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  • Ceren Kasap

3 Days in Istanbul

Updated: Oct 28

Hello everyone!


As many of you already know, I was born and raised in Turkey and moved to Toronto, Canada almost 5 years ago. I usually get questions from friends “Where to visit in Istanbul, Turkey?”, “What to eat in Istanbul?” etc.


Also, one of my colleagues and his wife are planning to visit Istanbul end of this month and I decided to create a blog post and list my suggestions here so everyone can benefit from it :) I broke down the list into three days, feel free to change the order by your preference.


* This post doesn't include details about the places, I'd suggest you search it up if you're curious about any of them :)

** I hyperlinked the locations from Google Maps for places, if you click on it, it directs you to the exact location.

*** I mostly use pictures from Instagram and added the account names right under the pictures for reference.



First Day


Let’s start the tour with the famous historical side of Istanbul. The region is called Historical Peninsula and has famous historical architecture. They are close to each other by walking.


You should definitely try the famous grilled meatballs at Tarihi Sultanahmet Koftecisi there.


@turkeyprotraveller


Places to visit:

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)

*Entrance fee is 190 Turkish Lira per person

@yerebatansarnic


This restoration is just finished for Basilica Cistern and I highly recommend visiting here. And please buy your tickets online to avoid waiting in long lineups, please click here to purchase tickets online.


Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

*Free of charge

@dmaxtr


Hagia Sophia (Ayasoyfa Camii)

*Free of charge

@bitatlikramlar


Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi)

*Entrance fee 100 Turkish liras

@wisteric_


The place to eat:

Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta

Don't forget to try Grilled Meatballs from here.

@tarihisultanahmetkoftecisi1920


Second day

And today, we’re going to visit Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar and eat delicious Turkish foods! I strongly recommend making negations with sellers at Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar before purchasing anything. You can thank me later :)


If you like Turkish coffee and want to make it yourself at home, you can buy Turkish coffee from the famous Turkish coffee seller, Kurukahveci Mahmut Efendi in Spice Bazaar.


Later today, we’re going to Galata Tower and then visit Istiklal Avenue, Taksim.


I’m a big fan of Turkish breakfast and there is a famous place called Namli Gurme, you can have the Turkish breakfast there and have the best baklava at Karakoy Gulluoglu which is 5 mins by walk from Namli Gurme.


If you want to feel more local, you should try Fish sandwiches at Eminonu.


Places to visit:

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

*Never agree with the first price, you should always negotiate it here :)

@galata.tourism


Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)

Again, don't forget to negotiate on anything you're purchasing from here.

@pascals_travelgram


Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi

@memoarijednogdervisa


Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi is the most well-known Turkish coffee roaster in Turkey, and they have a historical store around Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, You can buy freshly ground Turkish coffee from here. This place is always busy, please don't give up :)


Istiklal Avenue (Istiklal Caddesi)

@alirehman


Galata Tower (Galata kulesi)

@toursto_turkey


Places to eat:

Namli Gurme

This place is famous for Turkish breakfast, you should give it a try.

@geccemekan


Karakoy Gulluoglu

Try the best baklava with Turkish tea here.

@yiyorumdoymuyorum


Eminonu fish sandwiches (Eminonu balik-ekmek)

There are many authentic little boat grill fishes on Eminonu, give it a try.


Third day

Today I’m taking you to a famous touristic place to take Bosphorus pictures and try Turkish snacks! You can also take a ferry for the Bosphorus tour and enjoy the sightseeing.


Ortakoy Square (Ortakay Meydani)

@wchocolateblog


Places to eat:

There are a bunch of small stores that sell Kumpir and Waffle, I’m leaving it up to you to pick one :)


Kumpir

@visitbesiktas


Kumpir is a kinda a snack, the bakes potato is mixed with mozzarella cheese and you can choose toppings based on your preference. I'm leaving the toppings right below pic so you can have an idea of what they look like.

@ortakoyatomkumpir


Waffle

@haticeee.blog

Bosphorus tour (Bogaz turu)

You can take any of the ferries for the Bosphorus tour from there.

@midtownhotelistanbul


I hope you enjoy your time in my home country, Turkey!


Have fun :)




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