Videos of Suggested Istanbul Tours
Some video suggestions to explore the City of Istanbul if you are passing through and only have a short time
Istanbul Tour Ideas. Here are some suggestions from an Istanbul citizen about what tours to do if you only have a limited time in this great city. You can visit all the main sites using public transport and avoid paying a tourist premium.
Istanbul has a good and cheap public transport system. Buy a pre-paid 'Istanbul Kart' for easy access to the metro, ferries, buses, trams and funiculars. One card is enough for the whole family as you only swipe on entry. The metro now runs under the Bosphorus so it easy to get to Üsküdar and Kadıköy. Take the ferry from Eminönü to Kadıköy for fabulous skyline views back to the Mosques.
The best way to see Istanbul at night is to take an evening ferry across the Bosphorus to somewhere like Kadıköy. Here is an introduction to what you can expect to see when you take an evening ferry across the Bosphorus.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops inside it. In the summer season it gets between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. The Grand Bazaar is open Monday to Saturday 9:00 - 19:00. Closed Sundays and bank holidays.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles on the interior walls and ceiling. It is open to the public outside of the main prayer times during the day. Free entrance with contributions accepted at a kiosk near the main exit door.
A Bosphorus tour is the best way to explore Istanbul. You can get a Bosphorus tour ( Boğaz Turu ) from Eminönü on the Golden horn. They can take 1, 2 or 6 hours, depending on your schedule. Buy tours direct from the main kiosks for the best prices.
Whirling Dervishes in Istanbul. The whirling dance or Sufi whirling is performed by members of the Mevlevi order in Turkey as part of a formal ceremony known as the Sema. The Sema is performed to try to reach religious ecstasy. It is a powerful ceremony to witness. You can visit a museum about the Mevlevi order and also witness this ceremony during your stay in Istanbul.
Kadıköy is easy to visit by ferry from Eminönü. It is a vibrant area where Turks live and work. Visit Kadıköy via ferry for an authentic Turkish experience. Fabulous food and fresh food stalls.
The Süleymaniye Mosque is an impressive Ottoman mosque dominating the Golden Horn skyline in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the largest mosque in the city, so frequently confused with the Blue Mosque. Now restored it is a fabulous place to visit. Traditional Turkish song played on the cello by BULBLUM ALTIN KAFESTE. Copyright acknowledged.
Istanbul's Bosphorus ferries are world famous and a landmark of the city. It is easy to buy an 'Istanbul Kart' and take the family on a short cruise across the Bosphorus. One of the best routes is from Eminönü on the Golden Horn to Kadıköy on the Asian side.
Saint Sophia is situated opposite the Blue Mosque. It is over 1000 years old and when built was the largest building in the world. It has been a Church, Mosque and is now a National Museum. It remains a very impressive building so should be high on your list of sites to see in Istanbul.
The Rüstem Paşa Mosque is only a few steps from the bustling Spice Market but it is an oasis of calm, found up some steps joining one of the busy side alleys. Traditional Turkish music played by Göksucan AR. Copyright acknowledged.