and Maidenhead, UK1,059 contributions
    We didn’t discover this park during our January 2022 trip and we’re so happy we came across it in May.

    We were visiting over Ramadan/Eid and noticed as we were walking along all these people going through a little walkway.

    We decided to see what everyone was doing and discovered this stunning park!

    There was a tulip festival on so beautiful flowers everywhere, it was just a shame that some people trample on the flowers/flowerbeds to get a good Instagram picture!

    You could spend hours here. The park seemed massive and there was also a museum and a restaurant.
    Written May 20, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Eileen K
    Bel Air, Maryland, United States2 contributions
    The area around Galata is charming, with cobblestone streets, fun tourist shops. and. sophisticated boutiques and innumerable coffee shops and bistros. Easy to get around on public transit. Make a point. of learning how to manage it. Traffic is intense and taxi rides can take a long time day or night. A $10 bill is the best option, With Uber, drivers negotiate. Unbelievably steep streets paved with cobblestones, Bring good shoes! Being fit is highly recommended! Haga Sofia on Hippodrome a must. Also laser show at Basilica Cistern. Grand Bazaar intense and crowded. Can find bargains, but be wary. Not my thing, but. others in. our group loved it.Very ancient, Masking not common there. We had a city guide for a day. Recommend that. We were there a week in May. for a wedding with adults. Fabulous and reasonably priced. Lovely weather; a few rainy days. Being there in heat and summer tourist season could be a different story.
    Our Airbnb host Dodo at Urban Bridge was gracious and so helpful ! He got us into fabulous restaurants and gave lots of helpful hints. Our apartment on Ekkrem Caddesi street was modern and well equipped including washer dryer, pleasant kitchen, including coffee and water bottles and a water cooler, necessary because water tastes awful. Two modern bathrooms with huge showers. Neigborhood cats and some dogs everywhere. All fed by everyone. If you are highly allergic could be a problem. Charming though. Overall, a fabulous city populated by friendly people.
    Written May 21, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • SEAchange2018
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia73 contributions
    This would be one of the best interactive museums i have visited. The breadth of displays that let you see how stuff works and understand the internal mechanisms is fantastic. Something for everyone, planes, trains, automobiles, boats. Good food available beside it as well at reasonable prices. 10\10 here, do yourself a favor and catch the ferry.
    Written May 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Ina G
    226 contributions
    Gorgeous park to visit in April during the Tulip Festival. The park is far from the city center, but it is really worth a visit! Thousands and thousands of colorful tulips, gorgeous views. I started my visit on top of the hill and made my way down to the sea. So magnificent to be in. Paradise garden and then wonder by the sea
    Written May 3, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Ina G
    226 contributions
    It is a great little park. I was expecting it to be larger as per the descriprions, but really it does have most of Turkey’s monuments in miniature. This is how you manage to get a picture of the entire Hagia Sophia 😊
    Written May 3, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • D333
    1 contribution
    A wonderful place to see!
    In my opinion, it reaches the top 3 of the most beautiful places in Istanbul.
    The view over the Bosphorus is truly magical, mostly at night.
    Written March 27, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Eko
    Istanbul, Turkey3 contributions
    Some shoe polisher men drop their brush whenever they pass nearby, if you pick that up to give to the polisher, he insists on polishing your shoes. When they polish, they may ask for an unreasonable fee after polishing which then may turn into a huge fight.
    Written April 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
  • Ani M
    3 contributions
    Amazing place, unique spirit.... Was fascinated by the wall masterpieces kept in the years. Hope all those great paintings will be saved for the next generations.
    Written December 11, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frequently Asked Questions about Istanbul


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