What to see in Istanbul for 4 days, 3 or 2 days?
Istanbul – city of contrasts, a city of beautiful architecture, and the city in which it is impossible not to be involved, the city, walks which are always few. Often tourists visit this great city transit, stopping only for a few days. Therefore, it is important to decide what to see in Istanbul for 4 days or three days or even for a day. Of course, the beauty of the ancient capital of Turkey you will not see, but to join the cultural heritage, to feel a part of history really, even in such a short time.
From Constantinople to Istanbul: Europe and Asia
Istanbul in ancient times it was called Constantinople. Yes, it is Muslim now the city was once a stronghold of the formation and development of Eastern Christianity. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, then the ruler of Byzantium was founded by the Byzantine Empire, sometimes called New Rome. Unfortunately, in the thirteenth century much of the city was plundered and destroyed by the crusaders, was lost without a trace monuments of culture, destroyed architectural structures of the ancient Greeks.
Partially restored, the city has existed for two centuries under the signs of Christianity. In the fifteenth century, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottomans, which marked the beginning of the growth and exaltation in the world arena of the Ottoman Empire – the Turkish state – the Caliphate. Several decades later, namely in the sixteenth century (after the Turks captured Egypt) Istanbul is officially recognized as the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
See the TOP 5 places not to miss in Istanbul:
Transportation and excursions
Transportation to Istanbul is provided by buses, metro, local taxi (dolmus), in some areas there are trams. The most common are buses, the fare in them is low, but the comfort level leaves much to be desired.
If you are visiting Istanbul for the first time, we recommend to buy a special map to navigate around the city easier.
Metro in Istanbul, represented by only three branches. It is noteworthy that all three of the direction of movement of the subway are completely unrelated. Running underground in the daytime.
Buses in the city are of two types: the municipality and private. They differ in color, private, predominantly blue or orange colors and more modern, compared to the state. Also difference is the fact that travelling on a private bus you don't need to pre-purchase a ticket, the fare is paid inside the conductor. The fare in private and municipal bus are the same.
Dolmus is the local form of taxi, classic taxi dolmus differ in that motion passes on a predetermined route. Depending on the distance of travel varies and the cost. According to both tourists and locals, dolmushi the most suitable transport for trips around the city. But at night only, perhaps, by mode of transport in Istanbul is by taxi. Often the drivers do not want to use the meter, or inflate the fare. This, and the fact that toll bridges over the Bosphorus paid, you should consider if you are planning a trip by taxi.
Europe and Asia: a contrast of Istanbul
Even today, the uniqueness of Istanbul is that the city is situated in two continents: Europe and Asia. The Bosporus, linking the Black and Marmara sea have divided the city into two parts. Conditional division of Istanbul on the European and Asian parts passes through the Bosphorus Strait, and on the historical and modern part of the city on the Golden horn.
Aminea – history of Istanbul
Stopping in Istanbul for a short time, be sure to include in your program of what to see in Istanbul in 3 days Emineo. This part of the city is often included in the world heritage list of UNESCO. As already mentioned, the Golden horn Bay divides Istanbul into the Old town, directly Emineo, and new beyoğlu.
In Eminee located landmarks of culture as:
- Topkan Palace;
- the Hagia Sofia;
- mosque Sultanahmet;
- the Grand Bazaar;
- Suleymaniye mosque;
- and other reminders of the Ottoman Empire.
As Aminea located in the European part of Istanbul, it is the old Sirkeci train station. For the convenience of tourists in the Old city has a fragmented network of bus routes and (local taxi), there is even a special high-speed tram from the main attractions.
Topkapi Palace: the heart of the Empire
Topkapi Palace was built in an olive grove the old Byzantine Acropolis, in the vicinity of the entrance to the Golden horn. The construction of the complex began in the mid fifteenth century, when the ramparts of the Sultan was isolated Cape Carabino from the rest of the city. To be called the Topkapi Palace complex began in the eighteenth century. Yes, and its architectural structure, Topkapi is not very similar to the Palace. In fact, this whole area, individual streets and buildings are connected together by a fortified wall.
Topkapi is visually divided into two parts: external andinternal. If the first could get any devout Muslim, the latter was isolated and was destined for the life of the Sultan and his entourage. The private portion of the Palace in turn was divided into directly the chambers of the Sultan and the harem – a place reserved for the residence of the women and children of the ruler of the Ottoman Empire.
