One day in Istanbul itinerary – Top things to do in Istanbul, Turkey

Among the top tourism destinations in the world, we have a country called Turkey. Istanbul is second only to international tourism, second only to London. A visit to the city of Istanbul is a complete dip in a totally unique culture, with good gastronomy and many possible destinations. Everyone who has passed by guarantees to be an unforgettable trip there. Some even gave tips to take advantage of the biggest tourist destination within Turkey. Let’s plan some of the activities that anyone can consider to visit in one day in Istanbul.

One day in Istanbul itinerary


Guest post by Kazim Raza


What’s the best time to visit Istanbul?

One of the most enjoyable times of year for those planning a visit to Istanbul and wanting favorable weather conditions is undoubtedly spring, which runs from April to mid-June. More mild temperatures and beautiful days, excellent for those who like to photograph, also usually occur between September and October, in the middle of autumn.

July and August are very busy months in the city, which hosts a wide variety of festivals during this period. It is good to know, too, that the season is of intense heat; on the other hand, the days will be longer, perfect for those who enjoy nocturnal excitement.

Summer in Istanbul
Summer in Istanbul

Those who enjoy a cold should choose to go from November – remembering that additional snow, in the most tense winter phase, should always be considered.

It is also important that the visitor be aware of the dates of religious holidays in Turkey, when the visiting hours of some important points of the city can be reduced.


A few facts about Istanbul

Turkey is located on the Anatolian Peninsula, which lies in the far west of Asia. Turkey is bordered by Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. This country has many interesting curiosities, and if you intend to travel, spend the holidays or just visit Turkey, then before you check out some of the curiosities that we have separated for you.

There is one of the oldest and largest shopping malls in the world, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, or Kapalı Çarşı. It is almost impossible to explore everything in it. According to Travel + Leisure, the Grand Bazaar was the 1st attraction in the world in 2014, attracting more than 91 million people.

Istanbul has one of the most exciting art scenes in Europe. The lively Istanbul Biennial, now in its 14th edition, is a source of inspiration for the international art crowd, and with more than 300,000 visitors in 2013, is among the world’s leading contemporary art exhibitions.

There was where one of the first nesting beaches of sea turtles in the Mediterranean arose. Seeds of agriculture were sown in Turkey. Historians believe that agriculture began in these lands about 11,000 years ago.


One Day in Istanbul Itinerary

Top Things to do in Istanbul

Visit Istanbul and discover a real cauldron: take a boat trip along the Bosphorus after a busy morning stroll through the city’s museums, or forget about the bustle of the bazaars while lying under the tempered marble of a Turkish bath.

The city caters for all budgets. Along the Bosphorus, witness the abundant pomp of super clubs and red-carpet bars. But for those who have a low budget, consider staying in a cheap hostel or hotel in Istanbul and save your swaps to the bazaars and these cool things to do in Istanbul.

Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Istanbul.


Turkish Baths

Divided into male and female, you can easily spend time relaxing and opening your pores in the Turkish baths. Many are beautifully designed, and the marble of these places looks simply wonderful in contact with your skin. After being punched, exfoliated, massaged, washed and steamed, you will leave it as if you never needed to bathe again. Make sure you go to the baths located in the center, in Sultanahmet, for a truly authentic experience.


Purchases – Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar contains incredible 4000 stores occupying 60 streets. There, you will discover a world of carpets, antiques, costume jewelry, jewelry, leather goods and probably kitchen sinks (although they are not very suitable for suitcases). Some boutiques of great designers were emerging later, so the bazaar does not boil down to crafts for tourists. A stroll to the Spice Bazaar will stir your senses, and quite nearby is the Haci Bekir, the shop where the lokum (the Turkish delicacy) was apparently created.

Inside the Grand Bazaar
Inside the Grand Bazaar, Author: Stew Dean, Source: Flickr

Must See Museum of Modern Art in Istanbul

Museum of Modern Art in Istanbul is set in an old customs warehouse on the Karaköy border. Some permanent works include a suspended steel staircase, created by Monica Bonvicini, and in the library, an installation of hanging books by Richard Wentworth. The bistro, somewhat expensive, offers majestic views of the river. The museum also has an art cinema.


