What to see in Istanbul in 3 days on your own?

Click on the nose of the traveler who claims that Turkey is an all inclusive hotel and send it to Istanbul! A city filled with the spirit of time and the smell of spices, filled cries of seagulls, conversations in different languages and tunes of the muezzin. Plus, this is a cheap city, and lately too – a latte in a good coffee shop costs only 10 lire (105 rubles). Content

  1. My trip
  2. Sights:
  3. Bosphorus | Mosques | Grand Bazaar | Galata Tower | Railway station Sirkeci Topkapi | Miniature Park | Seals | Princes’ Islands
  4. Routes for transplant and 1-3 days
  5. How to get from the airport?
  6. Where to eat?
  7. My tips

My trip to Istanbul

Turkey for Russians is available just with a passport – visa is not is needed. Therefore, you can break at any time when there will be cheap tickets (and they come from the regions). Flights from Moscow cost 12,000 rubles in both directions. If taken in advance, it would be cheaper. I lived in a small guest house in the Fatih district: air-conditioned room went to 2250 rubles for two nights. Comfortable to go here in spring or autumn, when the temperature has to walk. It is cold and windy in winter, pretty in summer hot. I flew in July for the weekend and did not have time to get tired of the heat. Word of the editor. And we were in Istanbul in November – went in hats and jackets, and in March – spring blossomed on the street, coaxing to wear a shirt and nothing more. View of the European part View of the European part View of the European part of Istanbul In this article I will tell you what you can see in Istanbul for 3 days – a universal term, not much and not enough for the first time. By the way, excursions are popular here – and believe me, knowing where to go the shoulder is sometimes so necessary in a city that drives one’s mind noise and crush. Not long ago, I heard about the Tripster service, where you can book unofficial excursions-walks from local residents on Russian language. The idea is cool, and considering that one of the leading directions to the Thamester is just Istanbul, I thought, “hm, excursions should be good. “I requested to check my friends – they took Asian Istanbul ↓ and the feedback left good.


I will complement the attractions with a thematic tour, as well as scatter interesting places in the text (with the icon geolocation), which is not detailed, but in the notes is worth Up to the very end, collect? Sunset over the Bosphorus Sunset over the Bosphorus The sunsets in Istanbul are very beautiful, be sure to meet them. on the Bosphorus Istanbul is Europe and Asia, separated by the Bosphorus. Connecting them to four bridges, a sub-torrent and a dug tunnel for transport. A cool way to see the Bosphorus is a ferry. For tourists there are:

  • walks with dinner and Turkish dances cost from 200 lire (2111 rubles),
  • but the most affordable is to take the ferry as a local resident. From Kabatas square can be sailed for 25 lira (265 rubles) for 6 hours – until Black Sea and back. From Eminonu, for 1.5 hours for 20 liras (212 rubles).
  • a short walk between the shores – and at all 2 lira (21 ruble).

The main thing is to take a favorable place, not inside, from which there is little visible, and on deck. A lot of seats, but more people, because for Turks are ordinary public transportation, not entertainment. AND It is like an ordinary subway ride. On the upper deck, people enjoy themselves by raising their hands with A piece of bread or simit (Turkish bagel) and watches as seagulls snatch food right on the fly. The youth plays the guitar and sings. Some expose the face to the splashes and the wind, others – slumber on the sun. Drove by ferry and immediately felt the flavor and local spirit. ? Good spot for exploring the Bosphorus – Roumeli Hisarya Fortress (entrance 15 lire).


Suleymaniye Mosque Suleymaniye Mosque Turned from some street, and we immediately opened this view to one of the main mosques The main attractions in Istanbul are the mosques. A lot of them. AND three times I thought: “Oh, it’s that same Blue Mosque.” Because for me, they look the same from the outside, and the difference opens only inside. To immediately understand, can be considered minarets. Blue has six of them. It is the most popular among tourists, and officially called – Sultanahmet. And blue was nicknamed because of interior decoration heavenly color. Sulaimaniyah is the second largest Muslim shrine I was more struck by the surrounding area and viewing playground. Generally panoramic views in Istanbul open unexpectedly and wherever you wait at all. Hagia Sophia – again, not much remarkable outside building. But inside “youkat” here are mixed Orthodox paintings and mosaics and Arabic script. Aya Sofia was originally a Christian temple, now it is a museum, and the entrance paid Ticket price – 60 lire (634 rubles). Mosques are closed to tourists 5 times a day during prayers. See the time of work on the official sites, because it depends from the movement of the sun and changes throughout the year. ? Local tip: Zeyrek Camii mosque – no crowds tourists and overlooking the Golden Horn and Suleymaniye Bay. Take coffee for 6-8 lire in a cafe behind the mosque and enjoy!

