Excursions from Istanbul, Turkey

Last Updated on December 30, 2019

You’ve seen Istanbul’s top sights, now get out of the city. Here are the best one-day and overnight trips:

Bosphorus Cruise

A half-day or day-long excursion up the strait that runs through Istanbul, visiting castles, palaces… and—if you’re like me—fish restaurants! More…

Princes Islands

A voyage to these islands just offshore from Istanbul is a great way to spend a day…or even overnight (but avoid weekends). More…

Beaches near Istanbul

The beaches will be crowded on any hot summer day, but they still provide a refreshing getaway. More…


Zoom south across the Sea of Marmara in a catamaran to see this first capital of the Ottoman Empire, with its fine old mosquessilk weaving trade, and thermal spas. Make it an overnight and see İznik (Nicaea) as well. More…


Comfortable day-long excursion by bus or car to see the fine old mosques and lively bazaars of the second Ottoman capital, delightfully free of tourist crowds. More…

Çanakkale & Gallipoli

Long day-trip by bus or car to see the Dardanelles, the Gallipoli battlefields, and even ancient Troy; possible in a long day, but better as an overnight. More…


Best-preserved classical city in the entire Mediterranean, a must-see; go by plane for the day, or overnight. More…


Uh, no. Well, yes, it can be visited in a day, but it’s a waste of your time and money. Transport is just not convenient enough, distances are just a little too long, the sights are spread out…. If you can stay over at least one night, it can be worth it, which brings us to…

Turkey in 2 to 5 Days

Here are more tips for making the most of your short time in Turkey. More…

—by Tom Brosnahan

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Istanbul Weekend

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1 to 5 Days in Turkey

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