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Day 1: History and Culture

  • Hagia Sophia: Visit this magnificent structure, an emblem of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Initially built as a Christian basilica, it was later converted into a mosque and is now used as a museum.
  • Topkapi Palace: The historic palace where the Ottoman sultans lived, it’s known for its harem, sacred relics, and unparalleled views.
  • Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque): Famous for its six minarets, this mosque is one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture.
  • Basilica Cistern: From the Byzantine era, this water reservoir is known for its magnificent columns and a peaceful atmosphere.

Day 2: Bosphorus and Modern Istanbul

  • osphorus Cruise: Embark on a ferry to discover Istanbul from the water. You can see essential structures like the Rumeli Fortress, Anadolu Fortress, and Dolmabahçe Palace.
  • Galata Tower: Climb this medieval tower to savor panoramic views of Istanbul.
  • İstiklal Street and Taksim Square: The heart of modern Istanbul, shop here, travel on the historic tram, and experience the delectable Turkish cuisine.

Day 3: Art, Shopping, and Taste

  • Grand Bazaar: Shop for gold, silver, souvenirs, and spices in one of the world’s oldest covered markets.
  • Chora (Kariye) Church: This old church from the Byzantine era is famous for its unique mosaics and frescoes.
  • Beşiktaş and Ortaköy: Experience Turkish cuisine, walk by the edge of the Bosphorus, and enjoy the taste of “kumpir” (stuffed baked potatoes) in Ortaköy.

This 3-day itinerary ensures that you explore the best of Istanbul in your limited time. However, there’s so much more in the city, so if you have extra time, don’t forget to explore its museums, parks, and other historical sites. Safe travels!