More to See & Do in Istanbul

If you have the time, these additional Istanbul sights are well worth visiting.

(See Best Itineraries for suggested daily sightseeing programs, including Istanbul in One Day and Weekend in Istanbul, and my walking tours page.

13. Great Palace Mosaic Museum

Beautiful 6th-century floor mosaics from the Palace Aula section of the Byzantine Great Palace, now in a nice small museum behind the Blue Mosque. More…

14. Little Hagia Sophia Mosque

Byzantine Emperor Justinian built the 6th-century Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus before his great Hagia Sophia, and some see a resemblance.More…

15. Istanbul Archeological Museums

The Archeology Museum is filled with Turkey’s best Greek and Roman marble statuary. The Museum of the Ancient Near East has parts of the Gates of Babylon. The Tiled Kiosk (Çinili Kösk) dates from the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror (1450s). More…

16. Kariye Museum

The Church of the Holy Savior in Chora has Istanbul‘s best 12th-century Byzantine mosaics. (Closed Wednesday.) It’s only a few minutes’ walk from the beautiful, recently-restored Mihrimah Sultan MosqueMore… Combine them with a visit to…

17. Tekfur Saray & City Walls

The great 4th-century city walls built by Emperor Theodosius are still standing, and still impressive. See them from the Tekfur Saray, the shell of a Byzantineemperor’s palace. And also…

18. Golden Horn Ferry Cruise

Cruise from Eminönü up the Golden Horn to the imperial mosque of Eyüp, where the Ottoman padişah (sultan) was girded with the Sword of Osman, the equivalent of coronation. Above it, on a hilltop enjoying a panoramic view of the Golden Horn and Istanbul, is the Pierre Loti Café, favored by French author Pierre LotiMore…

19. Whirling Dervishes

Mevlevi (whirling) dervishes perform their mesmerizing, mystical sema whirling worship service every week in Istanbul, but you must plan ahead if you want to witness it. More…

20. Time in a Hamam (Turkish Bath)

You soak in the steam, you have a massage, you allow a professional to scrub you (where did all that, uh, stuffcome from?!), you’re swathed in Turkish towels, you rest and relax, sipping some Turkish coffee or tea…and then you’re ready to take on the world! More…

21. Art Museums

Since 2000, Istanbul has seen the establishment of numerous world-class art museums which are well worth visiting if you like modern art and have the time. More…

22. Divan Yolu Walking Tour

Once the road to Rome, this is now the main thoroughfare through historic Old Istanbul (Sultanahmet)More…

23. Istanbul Bazaars Walking Tour2

From the mammoth Grand Bazaar along narrow untouristy Uzunçarşı Caddesi through Tahtakale to the Golden Horn and Egyptian (Spice) BazaarMore…

24. Asian Istanbul: Üsküdar, Kadıköy & More

Take a 20-minute intecontinental ferry cruise and explore the historic mosques, lively markets and moderately-priced, unusual restaurants on the untouristy Asian shoreof the BosphorusMore

25. Istanbul’s Beaches

Istanbul is not known for its beaches, but if you want to get away to the seaside for some sun and fun, here are the options. More…

26. Excursions from Istanbul

Get out of the city and see more of Turkey, by boat, car, bus, or air. Here are day-trips and overnight excursions you can do using Istanbul as your base. More…

What to Do with Kids

Istanbul Museum Pass

Istanbul in One Day

Weekend in Istanbul

Excursions from Istanbul

Top Istanbul Sights

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