10 best things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul stands on the edge of both Europe and Asia, where like the continents, history and modernity seamlessly intertwine. It captures the hearts of all who venture into this captivating city with its rich history, stunning architecture, and buzzing energy. We at flydubai have compiled a list of top things you can do on your next trip to the city.

1. Explore the famous Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

Built in the 15th century, the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul served as the residence and administrative centre of the Ottoman sultans. Visiting the palace allows you to explore its stunning architecture, extensive courtyards, imperial treasury, weaponry, and jewels from the lavish lifestyle of the Ottoman rulers.

2. Marvel at the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque

Hagia Sophia

A short walk from the Topkapi Palace stands the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, an architectural wonder with its massive dome, complex mosaics, and soaring minarets serving as proof of the unique blend of Byzantine and Islamic influences. Just a stone's throw away is the majestic Blue Mosque, with its cascading domes and six minarets, standing as a symbol of Istanbul's spiritual depth.

3. Put on your bargaining hat for the Grand Bazaar


Be ready to bargain as you buy exotic spices, carpets, dazzling jewellery, and souvenirs from one of the world’s largest covered markets, the bustling Grand Bazaar, a maze of shops and stalls that has enchanted visitors for centuries.

4. Have dinner while cruising on the Bosphorus


Book a cruise on the iconic Bosphorus Strait. The silhouette of minarets and the grandeur of palaces along the waterfront create a mesmerising image that captures Istanbul's allure.

5. Travel back in time to the Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern in Istanbul is an ancient underground water reservoir. A visit to this hidden gem allows you to explore the iconic Medusa heads, and the striking web of marble columns, and catch a glimpse of the architectural brilliance of the Byzantine Empire.

6. Be mesmerized by the skyline at the Galata Tower

Galata District Tower

With its unique architecture and panoramic observation deck, Galata Tower sums up Istanbul's beauty. As you walk around the surrounding streets, have a cup of freshly brewed Turkish coffee from one of the many cosy cafés with live jazz music.

7. Feast on the city’s culinary delights


From sizzling doner kebabs, mouth-watering baklavas, and dolmas to the world-famous Turkish ice cream, Istanbul’s cuisine is a celebration of taste and tradition. Nothing beats munching on one of Istanbul’s most iconic street foods, the balik-ekmek, a fried fish sandwich garnished with lettuce and caramelized onions while soaking up views of the Bosphorus.

8. Pause for reflection at St. Antoine Church

St. Antoine Church

It’s a Roman Catholic landmark known for its stunning neo-Gothic architecture, which offers visitors a chance to engulf themselves in its spiritual ambience and witness the co-existence of different faiths within this metropolis.

9. Book a tour to Cappadocia for fascinating hot air balloon rides


Take some time off from the hustle-bustle of Istanbul city and go on a trip to Cappadocia, which is approximately 570 km from Istanbul. Engage yourself in the outdoor wonders of Cappadocia, stay the night in a cave hotel in Göreme, and take a hot air balloon ride right in the morning and watch the sunrise over the exceptional landscape.

10. Have fun at Istanbul Theme Park


Vialand is an amusement park in Istanbul offering thrilling rides, family-friendly attractions, live shows, shopping, and dining options. It provides a fun-filled experience for visitors of all ages, making it a must-visit destination for entertainment enthusiasts.

Book your flight to Istanbul with flydubai and begin your expedition to a city that will forever hold a special place in your heart.

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