Saint Sophie Cathedral Saint Sophie Cathedral The main street of Istanbul The main street of Istanbul

And this is the view of the main mosque in the city / Try the roast corn on the street, it costs only 4-5 lire, but the chestnut (10 lire for 100 gr) we did not like

Grand Bazaar

This is not shopping, but to experience the flavor. A plus, Grand Bazaar – a good option where to go, if it’s bad on the street weather. This is a covered room, a city in the city. In addition to hundreds of shopping shops here are scattered cafes, fountains, several mosques, a bath and even school. Not sure if this is a place to shop because prices tourist. But if you like to bargain, then why not. Turks love too.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower Galata Tower Alas, there was no time to climb the Galata Tower, therefore looked from one of the streets of Istanbul The tower can be seen from everywhere – it is on a hill and rises more than 60 meters. Built in the Middle Ages, and over the years of its existence has been and a lighthouse, and an observatory, and a fire tower. Now it is a restaurant, a nightclub and an observation deck, on which crave to rise ALL. Entrance to the observation room from 9 am to 8 evenings for 35 lire (370 rubles). Next to the tower, over the Golden Horn, thrown over a two-story Galata Bridge. On the ground floor dozens of restaurants with more than travel prices. Upstairs car traffic and a bunch fishermen with fishing rods – a rather unusual sight. ? Roofs – and the view from them – is not only in St. Petersburg! Most Istanbul’s famous open roof is Kubbe Istanbul (look at Instagram).

Sirkeci station

Inside the Shiregi Station Inside the Shiregi Station Seagui Station Seagui Station

It looks like the station inside and out It was here that the famous “Orient Express” arrived. Railway station built in the 19th century and for its time was gorgeous and strategically is important. Today it serves domestic electric trains and infrequent international compositions. The building has lost its former chic, but nonetheless interesting to its architecture, carved windows and stained glass windows. And this is rare almost deserted place in Istanbul. There is also a cafe with dishes of traditional Turkish cuisine and Museum of the history of the station. You can watch for free from 9 am to 5 evenings Get on the T1 tram, stop at Sirkeci.

Basilica Cistern

The tank is an ancient reservoir that has been preserved from since Istanbul was Constantinople. It does not sound very inspiring, yes, and outside the tank is not remarkable, but inside she is O_O. The underground huge room with rows of columns seems to be either fairy forest, whether on a mysterious palace, but certainly not on banal reservoir. The place is so cinematic that not one movie was filmed here, for example, one of the episodes “Bond”. Among other things, this is the best place to escape from the summer heat The Basilica is located in the center, in the Sultanahmet area – Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd., 1/3. Opening hours from 9 to 17:30. entrance worth 20 lire (211 rubles). Cards are not accepted, so stock up in cash. ? Panorama of the night city opens from the highest in Istanbul skyscraper – Sapphire.

Topkapi Palace

Former residence of the Turkish rulers. This is not one building, but the whole complex that served the sultan – the government, the treasury, armory, stables and, of course, a harem. Now it is a museum in whose interiors one can easily imagine how life would be “if I were a sultan”. Opening hours: from 9 am until 7 pm in the summer and until 4 pm in the winter. Ticket price 60 lire (634 ruble). The entrance to the harem is 35 lire (370 rubles). Nearby is Gulhane Park, one of the largest in Istanbul. He used to be part of the palace gardens. The park is large and green – in the shade trees well hide from the heat and enjoy flowering. ? Interested in shopping, like in the Dubai Mall? To you – in shopping center Zorlu Center and Istinye Park.

Park Miniatures

Here you can go with children. On a vast territory located architectural layouts of the main attractions are not only Istanbul, but also the whole of Turkey. There are layouts of long-destroyed buildings. The park is entertaining not only for children – this is a great opportunity see all the iconic places, even in miniature, but in one day. The museum is open every day from 9 am to 6 pm. Admission – 15 lire (158 rubles).


Cats everywhere Cats everywhere Dogs in Turkey Dogs in Turkey

In addition to cats in Turkey, many of these dogs here? Yes, sight! Cats in Istanbul at every turn, and so and strive to get on the photo. Turks love cats, do not disturb and do not expel them and feed them. Someone out of the goodness of his heart, and someone for religious reasons – for one of the legends the cat saved the prophet Muhammad from the bite of a snake, and since Since Muslims worship tail. For the first time I wanted to go to Istanbul after the Kedi movie, which translates, like Istanbul is a city of cats. Note: in the Nishantasi area, in the park “Macka”, there are hundreds of cottages.