Topkapi Palace was the main Palace of the Ottoman rulers until the mid-nineteenth century. After 1855 its territory was inhabited only by udobstvami the wives of sultans. Now, this Palace complex is the most popular Museum in Turkey. Every year millions of tourists visit its gardens and buildings, admire the beauties that were previously inaccessible to the Gentiles. To get on the tour at Topkapi Palace is open daily, except Tuesdays and Muslim holidays.
Muslim Cathedral – Hagia Sophia
as you know, Muslims are very religious people. Daily visits to mosques (Church for Muslims) one of the main principles of conduct of a righteous Turk. The main mosque of the Ottomans – converted Christian Cathedral of Hagia Sophia. The Cathedral was built in the sixth century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. Unremarkable at first glance, the Cathedral impresses with its splendor inside: marble walls and floors, wonderful frescoes and the play of light. Partially destroyed and plundered during the period of the Crusades, the Cathedral was restored and renovated by the Ottomans, conquered Constantinople.
Now Hagia Sophia is called the mosque of Hagia Sophia and is considered to be one of the places of pilgrimage for Muslims. In its walls were built the tombs of the Turkish sultans. In the late years of the Ottoman Empire mosque, the Hagia Sophia was restored and decorated inside with frescoes, restored mosaics and calligraphy by the Muslim inscriptions. After the founding of the Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia ceased to be a mosque and was converted into a Museum, host of today countless tourists.
Blue mosque – great beauty
Cannot visit in Istanbul, visit Blue mosque – a symbol of the reign of Sultan Ahmed I. the Mosque is located in the vicinity of Hagia Sophia. Built the Blue mosque of black, green and red marble, the halls of the mosque are decorated with beautiful mosaics and stained glass Windows, in the decoration of the halls during the construction were used the tiles. Complement the image inside jewelry, namely, doors made of bronze; the walls inside the mosque are decorated with figures and calligraphic inscriptions.
One can endlessly enumerate all the sights of the Old town. All of them, despite the antiquity, preserved or restored, and represent a remarkable demonstration of the magnificent history of Turkey and Istanbul. Therefore, even if your trip to Istanbul short-term, so be sure to allow at least a day walk Aminee. Received impressions of beauty fully compensate for the time spent.
The Bosphorus – Istanbul
Bosphorus Strait has always played an important role in transport connection between the Asian and European parts of Istanbul. Regular ferry crossings, daily trips by boat between the banks considerably complicated life. Therefore long since the idea of the construction of bridges between the two banks. Not a significant dream of Turks in the past were implemented in the late twentieth century, when, in 1973, opened the first suspension bridge across the Bosphorus.
To walk this bridge, unfortunately closed, but many tourists choose it in the midst of what to see in Istanbul in 2 days. Thanks to the sightseeing tours on the Bay you can enjoy the Majesty of this suspension bridge from afar, to estimate its magnitude, because the length of the bridge is 1560 meters. The second bridge over the Bosphorus was built fifteen years after the first. The Fatih Sultan Mehmet bridge connects the banks of Istanbul Rumeli (European part) to Hisar and Anadolu (Asian side).
Special attention deserves the ferry tour of the Bosphorus. Although built bridges connecting the shores of Istanbul, but to fully experience the atmosphere of the city, to feel the beauty of life between Europe and Asia without a trip through the Strait by ferry impossible. For many centuries a permanent crossing was part of life of local residents. Especially in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when industrial and business life of the city flowed into the European and fork and the house was located in an Asian girl.
Plan a trip along the Bosphorus is different and depends on the tour program. Often it is not only the crossing between the banks, but also special stops at the main attractions, giving the opportunity to fully enjoy the beauty of the Bosphorus. Short tours without stops and long with visits to attractions begin in Eminee on the European side (the bottom of the Bosphorus), and Anadolu completed in Kavagi Asian (upper Bosphorus). Of course, after the tour a ferry with the tourists returned to the starting Parking lot.
Sightseeing tours: a quick introduction to the city
For tourists making short visits to Istanbul, sightseeing busthe tour is a godsend. Arriving in the city, you can hop on a tour bus, a distinctive feature of it is that it's open-top bus. The starting-points of following a tour bus two: the first at the mosque the Hagia Sophia (the Old town), the second to Taksim square (on the border with the New town).
The peculiarity of such trips is that the bus follows a predetermined route, and the trip is accompanied by stories of guides in several foreign languages about the sights of Istanbul, its beauty and architectural monuments. A nice bonus is the fact that during the trip you can get off the bus at special stops, take a stroll across the Piazza, or visit the Museum, and then go back to the bus stop and continue to follow the route of the bus.
