Ancient Paths: Must-Visit Attractions In Istanbul, Turkey

PUBLISHED: May 19, 2019

Istanbul is a unique place, a crossroads of Middle Eastern, Asian, and European culture. There are countless things to do to keep you engaged with the local activities, so don’t be shy and try to absorb as much of the rich culture and customs as you can. Granted, with so many things vying for your attention, it can be difficult to determine which are the most worthy of your limited time. So, with that in mind, we’ve compiled the absolute best things to do while you’re in Istanbul, Turkey, so that you can experience the broadest range of memory-making moments.

Visit the Grand Baazar

The Grand Bazaar boasts over 5,000 unique shops and spans an astonishing 60 streets. It has a history as one of the most important trading posts as far back as the 1400s, and it remains the case today. Here, you can not only experience one of the most thrilling shopping experiences ever but also revel in the fact that you are traversing the ancient paths of countless bygone merchants and adventurers. Much of the architecture you’ll pass reflects its deep heritage, with restored buildings that maintain their history.

Take a Trip Down to Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue is to Turkey what Time Square is to New York City. A thriving metropolitan area, it is nonetheless relatively relaxed despite being visited by an eye-popping three million people daily. This is in part due to its wide, sweeping streets, and excellent use of public transportation. You can certainly hop on a streetcar yourself, as they are plentiful.

You’ll probably prefer to walk the one and a half kilometer walkway, which hosts as many destinations as the Grand Bazaar does stores. Here, the emphasis is on cinemas, clubs, cafes, and boutiques. If you’ve never enjoyed the soft, delicious Turkish Delight candy, which is traditional rose-flavored and is the precursor to the modern jellybean (but a million times better and softer), this is the perfect place to fall in love with it.

There is also beautiful architecture on display, as just about everywhere in Turkey. After you’ve taken it all in, take the historic tram to Taskim Square and adore the gorgeous monument of the republic.

Spend a Night in Ortakoy

A secret partying spot for celebrities such as Madonna, Ortakoy is a prime party destination. This area was once home to a fishing village, but in recent decades it has transformed into the chicest of Turkish residents looking to live the high life. Even if you’re not interested in visiting the clubs and bars to party hard, a stroll through the gorgeous colors for a glass of wine is a must. The city is absolutely radiant here, made all the better by the fact it is all waterfront.

Cruise the Bosphorus

Asian Istanbul is a shortstop and easily accessible by a quick boat ride via the Bosphorous Cruise. It’s not often you get to visit two continents separated by mere minutes of travel time, so take advantage. This opens up a whole new city that’s worth exploring for the day, replete with its own markets, boutiques, restaurants, and culture.

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