Princes’ Islands

In the Sea of   Marmara In the Sea of   Marmara Few people know that in the vicinity of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara there are nine islands. Four of them are open to the public. You can get about an hour and a half on the ferry from the pier Eminonu or Kabatas from the western part, or Kadikoy and Bostanzhi – from asian For schedule, see Sehir Hatlari website. Directions to one side – 5 lire (53 rubles), you can pay by transport card IstanbulCard. There are no cars, they are walking or riding. But There are hotels and equipped beaches. Prices are higher than in Istanbul. Watching islands is better on weekdays because it happens on weekends an influx of Turks who flee the stuffy city. The largest island is Buyukada, where churches of different religions. The quietest and non-touristic is Qınılada. Just here I and went in hope of calm. But in the summer and here it was people. Although the island itself is small and cozy.

What to see in Istanbul for 1-3 days

Trip to Istanbul Trip to Istanbul Istiklal Street Istiklal Street

We sit in a cafe and wait for coffee with dessert, meanwhile in the city it’s already night

  • For 1 day

    For 1 day you need to have time to see the best places. Main attractions in Istanbul are concentrated in the European part. The route might be:

    • Topkapi Palace
    • Saint Sophie Cathedral
    • Blue Mosque
    • Basilica Cistern
    • Grand Bazaar
    • Suleymaniye Mosque
    • Bridge and Galata Tower

    Time is short, but I want as much as possible? Look the most A popular tour in Istanbul: Asian Istanbul. All the most interesting that you can not miss ”

    In 2-3 days

    Bosphorus in Istanbul Bosphorus in Istanbul For 2 days, you can add a more complete picture of the city and See the top places in Istanbul in the Asian part:

    • Stroll through the oldest district of Kadikoy. Here is Haydarpasa train station, which is more like medieval castle;
    • Take a look at the local grocery market to buy Turkish sweets at non-touristic prices;
    • Go to the Üsküdar aristocratic district for luxury palaces – Ahmed Pasha and Beyelrbury;
    • Right on the shores of the Bosphorus, near the Üsküdar pier, there is a mosque Shemsi Pasha, which is different in its asceticism from luxurious mosques of the European part.

    The third day can be fully devoted to visiting the Princes. of the islands.

    With transfer

    Supplement from the editor.

    Alone in Istanbul Alone in Istanbul Turkish Lira Turkish Lira

    The editor was recently in Istanbul too So, transplant. First, I recommend going to the city, if in Stock from 6 hours. Because at least an hour there, an hour back, plus to be at the airport 2 hours before departure (about how to get there, section below). Secondly, if both your flights are international and performed by Turkish Airlines, and docking of 6 hours, rejoice – you Launched a free tour in Istanbul (more info at the Hotel Desk in airport). To the point: what to see in Istanbul yourself for a transplant? I attach 2 of our route – one for 1.5-2 hours in the city, another for 3-5 hours Shorter (the shuttle takes you from the airport to Sultanahmet and back):

    • Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
    • Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park
    • Eminönü Pier and view of the Bosphorus, Galata Bridge and the Asiatic half
    • Coffee break (10.5 lire = 110 rubles) and cheesecake (15 lire = 158 rubles) in Coffeetopia Eminönü
    • Back to Sultanahmet

    Longer (also with shuttle from / to):

    • Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
    • Gulhane Park and Topkapi
    • Pierce Eminönü
    • Galata Bridge – go to some cafe under the bridge, try balyk ikmek (fish loaf), we chose the first got Cansin Balik Ekmek (15 lire = 158 rubles)
    • Walking across the Galata Bridge
    • Funicular from Karaköy station to Beyoglu (5 lire = 53 rubles)
    • Turkish coffee (8.75 lire = 92 rubles) or cappuccino (11.5 lire = 121 rubles) in Tunnelstop Coffee & Bakery
    • Walking along Istiklal to Taksim Square
    • Tram to Sultanahmet from the Findikli Mimar Sinan stop Universitesi (2.6 lire = 27 rubles)

What to see in Istanbul? If you have enough time, then 5 days a week, you will have time to see not only the main sign points, but also the numerous museums of Istanbul and unusual places, like, for example, the underground mosque Sandzhaklar. Nature lovers will love the forest of Belgrade – a huge park in 15 kilometers from Istanbul with a variety of plants, birds and animals. Another botanical corner called “Bird Paradise” located 38 kilometers from the city. As the name implies, birds live here – ducks, pelicans and even flamingos.

