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  • Writer's pictureAngelina Ly

The Ultimate Istanbul Bucket List: 25 Must See Sights, Things to Do, and Foods and Drinks to Try

Istanbul is one of the most beautiful and vibrant cities in the world. As a city that should be on everyone's bucket list, there are endless things to see and do, from exploring the historical sites to sampling the delicious food and drinks. In this blog post, I will share with you our Istanbul bucket list - 25 items that you won't want to miss when visiting Istanbul!

Here's a list of great places, activities, and food & drink experiences to try when you're visiting Istanbul – divided into convenient categories. Print it out or save it for later, and start ticking items off your bucket list!


1. Visit Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's most iconic and popular tourist attractions.

2. Stroll through the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world.

3. View the city from the Galata Bridge, Istanbul's most iconic bridge spanning the Golden Horn.

4. Visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque.

5. Check out the Topkapi Palace, the former imperial residence of the Ottoman sultans.

6. Admire the views from Galata Tower, one of Istanbul's most recognizable landmarks.

7. Wander through the Spice Bazaar, Istanbul's second-largest covered market.

8. Take a dip in one of Istanbul's many historical baths, such as the Aya Sofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı.

9. Visit Istanbul's Hippodrome, the former site of horse and chariot races during the Byzantine period.

10. Visit the Chora Church, one of Istanbul's most beautiful and ornate Byzantine churches.



11. Try Istanbul's legendary street food, such as balik ekmek (fish sandwich), kumpir (baked potato), and lahmacun (Turkish pizza).

12. Sip on a cup of Turkish coffee or tea, with some Turkish delight.

13. Sample some of Istanbul's delicious desserts, such as baklava, künefe, and tulumba tatlısı.

14. Admire the city from one of Istanbul's many rooftop views, and feed the seagulls at Seven Hills

15. Take a leisurely stroll through one of Istanbul's parks or gardens, such as Gülhane Park or Yildiz Park.

16. Visit Istanbul's many museums, such as the Istanbul Archaeology Museums and the Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

17. Attend a performance at one of Istanbul's world-famous music venues, such as the Istanbul Music Festival or the Istanbul Jazz Festival.

18. Watch a traditional Turkish dance performance, such as the whirling dervishes at the Hodjapasha Culture Center.

19. Go on a food tour and learn about Istanbul's rich culinary history and traditions.

20. Take a day trip to one of Istanbul's surrounding areas, such as the Princes' Islands or Bursa.

21. Visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, one of Istanbul's most lavish and extravagant royal residences.

22. Take a boat ride on the Bosphorus River and enjoy Istanbul's stunning skyline.

23. Shop for Istanbul's famous Turkish delight, lokum, at one of the many confectioneries in the city.

24. Relax and rejuvenate at a traditional Turkish hammam (bathhouse).

25. Ride on the Istanbul Tramway and enjoy views of Istanbul's historic city center.


Istanbul is a city that has something for everyone, and I hope this Istanbul bucket list will help you plan your trip and make the most of your time in this amazing city! Do you have any Istanbul tips or recommendations to add? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!





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