Program tour buses created with the support of the Istanbul municipality has already gained popularity and rave reviews of tourists. If your visit to Istanbul lasts only a few days, and you wish not to miss the slightest bit of the beauty of Istanbul – tickets for these tours the perfect option.
Turkish bath – Istanbul's business card
Originally Hamam is a traditional Turkish bath, and the Arabic is translated as fever. Which is popular in Europe several centuries ago, the Eastern bathhouse not hand over their positions to this day. It is noteworthy that although the arrangement of a Turkish bath and improved on the technical side, but the interior of the Hamam remains intact today. Visiting a Hammam can safely enter into the program of learning of Istanbul. Wonderful experiences from Turkish baths are guaranteed.
The visit to the Hamam will last from half an hour to two. It is important to consider to plan your travel. In the bath use a soft vapor, which differs from the classical Russian bath. Going to the Hamam, you will first be taken to the first room, where there is assumed to be preparations: the client is warmed, his body prepared for a gradual higher temperature in the second part.
In the first room, the air temperature does not exceed the level of 30 degrees Celsius. The second area of the Hamam, you can enjoy a massage, relax and relax. In conclusion, in the third room it is expected the pool to cool your body. It is important that in the Turkish baths rarely take credit cards, so prepare in advance cash (expected results tip).
Beach vacation in Istanbul
Although Istanbul does not apply to the territory of a beach holiday in Turkey, but if you visit the city in summer, you can always enjoy the warm Marble sea. Among the disadvantages of this pastime is the fact that most of the beaches in Istanbul are very distant from city centre, and access to them is necessary for commuter trains. This is the main drawback for short visits to Istanbul. But, if you love a beach holiday, do not think travel summer without swimming in the waves – and that Istanbul can offer. Among the most well-known beaches include:
- beaches in Kilosa;
- beaches in şile;
- beaches in Agva.
Except on the train to the shores of the sea of Marmara and on the bus or car. Very popular direction to Silivri. In addition to beaches on the coast within the city there are the city beaches on the Bosphorus, for example, the beach provides a fitness room, which include the famous Istanbul Park.
Shopping – a dream becomes reality
Istanbul is tacitly recognized as the center of shopping. On the territory of the city there is a countless number of boutiques, shops and markets. Long ago, being the junction of Europe and Asia was located in the city's most famous trading centers and markets from around the world. If in the ancient markets of Istanbul you can find everything, including slaves, supplied the harems, today in stores and shops of the city, little has changed, except that people no longer sell. Clothing and goods for any taste, any price. Perhaps, there is nothing that it would be impossible to buy in Istanbul.
The center of the shopping district of Laleli. It is in its territory contains retail areas, shops and luxury boutiques of international level. If you do not think your trip without buying Souvenirs or goods, and in General are very fond of buying, the Grad Bazaar is the place where you need to look at any time of the year. Even if you're in town not in the summer, on its territory you always will find what to see in Istanbul in the winter, and maybe to buy. Next to him is a Book market, offering a wide range of various books, including antique. And for lovers of spices, coffee and Oriental sweets works the Egyptian Bazaar.
Vacation with children
Many people come to Istanbul with his family, so it is important what you can take children in the course of exploring the city. For children Istanbul offers a visit to the Dolphinarium and water Park, and a visit to the toy Museum rarely a child will be able to remain indifferent. Arriving in splendid with children, plan a visit to the ParkMiniatures Museum of kites and certainly in the local zoo.
If you are staying in local hotels, remember that in the territories of most of the hotels work with professional animators who will always take care of leisure of your children while you go to remote district town or out to dinner. Leisure activities for children in Istanbul are varied and no child will be bored in this wonderful city.
Light show and fishing: the contrast in all
Istanbul a city of contrasts, a city where several cultures are connected, the city became a centre for the world religions: Christianity and Islam at the same time, the city where every guest happy. Nowhere else in the world will you find such eclecticism, the mixing of cultures and traditions very different Nations and even continents. Only in Istanbul you can enjoy authentic Turkish and Greek cuisine, Istanbul modern light show side by side with the ferry, only in Istanbul you can feel the mixture of opposites.
Istanbul is a city for the world, city in Europe and city in Asia at the same time, the city where traditions of the past and create masterpieces of our time.