Istanbul is a gorgeous city with gorgeous weather to match.  We’ve had fun going out exploring the city whenever we have the chance.  We’ve only just begun!

These are different areas within the city that are easily accessible by taxi, bus, or metro.

  1. Ortakoy:  Ortakoy is a cute area with a very pretty mosque along the water. It’s definitely a pretty place to walk around and enjoy the day.  There is a great restaurant called “House Cafe” that sits right along the water and gives you a nice view of the mosque as you enjoy your meal.
  2. Hagia Sophia & Blue Mosque:  I think this might be the most popular area.  The Hagia Sophia is now a museum where you can walk in and take pictures.  There is a dress code for entering the Blue Mosque (but they provide scarves and such for you if needed).
  3. Istiklal Street & Taksim Square:  I feel like a lot of people have heard of Taksim Square, but this wouldn’t be a “must do” for me if my time was limited in the city.  Istiklal Street is a nice street for shopping and restaurants.
  4. Dolmabahce Palace:  This is a pretty place to visit in Besiktas.  If you can go during off-season and with cooler weather, I think it would be an even more pleasant experience!
  5. Galata Tower:  This is a fun artsy neighborhood.  There is an elevator to take you up to the top but the line can get long since only so many people can get up at a time.  From Galata Tower, you’ll want to walk across the Galata Tower and try a fresh fish sandwich!

    7. Kucuksu Palace:  From Bebek on the European Side, this is just a short water taxi over to the Asian Side.  This palace was never actually lived in as it was only used as a place for a tea break after hunting on the Asian side.