Istanbul is a living, breathing big city. It’s the only city in the world that connects Europe and Asia together. Visitors usually find it overwhelmingly beautiful, filled with history and good food as well as friendly people. As the world’s 5th most crowded city, there is something new to do in Istanbul everyday. Good news is, cheap flights to Istanbul aren’t that difficult to find. However, the city itself might be expensive if you do not have a guide so booking private tours in Istanbul is always a good idea. Flights to Istanbul from Europe usually take around 3-5 hours, which makes Istanbul one of the easiest and best cities to visit.

The history of Istanbul begins with Roman Empire, in year 330, when it was called Constantinople. It was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1453. Although people used the name Istanbul before, it became the official name in the 19th century. Istanbul actually means “in the city” in Greek, which originally reads “stim’boli”. For the biggest part of history, Istanbul’s population was ethnically diverse and the city fed from many cultures. Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Jewish people, Roma people, Kurds and Arabs lived in Istanbul and to this day you can find these ethnic minorities and their legacies scattered across the city.

If you were wondering where to go in Istanbul, the better question would be where to start. A map with all the landmarks would be helpful and if you are going to one area to see a few landmarks, we recommend that you spare your whole day. Best way to discover Istanbul is by walking but you can also get a “Istanbul Kart” from any station, and use it for any public transport. If you are planning to visit museums as well, you should get a museum card that would cheapen the total price for entering museums in Istanbul.

Getting around in Istanbul is a little challenging for someone who doesn’t know the city. Subway, Vapur, Dolmuş and Minibüs are the easiest means of transportation but you can always take a taxi or Uber. You can try your luck on Citymapper or the City’s Guide or you can also buy a Istanbul travel guide. Must see places in Istanbul are; Sultanahmet, Eminönü, Galata, Taksim, Beşiktaş, Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek, Karaköy, Kadıköy, and Moda.

Best Hotels in Istanbul

The location of your hotel is going to be the most important part of your stay. We listed some of the best hotels in Istanbul with good locations below. 

10 Karaköy Istanbul 
Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel
Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus 
DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul 
Rixos Pera Istanbul

Things to do in Istanbul

This sleepless city is fast-paced and vibrant so you can never run out of things to do in Istanbul. There is always an event to join just around the corner. You can discover these events in Istanbul on Facebook or on online blogs such as Yabangee. Here’s our list of 6 things to do in Istanbul:

1. See all the landmarks you can from this list:
Hagia Sophia
Basilica Cistern
Süleymaniye Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Ortaköy Mosque
Galata Tower
Maiden’s Tower
2. Take a boat tour in Bosphorus or cross the sea with “vapur” (make sure to have a toastie with çay, we mean: Turkish tea)
3. Ride the red nostalgic tram in Taksim
4. Walk along the Marmara sea in Bebek
5. Have a huge Turkish breakfast
6. Eat all the street food! Including; içli köfte, midye dolma (stuffed mussels), roasted chestnuts, simit, ıslak hamburger (wet burger), kokoreç, tantuni, and definitely drink boza

Top Restaurants in Istanbul

Food in Istanbul is a blessing. Everything is mouth-watering; from fine dining to street food, options are endless. Best places to eat in Istanbul are always busy. You can try to go to independent cafes and restaurants in Istanbul for good food. 

We listed some of the recommended places to go in Istanbul for you but don’t pass up on street food either!

Raki & Fish, and for the meyhane lifestyle: Asmalı Cavit 
For unlimited baklava: Karaköy Güllüoğlu 
For a classic loved by the locals: Çiya Sofrası 
For exquisite ice cream on a hot sunny day: Yaşar Usta’nın Dondurması 
For traditional Turkish food and deserts: Yanyalı Fehmi Lokantası 

Istanbul Night Life Guide

Night life in Istanbul ranges from bars where you can sing along to live music to techno dance clubs. We listed some of the best places to go in Istanbul at night.

A night of Jazz at Nardis Jazz 
Live music and dance nights atBabylon
An alternative music night Peyote Club 
Dance all night at Minimüzikhol 
Spend the night in Asia at Arka Oda 

We all need the right holidays that will be worth the money and will give us energy. You can’t leave that to chance. So book your trip with Right Holidays, your trusted local travel agency since 2005.


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