24 hours in Istanbul

Istanbul is home to a rich history as it has been the capital of four different empires: the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Latin Empire, and Ottoman Empire. It is where East meets West with the Bosphorus Strait separating the two continents, Europe and Asia. If you only have 24 hours to spend in this city, these are the experiences that you must have.

9:00 AM
Start your day by climbing the Galata Tower for a panoramic view of the city. Be here on time to avoid long lines. The earlier you are, the better you can avoid the swarm of tourists that might get in the way of your view of the colorful city.

10:00 AM
Take a stroll to the Galata bridge where you can see another incredible view of the Yeni Cami which is a newly constructed mosque often surrounded by seagulls. As you go along, you will come across the Spice Bazaar where you can buy all sorts of spices, some of which you can sample.

If you want to do more shopping and don’t mind doing so on an empty stomach, go further to the Grand Bazaar which houses 3,000 shops. Don’t be afraid to haggle while shopping as some items are priced three times more than its actual value.

1:00 PM
You’re probably feeling hungry after hours of looking through the market so head over to Neyzade Restaurant which serves a delicious mix of European, Mediterranean, and Turkish dishes.

2:00 PM
Once you’re done with lunch, you are now ready for more sight-seeing. One site you must see is the Hagia Sophia which features a mix of Christian and Muslim faith architecture. It used to be Christian Church but was converted into a Mosque and eventually into a museum. Another historical site nearby is the Blue Mosque which is covered in 21,000 blue handmade Iznik tiles in its interior. You’ll probably get hungry as you explore the historical sites that surround you so don’t hesitate to drop by Ozi Pizza and Pasta for some Italian delight.

7:00 PM
After a long day of taking in Istanbul’s beautiful architecture, you can finally have a savory Turkish meal at the Gulhane Sark Sofrasi Restaurant. Try out their delicious chicken shish kebabs and lamb casserole. You might then want to drop by the Hafiz Mustafa 1864 Restaurant for some hot chocolate and dessert.

10:00 PM
You’ve had an eventful da and you are finally ready to retire at the Vault Karakoy, The House Hotel which is a bank turned hotel featuring elegant décor and charming interior.

- Galata Tower: Buyuk Hendek Cad., Istanbul
- Yeni Cami: Rustem Pasa Mh. | Eminonu, Istanbul 34116
- Spice Bazaar: Rustem Pasa Mahallesi, Istanbul 34116
- Grand Bazaar: Grand Bazaar, Beyazıt Mh., Istanbul 34126
- Neyzade Restaurant: Taya Hatun Sok. No. 5, Istanbul 34120
- Hagia Sophia: Sultanahmet Mh., Ayasofya Meydanı, Istanbul 34122
- Blue Mosque: Address: Sultanahmet | Sultanahmet Mah, Istanbul 34122
- Ozi Pizza and Pasta: Binbirdirek Mah., Su Terazisi Sok. No:9, Istanbul 34122
- Gulhane Sark Sofrasi Restaurant: AlayKosku Cad. No: 22, Istanbul 34110
- Vault Karakoy, The House Hotel: Bankalar Caddesi No. 5, Istanbul 34421

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