The Imposing Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The Sultanahmet Mosque, more commonly known as the Blue Mosque, is in the Sultanahmet complex. By order of the Sultan Ahmed I, this complex was built between 1609 and 1616, by the architect Mehmet Aga, in the southwestern part of the racecourse. Being one of the largest urban complexes in Istanbul, it included a mosque, a bazaar, public baths, water fountains, a cemetery, a hospital, a hospice, among others.

The Sultanahmet Mosque Blue Mosque Istanbul
The Sultanahmet Mosque – Blue Mosque
Inside of the Blue Mosque
Inside of the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is part of the most beautiful panorama of Istanbul, seen from the sea. In 1934, when Hagia Sophia became a museum, the mosque became one of the main mosques in Istanbul.

Istanbul Sea Panorama
Sea Panorama

Don’t Miss a Boat trips

It would not be vacation without a boat trip. Try cruises with guided tours of two pleasurable hours of up and down the river. The course is best if done in a pleasant evening. Rides cost from 20TRY and depart daily from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. If you are short on time, alternatively choose the ordinary, cheaper and faster boat.

Istanbul Boat Trip
Boat Trip

Nightlife in Istantbul – Visit Babylon

On hot nights, a rooftop terrace is ideal, so try going to the 360 – a bar, restaurant and club high in the historic district of Misir in Istiklal. Babylon is another popular spot in Istanbul, with popular live music. Located in the Tünel region, there you can enjoy some jazz to electronic music.

If you want to be close to the best of Istanbul’s nightlife, the Chambers of the Boheme is in the lively Taksim district. Its owners have devoted great attention to detail, and their rooms are elegantly decorated.


Where to stay in Istanbul?

To choose a hotel and the best neighborhood to stay in Istanbul, it is worth studying the map of the city. All the neighborhoods mentioned below are on the European side of Istanbul, since on the Asian side you do not see much tourist, being the great residential area of ​​the city.



The Sultanahmet district is home to the city’s main historical attractions, such as the Blue Mosque, the Haya Sofia Museum, Topkapi Palace, Roxelana Hammam, the Cisterns, the Hippodrome and the Archaeological Museum. Very close is the Bazaar, where you will find the Grand Bazaar, the spice market, some other mosques and the pier where ferries depart for the Bosphorus, next to the Galata Bridge. The Sultanahmet area is excellent for those who have a few days and are more interested in the history of the city.

Book hotels in Sultanahmet:

Boutique Saint Sophia
Boutique Saint Sophia
Boutique Saint Sophia
Hotel Miniature
Hotel Miniature
Hotel Miniature
Hotel Miniature
Hotel Miniature


Beyoglu (Karakoy) is a very central neighborhood that starts on the other side of the Galata Bridge (opposite the historical center), where is the Galata Tower and the great Istiklal Caddesi, a pedestrianized boulevard with many shops, cafes, restaurants, art galleries, bars.  There are many hotels with good cost x benefit in this region of Beyoglu, as well as being a young area and great for walking.

Book hotels in Beyoglu:

Walton Hotels Galata
Walton Hotels Galata
Walton Hotels Galata
Taksim Prelude Hotel 
Taksim Prelude Hotel
Taksim Prelude Hotel


Next, bordering the Bosporus comes the neighborhood of Besiktas, where is the Dolmabahce Palace and the main luxury hotels of the city. It is not far from the historical center of the city, but you cannot walk. However, by taxi, it would take about 10-15 min. Ideal for those who are looking for the best luxury hotels in the city, and want to have the privileged view of the Bosphorus.

Book hotels in Besiktas:

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul
Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Istanbul


Make your trip to Istanbul even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Istanbul or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.


Istanbul Turkey Top things to doIstanbul Turkey One day itinerary

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Istanbul Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!


Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.

Kazim Raza
Kazim Raza

My name is Kazim Raza and I am a professional blogger & Digital Marketer. If want to work with smart minded people and their payroll doesn’t matter for them then you are capable to afford me. I love to do branding because I’ve nine-year-old affair with it.
My aim is to work with all those people who want to do business with their business names only. They have vision and they are mature enough to play smartly.
If you can do work with that mentality then dare to contact me I would convert your coffee into a mindset which you should have for your business to bring it on next level.

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