Nowadays we’re getting used to short and low budget holidays and the “3 days formula” is becoming the most used to visit a city or take a weekend off. So I decided to start a mini guide collecting useful tips on what to see, where to stay or eat in your 3 days in Istanbul. Let’s start with the “what to see”, the top destinations you can’t miss:
Topkapi Palace – it takes you at least half a day, but it’s amazing! Although many people see the Topkapi as a too commercial and touristic attraction, I think that with the right mood it may let you understand the real culture and way of life of the Ottoman Istanbul.
Sultanhamet Mosque and Haghia Sophia – the first one, the Blue Mosque, is my favourite. I’m used to stay at a hotel just in front of it, where I can stay on the terrace and admire that great dome and the minarets. Haghia Sophia has a great story too so it’s another place you can’t miss.
Yerebatan Sarnici – I’ve already explained why I love so much this cistern (I was there 3 times), however the beautiful atmosphere you can breath in the red light between the 336 marble columns is unforgettable.
The Gran Bazaar – an incredible mixture of colors, scents, languages, tastes will leave you breathless, and after the first minutes you will love the way they have to call you here and there and to haggle offering you an apple tea!
Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque – I recently discovered this Mosque, and in spite of my love for the Sultanhamet Mosque, I must say that this one is less crowded, fit to understand the real muslim customs, and it has magnificent Iznik tiles. Here I could see the real Adhan, the islamic call to prayer recited by a muezzin (in Istanbul and in other big cities the Adhan is principally tape-recorded)
Out of Sultanahmet:
– walking on the Galata Bridge up till the Galata Tower, proceeding along Istiklal Cad. having a look at the fish market (Balik Pazar) and the flower market (Cicek Pasaji).
Hope you enjoy your 3 days in Istanbul! 😉