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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

Top 10 Istanbul, Turkey Things to Do

Istanbul, Turkey boasts over 2,500 years of history as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Istanbul, Turkey is known for its incredible landmarks like the Hagia Sophia, Bosphorus Strait, and Grand Bazaar.

With my travel to 7 continents now 35+ countries, my spirit and soul called me to explore Istanbul, Turkey. It became a reality in May 2022 with five day travels.

During my travel experience in Istanbul, Turkey, my parents and I stayed within five minutes of the Galata Tower in Beyoğlu district. The once in a lifetime trip to Istanbul was extra special because I traveled with my parents after adventures in Portugal and years of full-time travel before returning to Atlanta, GA.

It is time to put Istanbul, Turkey on your bucket list.

Beyond its rich history, Istanbul is known for being the city where Asia and Europe meet, Turkish Baths, and market experiences with the Grand and Spice Bazaar. Fun Fact: My mom spent three months working at the Grand Bazaar and living with a Turkish family in her 20s!

Beyond the land mass of Istanbul, Turkey, the bodies of water surrounding the city include Marmara Sea in the south, Black Sea in the north, and the connection of the Bosphorus Strait.

Istanbul, Turkey Things to Do
Istanbul, Turkey Things to Do

Turkey History

Turkey is a historical, cultural, and bucket list phenomenon for travelers from all walks of life for good reason. Its history takes us beyond 23,000 BC, earliest known human communities, stone and copper ages, St Pauls travels, Crusader armies, conquest of Constantinople, and Ottoman Empire.

According to most sources, Istanbul, Turkey is over 90% Muslim.

Geographically, Turkey is bounded on the north by the Black Sea, on the northeast by Georgia and Armenia, on the east by Azerbaijan and Iran, on the southeast by Iraq and Syria, on the southwest and west by the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea, and on the northwest by Greece and Bulgaria.

Whether you will spend one day in Istanbul, Turkey, or 5 days like I did, you will love it.

It's not easy to narrow down Istanbul, Turkey to a Top 10 Things to Do, but here goes!

Istanbul, Turkey Top 10 Things to Do

  • Visit Galata Tower

  • Cruise Bosphorus River

  • Spend a Half to a Full Day at a Turkish Bath

  • Unplug at Gulhane Park

  • Visit Grand and Spice Bazaar for clothes, rugs, spices, lamps, luggage and more!

  • Marvel at Hagia Sophia

  • Walk through Blue Mosque

  • Visit Topkapi Palace

  • Catch sunrises and sunsets in the city

  • Enjoy foodie favorites like breakfast, Turkish Tea + Coffee + Delights

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey is a must on any global travelers list for its history of four empires, architecture marvels, and cultural experiences.


Turkish. English is spoken in tourist areas.


It has a Mediterranean climate with warm summers and mild winters. The hottest and coldest months are typically July and February, respectively.


Lira. Euro and Dollars may be used in some tourist areas.


Debit and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. Mostly souvenir and street food stands take only cash. You may find ATMs virtually everywhere. Be careful which ATMs you use as some are bank specific (It is easy to get confused as many will still have all the card logos). I did this by accident and got my card confiscated.


  • 23,000+ years of history and culture

  • Two continents meet in Istanbul, Turkey

  • Turkish is the official language

  • Over 90% Muslim recognized city

  • More than 1.2 million foreigners live in Istanbul

  • May live comfortably on about $1,000 monthly

Galata Tower in Istanbul, Turkey