Istanbul Walking Tours

There’s no better way to see and get to know a city than on foot. This applies especially to Istanbul, with its half-land, half-water topography and its crazy traffic patterns.

Before you go out walking, it’s not a bad idea to familiarize yourself with Istanbul’s public transport system,especially the tramsbuses and ferries.

If you’d like a guided tour, Efendi Travel‘s value-for-money Old Istanbul Guided Walking Tour is among the best. More…

If you’d rather walk on your own, here are some suggestions:

Divan Yolu Walking Tour

Once the road to RomeDivan Yolu (map) is now the main thoroughfare through historic Old Istanbul (Sultanahmet).

You can walk from the Milion, the Byzantine mile-marker for the center of Constantinople, past mosques, the tombs of the sultans, Ottoman theological schools, Turkish baths, the Column of Constantine, and other sights to Beyazıt Square and the Grand Bazaar in less than an hour. More…

Tombs of the Sultans on Divan Yolu, Istanbul, Turkey
Tombs of the Sultans along Divan Yolu

Istanbul Bazaars Walking Tour

From the mammoth Grand Bazaar along narrow, untouristy Uzunçarşı Caddesi through the heart of the Tahtakale market district to the Golden Horn and Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar, (map), all in less than an hour, including a stop at the exquisite Rüstem Pasha Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most beautiful, but rarely visited by tourists.

You might want to pick up a copy of this excellent guidebefore beginning your bazaar walk. More…

For a premium exploration of Istanbul’s bazaars with a knowledgeable guide, consider Istanbul Tour Studio’s Bazaaring in Istanbul.

Beyoğlu’s İstiklal Caddesi

Formerly the Grande Rue de Péra, İstiklal Caddesi(Independence Avenue) is the heart of Beyoğlu, the more European part of Istanbul. Today it’s a pedestrian zonerunning from Taksim Square to Galatasaray Squareand Tünel Square, served by a century-old Nostaljik Tramvay (map) and lined with boutiques, cafes, restaurants, fine old buildings, and the grand 19th-century imperial embassies built for European diplomatic missions to the Ottoman sultan’s Sublime PorteMore…

—by Tom Brosnahan


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