Why I love İstanbul
Why do I love this city? Let me count the ways. I love the locals, who have an endless supply of hospitality and good humour at their disposal. I love the fact that when I walk down a city street, layers of history unfold before me. I love listening to the sound of the müezzins duelling from their minarets and I love seeing the sun set over the world’s most beautiful skyline. I love the restaurants, the bars and the. Read More
Top experiences in Istanbul
Sights in Istanbul
Amazing hotels and hostels
We’ve pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
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Food and drink
Develi Baklava in Bazaar District
Karaköy Güllüoğlu in Beyoğlu
Deraliye in Sultanahmet Around
Fatih Damak Pide in Bazaar District
Balıkçı Sabahattin in Sultanahmet Around
Çiya Sofrası in Kadıköy
Cooking Alaturka in Sultanahmet Around
Neolokal in Beyoğlu
Asitane in Western Districts
Antiochia in Beyoğlu
Dull but essential passport paperwork and entry info
Best time to go
Hit the ground at the right time
Money and costs
Budgets, currency rates and on-the-ground costs
Keep safe and well on the open road
Launch map view
The rise of Karaköy: Istanbul s hippest neighbourhood
Edging the water on the northern side of İstanbul’s Galata Bridge, Karaköy is an exhilarating and contradictory neighbourhood within Beyoğlu where tradesmen’s workshops share narrow streets with chic cafes and galleries, and where bohemian boutiques coexist alongside traditional pastaneler (bakeries). In many ways, it’s a microcosm of modern İstanbul.
The inexorable process of gentrification is well and truly underway, but the area’s fin-de-siècle buildings and rich multicultural heritage are being preserved, making it a fascinating destination for a day’s exploration.
Lonely Planet Writer
Top 10 traditional cheap eats in Istanbul s Bazaar District
Many of the merchants, artisans, porters and local shoppers who spend their days in Istanbul Old City’s world-famous bazaars are committed chowhounds. Having taste-tested their way through the district, they are the best possible guides when it comes to identifying the district’s freshest, fastest and most delicious food.
Scorning foodie fads and embracing cheap eats, these champions of traditional Turkish cuisine can often be found queuing at the following favourites.
Lonely Planet Writer
Turks are enthusiastic, expert picnickers – there are thousands of piknik yeri (picnic grounds) dotted all over the country. Some riverside picnic areas even have tables and benches planted in the shallows so people can eat while dangling their feet in the water.
The usual plan of attack is for two or three families to decide who’s going to bring what. Typical picnic foods are bread, cheese, nuts, stuffed vegetables and different meats, either cold cuts or pieces ready for grilling on a fireplace or a portable mangal (grill). Kuru köfte (dry meatballs) are popular because they are firm enough to travel well in the hamper. The köfte are mixed and rolled at home then fried in olive oil on site. Fruit and sugar-coated nuts round off the meal.
Lonely Planet Writer
149 History culture
ANZAC Day Memorial Tour
With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, stand in the morning breeze and pay respect to the fallen on ANZAC Day at a dawn vigil. This special three-day trip includes a private bus along the Dardanelles, from Istanbul to the memorial site commemorating the common sacrifice for all of the nations involved. This moving tour will also include visits to other important sites such as Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, and the war cemeteries, making this visit to Turkey a unique and beautiful experience.
183.62 Small group tours
2-Day Small-Group Troy and Gallipoli Tour from Istanbul
Step back in time at Gallipoli and Troy on this enlightening 2-day tour from Istanbul, including round-trip transport, three meals and overnight accommodation. Head to Gallipoli to visit the battle sites of the World War I campaign, when Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) troops fought the Turks in what would become a deadly stalemate. After an overnight hotel stay in Çanakkale, explore ancient Troy, famed for the Trojan War and legendary wooden Trojan horse. Enjoy in-depth attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 14 people.
309.87 Small group tours
4-Day ANZAC Tour: Istanbul, Gallipoli and Troy
If you only have a few days in Turkey and want to see the major highlights, this is the tour for you. This four-day trip takes you to Troy, Gallipoli and Istanbul, combining Turkey’s vibrant capital and surrounding historic sites.
314.46 Sightseeing tours
4-Day Istanbul City Stay Package
If this is your first time to Istanbul and you want to see all the highlights of this amazing city at a leisurely pace, this is the tour for you. This four-day stay will take you to the palaces of Topkapi and dolmabahce, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and there’s even time for shopping in the Grand Bazaar to pickup a souvenir or two.
319.95 Small group tours
5-Day Aegean Tour from Istanbul: Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Pamukkale and Hierapolis
Travel along the breathtaking coastline of Turkey’s Aegean region, full of ancient Greek cities, on this tour from Istanbul. With your local guide, visit the battlefields of Gallipoli, explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Troy and tour ancient ruins in Pergamum and Ephesus. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot springs of Hierapolis, admire the white limestone terraces of Pamukkale and get a taste for culture as you browse hand-crafted leather goods in Kusadasi and explore a silk bazaar in Bursa. You’ll stay in 4- to 5-star hotels, with daily meals included, and enjoy comfortable transportation.
1223.40 Small group tours
7 nights from Istanbul: Seven Churches of Revelation
Turkey, the second holy land. Follow in the footsteps of St. Paul’s journeys in Turkey and the Seven Churches of Asia Minor. It includes the religious sites and places such as Pergamum, Philadelphia, Laodicea. Ephesus, Smyrna, Thyatira, Sardis. A must pilgrimage for all the Christians and true believers.