First-timer: What to see in Istanbul in 3 days.
I have to admit that 3 days in Istanbul, is a short time to visit this beautiful city, actually, I suggest to spend at least a week, but, if your plan is to stay this short period, lets take all the advantage.
If your plan is to arrive at the city by plane, I’ll recommend you to check Skyscanner, this is how I get the cheapest flights anywhere.
Once you arrive, the best way to move around is on the Metro.
From the airport to the city you have to take line M1, this line is the best to get to downtown and all the important sites.
Where to stay?
I believe the best area to get your hotel room is in the Beyoğlu District, from there you can walk to the most important sites around the city.
You can check your best option in Booking.com.
First-timer suggested Itinerary.
Day 1: Golden Horn, Taksim Square, Beyoğlu District.
A great way to really know a place, is to walk around and yes, you have to get lost a little.
Your first day is for do that. This District is located at the European and modern side of Istanbul.
Is a crowded street, but from here you’ll experience the great vibe of the city.
Walk through the İstiklal Avenue, and you’ll find great cafes, restaurants, patisseries and beautiful 19th and 20th centuries buildings.
This is a 1,4 km avenue that starts from the medieval Genoese neighborhood around Galata Tower and leads up to Taksim Square, where you’ll find the famous Monument of the Republic.
If you are tired of walking, you can take the historic red tram, and go back to the beginning of the avenue.
Now that you have spent most of the day exploring the area, is time to get to one of the oldest Towers, built by the Genoese in 1348.
From here, you’ll get the most beautiful view of the Golden Horn.
Is the estuary of the Alibeyköy and Kağıthane Rivers, you have to cross the Galata Bridge, is part of the experience mingle with the locals fishermen that are trying to fish at the Bosphorus.
Day 2: Sultanahmet District.
The Old and romantic Istanbul or ¿should I say Constantinople?
You can get here walking, I know is a long walk if you stay at the Beyoğlu District, but it worth the effort.
From here you have to visit:
This huge Palace and its gardens are a must see in Istanbul.
Home of the Ottoman sultans, since the 15th century, you’ll have a glance of the opulent life of the sultans.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Blue Mosque.
Beautiful from outside and on the inside, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I, it is famous for having six minarets.
First a Church, then a Mosque, and now a Museum, famous not only for his beauty, but for being The Roman Empire’s first Christian Cathedral.
The Basilica Cistern.
Beneath the city of Istanbul, there are a lot cisterns and this one is the largest and oldest, built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian.
Day 3: The Grand Bazaar, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar and a Boat Tour through the Bosphorus.
You can not go from Istanbul without visiting his Gran Bazaar, one of the oldest covered market in the world. Try a little your bargaining skills and get some souvenirs.
The Egyptian Spice Bazaar
My favorite, why? because of the great spice smell and the Turkish delight you’ll find there.
Boat tour through the Bosphorus.
Your final day, just take it slowly, enjoy and relax in a Boat tour through the Bosphorus.
Best time, close to the sunset.
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