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You have 1 day and 1 night in Istanbul. What would you do?

Doesn't matter if you or I have been before, or will ever return. That's up to you! I want to know your personal answer to this.

Snapshot trip! What would you do? What would you try to see? Where and what would you eat or drink?

4 Answers

top answer by
Tony from Seattle

Istanbul was our favorite big city in 10 months of non-stop travel.

I would NOT stay in the Sultanahmet area, but you should definitely go there.  I would stay in Kadıköy, a hip Asia-side neighborhoods with open air markets, sidewalk cafes, and (relatively) few tourists.  It's young, hip, and has great energy.

From there you can take a cheap/quick ferry across and take the streetcar/train to Sultanahmet, where the famous stuff is (Blue MosqueBasilica Cistern, and Hagia Sophia Istanbul Old City).  The Cistern is awesome and super quick, as is the Mosque (go inside- you're welcome as long as you're dressed appropriately-- no knees or shoulders showing, ladies).  

The Hagia Sophia is a longer affair, but is obviously worth it if that's your sort of thing.

If you're feeling lazy, you could also hop on the ferry going up the Bosphorus - it's a great/cheap visual tour of the city and bounces from Europe to Asia, which is cool.  Go to Kanlica, which is famous for yogurt (worth getting-- I was skeptical).

Eat at Ciya Kebap.  There's a full post on it here (you should spend a few hours on her blog-- it's amazing).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sultanahmet (neighborhood)
  2. Kadıköy (neighborhood)
  3. Blue Mosque (attraction)
  4. Basilica Cistern (attraction)
  5. Hagia Sophia Istanbul Old City (hotel)
  6. Bosphorus (attraction)
  7. Kanlica (attraction)
  8. Ciya Kebap (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by

I would start with a breakfast by the Bosphorus at Mangerie, continue with a stroll along the Bosphorus and check out Arnavutköy Bebek Cd neighborhood and go to Sultanahmet to see Hagia Sophia. Then I would take the tram and head to Istiklal Avenue and just wander around and end the day with a drink at Leb-i Derya and follow it by dinner at Asmali Cavit.  I would organize all this with Istanbulite Travel Agency :) 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mangerie (restaurant)
  2. Arnavutköy Bebek Cd (attraction)
  3. Hagia Sophia (attraction)
  4. Istiklal Avenue (attraction)
  5. Leb-i Derya (restaurant)
  6. Asmali Cavit (restaurant)
  7. Istanbulite Travel Agency (attraction)
2 thanks

answered first by

In Summer?

I would definitely have a drink at one of the best rooftop bars of Istanbul. Check the list here:

2 thanks

answered by
sophia from Fresno

We stayed at this great boutique hotel the Hotel Niles, just two blocks from the Grand Bazaar, and about 10-15 minutes walk to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Istanbul Old City.  These are the highlights, and the best part of the city, I think.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hotel Niles (hotel)
  2. Hagia Sophia Istanbul Old City (hotel)

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