How to get from Istanbul airport?

Transport in Istanbul Transport in Istanbul Details – from currency exchangers for buying Istanbul Card to timetables and bus numbers – read in our article about the New Istanbul airport (were there in person!). In short – while there are 3 ways to get there:

  • The cheapest is Havaist or IETT buses (5.2-18 lire)
  • The most convenient – transfer KiwiTaxi, take you to the hotel door (40 Euro per car)
  • Taxi is the most expensive

Prices in Istanbul – where to eat?

Corn and chestnuts Corn and chestnuts Coffee in Turkey Coffee in Turkey

Standing in line for delicious coffee and dessert Turkish cuisine is quite diverse, so everyone will find food to taste in Istanbul. Lots of tasty and safe street food: – simit (donut) for 1.25 lira – chestnuts for 5 lire – famous balyk ikmek (fish in pita bread or bread) for 15 liras – corn – 4 lira – fresh pomegranate juice – 10 lire ✓ For fish and seafood go to Akin Balik – place near the fish market at the pier Kadikoy. Dinner for two will cost about 100-150 lire. Always full landing. ✓ Delicious kebabs for only 7 lire are cooked in a diner Sehzade Cag Kebab. ✓ To sweet tooths I advise you to look at Hafis Mustafa 1864. The main thing is to stop because you want to try everything. ✓If you want not only to eat, but also to drink, then don’t go in institutions near the mosques, most likely there will not be of alcohol. ? A good restaurant with an open terrace and an overview of the Bosphorus (and it does not happen much!) – Cihangir Sosyal Tesisleri. Prices inexpensive.

My advice to tourists

Market Market Istanbul Street Istanbul Street

As they said in the movie “The Diamond Hand”, Istanbul is a city contrasts. This is true. I can not confidently say I liked it or not. But definitely Istanbul does not leave indifferent.

  • It evokes strong emotions: aversion to trash, which Thrown straight into the street. In the morning, cleaned, but in the evening all over again dirtied.
  • Irritating when the Turks, like a flock of sheep, are dragged along the ferry or come out of it, absolutely not noticing that they are pushing you, the feeling that if you stumble, the crowd will crush.
  • Hacks merchant nature, which is why I did not go to Grand Bazaar – I do not like when they grab hold of the hand and try to squeeze in something.

Авиабилеты в Стамбул >> Недорогие отели >> But at the same time, local friendly, sincerely smiling. If necessary, they will help and guide you. And in general, people who take care of cats, and there are a huge number of them, by definition can not be bad. And Istanbul is bright, even alyapisty. When you come back to Moscow, it seems that vision problems began – as if they had reduced sharpness and brightness at minimum. To tips:

Underground Underground Money Exchange Money Exchange

Metro entrance and money exchange points in the city – Install the application maps.me, which works offline mode, and mark on the map the sights and your hotel, so as not to get lost. – Buy an Istanbul Card for movement, otherwise you will have little time see in Istanbul alone. This transport card operates in the subway, tram and ferries. It is worth 6 lire, and when you are going to fly, it can be returned. – In the subway here you have to pay for transfer from one branch to other, consider. When paying Istanbul Card each subsequent transfer costs less than buying a one-time trip. – All mosques can be viewed for free, the main thing is to observe the dress code – men can not wear shorts, and women should be covered head, shoulders and legs closed. Every mosque has special skirts and scarves, but on weekends there are huge tourist flows, so dress appropriately and take a handkerchief with you so that stand in line. – Use earplugs if you do not plan to wake up at five mornings from muezzin calls for prayer. – Be sure to go to the hammam. There are many of them, and the Turks know in this is a good thing – The city is huge, it is also divided into two parts by the Bosphorus, therefore Choose a home “wisely.” For the first or short visit perfect European part. In the area of Fatih, and specifically in the neighborhoods Sultanahmet and Sirkeci, focused main attractions. For lovers of nightlife fit Beyoglu – Istiklal and Taksim quarters. For those who are already familiar with the city and wants more authenticity, it makes sense to stay in Asian parts. There are fewer tourists and the cost is lower. Kadikoy has a lot cafes and shops, a market with local prices, and a large park. And in Üsküdare is an excellent promenade for walking.

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