Things to Do in Istanbul, Turkey

Things to Do in Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the biggest city in the country of Turkey. With a population of over 12 million, it is also one of the biggest cities in the world and is large enough to encompass almost 40 provincial districts. Visitors are drawn by its sheer size, as well as the important role it has played in European history. Discover some of the city's best activities for an authentic look at its natural environment, history and culture.


While there is not much in terms of outdoor activities in the city itself, there are numerous hiking areas just outside of Istanbul for those not afraid of forging their own path. On the coast of the Black Sea outside of Istanbul is the town of Kerpe, where individuals can walk on unmarked paths along the various bays and inlets. Go in the late afternoon to watch the sunset from one of the many secluded beaches. A popular inland hiking area is the Inonu Valley, just before the town of Izmit outside of Istanbul. Here, hikers can wind their way through foothills and old forests. Most hiking areas are not official trails, and it is easy to get lost. Avoid the risks of losing your way in Turkey's wilderness by employing the services of a hiking tour company such as Byzas Turkey Tours.

Byzas Turkey Tours
Ergenekon Caddesi No: 20 Kat: 2
Pangalti 34373
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212-225-7670


Istanbul is steeped in centuries of history, and much of it is preserved in the many museums that dot the downtown core. Visit the Atatürk Müzesi, housed in the original Ataturk mansion built in 1908 by the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Much of the personal belongings can be viewed, including original paintings by local artists. For a more contemporary look at Istanbul culture, visit the Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi (Modern Arts Museum). Originally founded in 2004, the museum celebrates local arts and culture and includes a sculpture courtyard built on the historic docks of Karakoy.

Atatürk Müzesi
250 Halaskargazi Cd
Meşrutiyet, İstanbul 34810
+90 212-240-6319‎

Meclis-i Mebusan Caddesi
Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi 305
Antrepo No: 4
İstanbul, Turkey‎
+90 212-334-7300‎


Turkey's Muslim heritage is evident throughout Istanbul, and the city is one of the best places in Europe to appreciate the soaring, intricate designs of Islamic mosques. Check out the Eyüp Sultan Camii (Eyup Sultan Mosque) and the Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque). The former is found just outside of Istanbul's walls and was built in the early 600s AD. Still used as a place of worship, look for the Eyup Sultan tomb adjacent to the mosque, as well as a large memorial tree that is several centuries old. The latter is a prime example of Muslim architecture and boasts six breathtaking minarets and thousands of blue tiles.

Eyüp Sultan Camii
Keçiören, Tepebaşı 06290

Sultan Ahmet Camii
Eminönü, Sultanahmet 34122


No trip to Istanbul is complete without a trip to the Grand Bazaar, a mall that is essentially a town unto itself. You can find many Western products, but the true draw is the thousands of shops and huts selling authentic Turkish products, including clothing, carpets and Turkish jewelry. Wear comfortable shoes, as you will be walking a lot.

Grand Bazaar
22 Kalpakçılar caddesi Sorguçlu Han
Istanbul, Turkey 34490
+90 212-522-3173‎

Article Written By Josh Duvauchelle

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.

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