24 hours in Istanbul. What is there to do?
Tips | 24.01.2019
Istanbul, although a good tourist destination in itself, is often used for transfers during long flights. If you happen to find yourself in Turkey's biggest city, we know where you should definitely go.
Take a look at
The Hagia Sophia. Construction began in the year 523, and the temple still stands today. The temple was rebuilt several times, its dome collapsed in the year 989 due to an earthquake, and was later rebuilt. Just imagine how many years ago this temple was built, and how fantastic it looks to this day - it's really breathtaking.

If you like temples, take a look at the Monastery of Chora (Chora Museum), the predecessor of the Hagia Sophia. Even though it looks pretty unremarkable from the outside, absolute unreal beauty is waiting for you inside.
Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Bazaar/Mısır Çarşısı). In spite of the famous Grand Bazaar, in some places it can resemble a regular market, just among beautiful columns and a ceiling. If you've ever imagined a Turkish market with small shops selling spices and coffee - you've arrived. Do not forget to grab some pomegranate tea, coffee beans or cocoa in cans. Everything here is so beautiful, but don't forget to pay attention to the ceilings.
Stroll
Taksim district. Istanbul is quite different when compared to the historical part, where many of the famous temples, markets and palaces are located. Here it is very interesting to combine the eastern and European atmosphere. It looks like a large modern art quarter, inscribed in the ancient architecture of the city. There are a lot of cafes, verandas where the locals just drink tea, fashionable art galleries and much more. You can just stroll along the streets, have lunch on a veranda or climb the Galata Tower. You just have to stand in line, because there are a lot of people who want to go up it.
Cihangir Mahallesi District. Many people call this place "Bohemian Istanbul". You can call it what you like, but here you'll find an abundance of: cozy streets, beautiful buildings, excellent cafes. If you like to relax in a European way, you'll be able to drink coffee (brewed in alternative styles) and get yourself a burger.
Visit
The Museum of Innocence. From its name is not very clear what you can do there, but just go, you will not regret it. The museum was created by the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk, most of the exposition is his collection.

From the outside it is difficult to understand that this is a museum. Tucked away down a little street with an unnoticeable sign and a small inscription on the door. The exhibition reflects the lives of ordinary people: parts, small things, household items, etc. We advise to take a quick look at the books in the "Museum of Innocence." Pamuk wrote his novel in this house.
Hammam Hayaloglu. In Istanbul, hamams can be divided into three groups: historical, city, hotel. Almost all of them are good, but if you want to realy get a taste of history, it is better to choose the first type. This beautiful baroque building, built in 1741, is located in the historical part of the city and is definitely worth a visit.

If you couldn't make it to the historical hamam In Taksim area there is a wonderful Çukurcuma Hamami. It was built in 1830 and has a very beautiful interior and relaxing lounge zone where you can chill out after the massage.
Have a bite to eat at
Ficcin. All lovers of small cozy restaurants will love it here. There are only 6 tables, but for some reason there are not many people. Dim lights, light music and local wines. An excellent café for dinner in one of Istanbul's busiest streets.
Smyrna Cafe. Another small but very cozy place with an interesting interior. Old lamps, slightly shabby sofasand a pleasant veranda, on which, by the way, you can sit all year. It used to be an antique shop, but now it's just a small bar with an inexpensive wine list and delicious cuisine.
● If you decide to go to the hammam, you should decide on this before doing anything else, because usually everything is booked in advance.

● Divide your trip into 2 parts. First go to the historical part of the city and visit all the places there, and then you can walk to the Taksim district and see what this area has to offer.

● If you want to have a look around the market, it'll definitely be worth withdrawing some cash. You can't use your credit card to pay for spices here. Try some pomegranate tea and cocoa, and Turkish pistachio sweets.

● To make it easier for you to understand where all these places are, we advise you to download the map and plan your day in Istanbul. You might want to visit more places or pop in for a spot of dinner in one of the cafés you passed earlier in the day.
Tips
We've put together a very small list of places that you'll definitely have time for during your day in Istanbul. And if you don't manage to see them all, then you'll at least manage half. At MAPS.ME, if you suddenly find that you have time to see all of the above and want more, you can download the city map plus several exciting routes around Istanbul.
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