Istanbul is a vibrant city that spans two continents - Europe and Asia. It is a melting pot of cultures, where ancient and modern collide. With its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious food, and bustling markets, Istanbul is a must-visit destination for any traveler. In this article, we will explore the top 10 things to do in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2023.
Visit the Hagia Sophia
The Hagia Sophia is a world-famous landmark and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally a church, it was later converted into a mosque and is now a museum. Its stunning architecture, intricate mosaics, and rich history make it a must-visit attraction in Istanbul.
Explore the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is another iconic landmark in Istanbul. It is famous for its blue tiles and six minarets. The mosque is still used for prayer, so be sure to dress appropriately if you plan to visit.
Wander around the Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is a sprawling covered market that is home to over 4,000 shops. It is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world and is a shopper's paradise. From handmade carpets to spices and jewelry, you can find almost anything here.
Take a Bosphorus Cruise
The Bosphorus is a strait that separates Europe and Asia. Taking a cruise along the Bosphorus is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. You can also see some of Istanbul's famous landmarks, such as the Dolmabahce Palace and the Maiden's Tower.
Visit Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace was once the residence of the Ottoman sultans. Today, it is a museum that houses some of the most important artifacts from the Ottoman Empire, including the famous Topkapi Dagger and the Spoonmaker's Diamond.
Explore the Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar is another famous market in Istanbul. It is located in the Eminonu district and is filled with the smells of spices, herbs, and teas. You can also find other products, such as Turkish delight and dried fruit.
Take a Turkish Bath
A Turkish bath, also known as a hammam, is a traditional bathhouse that has been used for centuries in Turkey. It is a great way to relax and rejuvenate after a day of sightseeing. Some of the most famous hammams in Istanbul include Cagaloglu Hammam and Galatasaray Hammam.
Visit the Chora Church
The Chora Church is a medieval Byzantine church that is famous for its stunning mosaics and frescoes. It is located in the Edirnekapi neighborhood and is a must-visit for anyone interested in art and history.
Try Turkish Delight
Turkish delight, also known as lokum, is a sweet treat that is famous in Turkey. It is made from sugar, cornstarch, and flavorings such as rosewater or lemon. You can find Turkish delight in almost any market or sweet shop in Istanbul.
Enjoy Turkish Cuisine
Turkish cuisine is a blend of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian influences. Some of the most famous dishes include kebabs, meze, and baklava. Be sure to try some of Istanbul's famous street food, such as simit (a type of sesame-covered bread) and kokorec (grilled lamb intestines).