Soner Arkan

The ultimate guide to Istanbul

Istanbul. What an amazing city. It’s a place of history, culture, and beauty. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or an adventure-filled holiday, there’s something for everyone in Istanbul.

I’ve lived in Istanbul since I was a child, and I can’t imagine visiting any other place. I love the city’s mix of old and new, and I’ve made it my mission to explore all the best attractions Istanbul has to offer. So, without further ado, here’s my ultimate guide to Istanbul!

Top Attractions

What should you see in Istanbul? The answer is: everything! But if you’re short on time, here are some of the must-visits:

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Also known as the Blue Mosque, this stunning building is the spiritual heart of Istanbul. The mosque is the largest in the city and was built in the early 17th century. It’s renowned for its 6 minarets and the beautiful blue Iznik tiles that adorn its walls.

The Hagia Sophia

This incredible building is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Istanbul. Built in the 6th century, it was originally a Byzantine church before being converted to a mosque in the 15th century. It’s now a museum and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s definitely worth a visit.

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered market in the world, and it’s a must-visit for any traveller to Istanbul. You’ll find a vast array of shops selling everything from traditional Turkish carpets to jewellery, clothing, and antiques. It’s also a great place to pick up a souvenir or two.

Eating Out

Istanbul is a great place to eat. There are restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets, from traditional Turkish restaurants to modern cafes and bars. Here are some of my favourite places to eat in the city.

Karaköy Lokantası

Karaköy Lokantası is a traditional Turkish restaurant located in the heart of Istanbul. The menu is focused on traditional Turkish dishes, such as meze, kebabs, and grilled fish. The food here is absolutely delicious, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.

360 Istanbul

360 Istanbul is a rooftop bar and restaurant located on the banks of the Bosphorus. The restaurant has stunning views of the city, and the menu features a range of modern dishes with a Turkish twist. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a romantic dinner with a view.

Kemankes Karadeniz Pide Salonu

Kemankes Karadeniz Pide Salonu is a local favourite. It’s a great place to try the traditional Turkish dish of pide, which is a kind of flatbread topped with a variety of delicious fillings. The pide here is delicious and the prices are very reasonable.

Where to Stay

Istanbul has a huge range of accommodation options, from traditional Turkish hotels to luxury resorts. Here are some of my top picks:

Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus

The Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the heart of the city. The hotel has stunning views of the Bosphorus, and it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Eresin Crown Hotel

The Eresin Crown Hotel is a boutique hotel located in the heart of Istanbul. The hotel has a modern and stylish interior, and it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a luxurious and central location.

Hotel Büyük Keban

Hotel Büyük Keban is a traditional Turkish hotel located in the historic Sultanahmet neighbourhood. The hotel has a warm and friendly atmosphere, and it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a more authentic experience.

Getting Around

Getting around Istanbul is easy. There