Day 1 in Istanbul
The interiors consist of hand painted blue tiles and a beautiful combination of the Turkish (Ottoman) empire, Byzantine empire and traditional Islamic architecture. The mosque’s foundation site is the palace site of the Byzantine emperor and in front of the famous museum Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet square.
It is a functioning mosque and the complex contains Sultan Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah and an infirmary constructed between 1609 – 1616. With the capacity to accommodate 10,000 at a time and the only mosque in Istanbul with six minarets, this mosque is a UNESCO world heritage site and a major tourist destination.
The exhibition hall is home to a huge collection of mosaics, coverings and marble pillars that age back to several centuries. Hagia Sophia is a great architectural beauty in Istanbul that stands as a testimony to the glorious past.
Hagia Sophia was built in 532 AD and it was considered the largest cathedral in the whole world for almost a millennium up until 1520. It served as a cathedral for Greeks until 1935 and was then converted into Ayasofya Museum by the president Kemal Ataturk.
At that point of time, the carpets from the floor were removed and it was the first time the intricate design works on the floor came into the limelight. The work of mosaics and frescoes will keep anyone stunned by their majestic and marvellous presence.
Being tourists you would certainly fall in love with some of the points of interest in this monument like the marble door, wishing column and loge of the empress. The museum has been subjected to several renovation and restoration work by the government of Turkey to preserve this heritage building and make it a centre of tourist attraction in the country.
Zillions of tourists have been visiting this architectural marvel year over year. If you are planning to visit Istanbul during your holiday vacation, then do not miss out on visiting this place and getting inspired by the engineering and architecture of the bygone times.
It was of great importance in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was used by the Sultan and his bevy of concubines. In fact, even now, the Imperial Harem is one of the top attractions here! When the sun came down on the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace was converted by the government into a museum, reminiscent of the magnificent Ottoman Empire.
The top two places that have recorded maximum tourist footfall in the palace are the Ottoman Imperial Harem and the treasury of the sultans. It is here that the world-famous Spoonmaker’s diamond and Topkapi dagger are housed!
The lesser-known items which are equally beautiful are the armor, clothing, and manuscripts found here dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries! On account of its age, beauty, and the volumes it tells us about the lives of the flamboyant sultans of the Ottoman empire, it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The tower has nine stories and is 66.90 m or 219 ft high and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built. Located close to the main junction of Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, it is the ideal place to see Istanbul’s peninsula and the surroundings from a different perspective.
Originally named as the Tower of Christ, Galata Kulesi has so much to offer to its tourists. With scintillating vistas, narrow cobbled streets filled with cafes, restaurants and small art galleries, the area around Galata is zestful all day long.
Entertain yourself with a nightclub on the upper floors of the tower which host a Turkish show. Also relish the scenic Golden Horn, visit highlights like the Eyup Sultan Mosque and enjoy a traditional Turkish coffee with mouth-watering baklava at the hilltop Pierre Loti Café.
- The first day of your 3 days in Istanbul is a visit to Sultanahmet Square, which is a major tourist attraction in the center of the city.
- On your visit to the square, you will discover sights of numerous popular landmarks, churches, museums, mosques, fountains, and historical sights, including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, and Topkapi Palace Museum.
- Visitors can take a stroll along the streets of the square and find different cafes and restaurants along the way.
Day 2 in Istanbul
It harbours over 4,000 shops, lined along 62 covered lanes that sell everything from apparels and home decor to edibles and items specific to the Turkish culture and cuisine. It is also considered as one of the very first shopping malls in the world and was once a booming hub and centre of the world’s trade and commerce.
The world-known bazaar is associated with a rich background of history in terms of its conception. The first structure of the bazaar, Cevahir Bedesten was ordered to be built by Sultan Mehmed II for the sole purpose of trading of textiles and jewels, in order to collect income for Hagia Sophia.
In the present day, Grand Bazaar epitomises the Turkish architecture at its best and is one of the most appealing tourist spots Istanbul. It’s enormous structure is an eye-catching edifice in itself, reeling in people’s attention and curiosity from around the world.
Exploring the market through its many lanes serves as an experience that can only be regarded as unique, pertaining to its chic boutiques, range of shopping items and the massive size and variety it offers. The bazaar is as gigantic as a labyrinth, which is what astounds first-time visitors and holds their intrigue in every way.
