Discover everything cool in İstanbul

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stanbul, a majestic and attractive city spanning two continents, has a long and fascinating history. It is also a hectic and exciting city to live in. The richly diverse population provides a vibrant cultural scene. Also discover the treasures of its gastronomy.

Whether you fancy browsing one of the city’s many art galleries, browsing for trinkets in the Grand Bazaar, or savoring freshly prepared street food, find out why Istanbul deserves a top spot on your bucket list.

Immerse yourself in the culture

Istanbul is a cultural melting pot steeped in history, and a visit to this ancient city would not be complete without discovering some of its countless museums, art galleries, heritage sites and mosques.

art and design

İstanbul is home to many talented and emerging designers and artists who draw their inspiration from the city. Istanbul Modern is the ideal place to admire the works of contemporary Turkish artists. To discover emerging talent, explore the small galleries and contemporary art spaces of Karakoy Galata and cucurcuma

The big names are based in the modern European quarter Nşantaşı† But you will also find galleries with classic Turkish painters, stylish designer boutiques, international shops and renowned restaurants.

The calendar of festivals and events related to art is extraordinarily rich. Don’t miss the prestigious Biennial ofIstanbul and the city’s largest art fair, Modern Istanbul

History and architecture

The city’s skyline is unique and Istanbul has four of its districts added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The old City is the ideal place for walking and discovering the many historical sites. The sultan ahmed mosque (Blue Mosque) with six minarets and interior decoration sublimated by the predominantly blue İznik pottery tiles is one of the pride of the city. She is also known as blue mosque† l’ayasofyawhich at the time had the largest interior space of any building in the world, is easily recognized by its huge dome and colorful marble columns.

Admire the Ottoman grandeur of the Topkapi Palace of the 15th century or enjoy a 360 degree view from the Galata tower† It was once the tallest building in Istanbul. To discover the city through the underground part, go up the 52 steps of the Basilica Cisterndating back to the 6th century: it is the largest underground water storage structure remaining in Istanbul.

Archeology and Museums

Istanbul has more than 80 museums. Come the collections of . discover and admire Ottoman Palaces centenarians along the Bosphorus. You can also discover the history of transport, industry and communication on the Golden Horn. Don’t miss a visit: the three sites and the beautiful garden that make up the Istanbul Archaeological Museums† This museum complex includes the first classical museum of the history of the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum† Here you will find fantastic examples of Islamic calligraphy, pottery tiles and carpets.

The city offers a plethora of other museums that display a wide variety of artifacts ranging from mosaics to toys. Their diversity reflects the eclectic character of Istanbul.

Istanbul’s natural allure has attracted shoppers for centuries. Even today, among the traditional covered bazaars, designer boutiques and high-end malls, it remains an ever-popular shopping city.

Traditional bazaars

You cannot visit stanbul without the smells, sounds and colors of the Grand Bazaar† Dating back to the 15th century, it is the largest and oldest covered market in the world. With more than 4,000 shops, you will find everything from handmade jewelry to products for the hammam.

The smell of Egyptian Bazaar is incomparable. Let your nose be your guide to find stalls selling freshly brewed coffee and loads of colorful herbs and spices. And don’t forget to taste dried fruits: Turkey is the largest producer in the world and their choice is endless.

Treasure hunters go to the district cucurcuma, where about 150 antique shops are located. You can chat with friendly antique dealers and hunt for vintage toys or Ottoman-style jewelry and accessories.

Luxury Malls

Istanbul has 120 shopping centers. Impressive, isn’t it? All rooms are equipped with air conditioning, parking spaces and facilities for the disabled. It’s a shopper’s paradise, with luxury brands, clothing, jewelry and electronics often offered at great prices.

One can easily spend the day in the shopping malls, which also offer food courts and entertainment options, including theme parks, children’s attractions and movie theaters. l’Optimal Outlet Mall has an ice rink, the Istanbul Forum welcomes theIstanbul Sea Life Aquarium and the Istanbul Mall has its own hotel.

shopping streets

Taksim is the most cosmopolitan address in stanbul and you will find many top brands on the İstiklal Street† You will also discover lovely neoclassical arcades and a variety of independent shops. This is your chance to see everything from vintage clothing to handmade ceramics.

One of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods, Nişantaşi, combines luxury and authentic atmosphere. Explore fashion houses, art galleries and the city’s most exclusive shopping street, the Abdi İpekci Street† It is the ideal place to shop between international luxury brands.

l’Bagdat Avenue is the main shopping street on the Asian side of the city. Here you will find renowned fashion brands, restaurants and cafes. In the evenings, the bars and pubs make it a lively place.

feed your soul

Turkish cuisine is not limited to kebabs and other baklavas, however popular these specialties are. The country has an immense gastronomic heritage, influenced by the meeting of two continents. And Istanbul is the melting pot.

Gourmet cooking

Today in Istanbul, many gourmet restaurants are inspired by the city’s heritage. Their tasting menus offer new versions of traditional recipes. Get ready: Your taste buds discover unexpected flavor combinations, like yogurt in soups and sour cherries in stuffed grape leaves.

street food

Be enchanted by the city’s street food classics: roasted Kestane (chestnuts) or Leblebi (roasted chickpeas) in winter, corn in summer. And be sure to try the multicolored vegetables pickled in vinegar, served on every street corner with mounds of rice and chickpeas. Simit (sesame bread) and a variety of savory bread-based snacks are also perfect for a quick lunch. Also taste the specialties based on mussels, baked or stuffed.

workers canteens

Esnaf lokantaları, or literally workers’ canteens, is an age-old Turkish tradition. These places were set up to serve lunch to local workers. They serve dozens of homemade dishes prepared daily. Sample hearty soups, stuffed vegetables and rich stews served with buttered rice or juicy bulgur.

A little sweetness

Another centuries-old institution in the city is the muhallebiciler or pudding shop. In the past, milk-based puddings were served there, but nowadays you can also eat chicken soup, rice pilaf or puff pastry böreks. And of course we don’t forget the tea, it is always excellent.

Confectionery also occupies an important place in Turkey’s culinary history. Ottoman akide sekeri (handmade sugar candy) was created in the 16th century and comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors. The traditional serbet, a refreshing drink made from fruit and flower petals, is highly recommended. You can also find Turkish delicacies in every bazaar and tourist shop in the city.

I’m going !

If you can’t wait to explore the sights, sounds and smells of Istanbul, you’ll be happy to hear the good news: you don’t need an entry visa to get in! You still need to complete this form less than 72 hours before travel. Before you book, check out our latest offers and all entry requirements, along with our COVID-19 travel card.

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