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5 days in Istanbul

Hi all my wife daughter (6) and I are going to spend 5 days in Istanbul before we go to Barcelona. The plane ticket was the same price to do a stop over in Istanbul as it was to flying direct to Barcelona so we figured why not.  


We were hoping to get hear peoples experiences on things we might do in town, places to eat, neighborhoods to visit and just a good way to spend 5 days in this unique city.  


We will be looking to get an Airbnb and would live to hear where might be good areas for that. We wont have a car so we are looking to use taxis/Uber/public transportation.  


Any information about Istanbul is very appreciated.

7 Answers

answered by
Dave from Houston

We've stopped over on two previous Europetrips via Turkish Airlines from our home in Houston. We have had a great time and will do it again this year on the way home from Croatia

Here are a few things we particularly enjoyed from our previous trips.

The tram system is great. Download a map and read about ticketing before you leave. Traffic in Istanbul is backed up most of the time so cabs tend to be slower than the trams. Ride them.

Take the ferries. The same tram ticket works on them. Nice to get out on the water and see some different parts of the city. 

For a restaurant splurge, book a dinner reservation at Nicole. Expensive but this is top drawer fine dining. Ask for a window table because the view i spectacular.

Be sure to tour the Roman Cistern which is just a block or two from Hagia Sophia. Read about them before you go.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Europe (attraction)
  2. Croatia (country)
  3. Istanbul (city)
  4. Nicole (restaurant)
  5. Roman Cistern (attraction)
  6. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Atul from Chicago

I would suggest you stay very close to Hagia and this will save you amount of time.I was in Sept. For 5 days and stayed in Arden Cıty HotelArden city hotel @$50 pd.It worked out excellent.Only .25 miles to Hagia first day.Spend time very much at ease whole day or combine with Blue Mosqueopposite in walking distance. 

Next you may do cistern in evenings very close to hotel. 

Next day you may do palace at back of Hagia,the place known for harem quarters and very good collection of Islamic relics like sword of prophet Mohammed . 

Next amazing archeological museum .It might be under construction.But it remarkable colkection.then bazzer and get trip of Bosphorus and another palace. 

Make sure to buy 4 or 5 days ticket on entry to Hagia.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Arden Cıty Hotel (hotel)
  2. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  3. Bosphorus (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by

Take the Bosphorus cruise if you can. Walk down İstiklal MahallesiIstiklal. Go to Hagia Sophia.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bosphorus (attraction)
  2. İstiklal Mahallesi (attraction)
  3. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Terrell from Incline Village

all the answers are good. I would also try the Hamam near the Hagia Sophia for an amazing massage, and turkish bath. Don't miss the wonderful underground roman reservoir (was in a James Bond movie)...ask anyone as it is famous. Make sure to inspect the walls that stood for over 1000 years protecting the city

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by

We stayed in Sultanahmet (Best Western PLUS The President Hotel)-about 200 metres from Grand Bazaar and short distance to Beyazit tram station. Hagia SophiaTopkapi PalaceBasilica Cistern all within walking distance. Trams are very useful way of getting around. Short tram ride to Spice Bazaaras well. Try to get a Bosphorus boat trip in-good way to view some of the landmarks. There are a couple of very good folkloric shows. Would suggest a day trip to the Gallipolipeninsula if at all interested in history-can also do trips to Troy easily. Remember that if you visit the Blue Mosque (worth doing-so beautiful inside) that men should wear long trousers, and women should wear slacks or a long skirt, have arms and shoulders covered, and best to take a scarf to cover hair-don't let dress requirements put you off the experience

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sultanahmet (neighborhood)
  2. Best Western PLUS The President Hotel (hotel)
  3. Grand Bazaar (attraction)
  4. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  5. Topkapi Palace (attraction)
  6. Basilica Cistern (attraction)
  7. Spice Bazaar (attraction)
  8. Gallipoli (city)
  9. Troy (attraction)
  10. Blue Mosque (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Tom from Liverpool


I would definitely recommend taking a ride on the tram, it's a really cool experience and great way to get around the city.

1 thanks

answered by
A visit to a Turkish Bath or Hamam is one of the most memorable experiences to be had in Istanbul. Hamam (hammam) bath houses where you go into sauna room to sweat and open all your pores, then you get full body scrubbed with this magical glove called kese (kessa) and literally a ton of dirt and dead skin comes off from your body like eraser shavings. Afterwards you feel like a new born and your body feels so clean. I would recommend a source website about baths to visit in Istanbul.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Istanbul (city)

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