The market remains open from 10 AM to 7 PM and stays closed on Sunday. It sells a variety of items, from carpets and ceramic items to hammam soaps and traditional confections. The magical Turkish lamps and jewellery also make a good part of the items sold at the shops here. Grand Bazaar has been one of the primary areas of attraction for tourists and continues to be so.
The Basilica Cistern is a famous historical site that brings millions of tourists every year. It is approximately 140 meters in length and 70 meters in breadth, spanning across an area of 9,800 square meters. The grand cistern consists of 336 columns, 9 meters long and placed 4.8 meters away.
Each of the columns is different from one another. The most noteworthy part of the Basilica Cistern is the two Medusa heads. The two heads bespoke the marvellous Roman architecture and are believed to be taken from a famous antique building. Located on the north-western side of the cistern, the two heads form the base of two pillars.
It could hold 80,000 cubic meters of water that was filtered and sent to the Great Palace of Constantinople and other important buildings on the First Hill. The Basilica Cistern was opened to tourists in 1987 after the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality made extensive repairs. Also known as the Subterranean Palace, the grand structure of marble pillars makes for a great tourist experience.
- Suleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque that was commissioned work of the architect, Suleyman I.
- It is among the most adorable places to visit in Istanbul in 3 days as it sits on top of one of the seven hills in the city and dominates the Golden Horn.
- This mosque is renowned for its breathtaking size, constituting four minarets and ten gorgeous ?erefes.
- You can pay a visit to the attraction to admire the fine izník tiles in the mihrab and the window shutters decorated with the mother-of-pearl.
Sunset Cruise over Bosporus
- Enjoying the sunset cruise over Bosphorus is another one of the best things to do in Istanbul in 3 days to explore the city from a unique perspective.
- Through this cruising experience, you can witness the prominent coastal areas and the magnificent skyline of Istanbul which offers beautiful photo opportunities with a backdrop of the evening sky.
- On your journey, you can sip your welcome drink and savor the taste of delectable canapes on board while sailing on an elegant yacht.
- On the second day of the Istanbul 3 days itinerary, you will pay a visit to the Spice Bazar, which is among the most atmospheric, colorful, and fragrant places in Istanbul.
- Also known as the Egyptian Market, the Spice Bazar is renowned for selling spices, dried nuts, Turkish delights, caviar, and much more.
- Upon visiting the attraction, you will witness heaps of saffron, teas, pepper, and dried apricots beside the shops selling Turkish delights, glass mosaic lamps, and silk scarves.
Location: Rüstem Pa?a, Erzak Ambar? Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/?stanbul, Turkey.
Day 3 in Istanbul
- One of the best things to do in Istanbul in 3 days is to pay a visit to the Chora Church, which is a medieval Greek orthodox church building well-known for its exemplary Late Byzantine mosaics and frescos
- It is a beautiful place that attracts a myriad of visitors to the prominent Aya Sofya and offers fascinating insights into Byzantine art.
- There are five fundamental architectural units in the church with the interiors enveloped with mosaics depicting the lives of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
- On the third day of the Istanbul 3 days itinerary, you will also be taken to the Caml?ca Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Turkey designed by two female architects, Bahar M?zrak and Hayriye Gül Totu.
- The 72-meters high main dome in the mosque represents the 72 nations living in the city.
- Upon visiting the mosque, you can explore the museum, art gallery, conference hall, library, and underground parking lot that can accommodate up to 3500 vehicles.
- It is an authentic architectural marvel of the modern age that has efficient light, heating, ventilation, and acoustics systems.
- The last attraction to see on your 3 days in Istanbul is Galata Bazaar, which is a distinguished social and cultural center of the city.
- It is one of the coolest shopping streets in Istanbul that houses some remarkable boutique stores.
- On your visit to the market, you can pay a visit to the antique showroom at Kashif Sofa, the Turkish designer showroom at Arzu Kaprol, and the elegant boutique Atelier 55 on the end.
- You can also enjoy your coffee and delicious homemade chocolate cake at Mavra or climb to the terrace of Georges Hotel Galata to grab some refreshing drink while enjoying the sweeping views of the city.