2 Days in Istanbul Itinerary: Exploring the Magic of a Timeless City

Where ancient mosques meet bustling bazaars amidst the labyrinth of streets, what can you do when you only have 2 days in Istanbul itinerary?

Istanbul is the only city in the world that bridges two continents and harmoniously embraces ancient traditions and modernity. The city beautifully weaves the essence of Europe and Asia while captivating the hearts of visitors.

At every corner of Istanbul, you can hear whispers of the Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman Empires which have left their mark on Istanbul’s landscape. From its history to breathtaking architecture, Istanbul will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Istanbul leaves an indelible mark on those who visit. Its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty would ignite your sense and curiosity.

Follow us as we walk through the streets of Istanbul and visit its historical wonders and hidden gems. Join us as we immerse ourselves in the warmth of Turkish hospitality. 

With its mesmerizing tales, Istanbul awaits to embrace you with open arms.

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Save time, energy, and money, and enjoy complete flexibility as you discover Istanbul using the Istanbul Welcome Card. You can have the card delivered to your hotel. The tours included in the card are also worth it if you plan a DIY trip to Istanbul.

Explore the Fener/Balat district on this walking tour. Take a cable car to the historic Pierre Loti Cafe while admiring the Ottoman houses, churches, and mosques. Finally, end the day with a ferry ride across the Golden Horn, the world’s longest natural harbor. 

Try the foods of Istanbul on both the Asian and European sides of the Bosphorus in this guided food and culture tour. Sample the local tea and enjoy Kurdish food and end your day with the stunning views of Istanbul at night.

Enjoy a full day of Palaces on the Bosphorus Tour and visit 3 magnificent Ottoman palaces that showcase the splendor of Turkish history and culture. 

Treat yourself to a private Turkish bath, or sauna, and rejuvenate yourself with a massage. Give your body a boost with a steam bath, or foam massage, and enjoy this unique experience in Istanbul. 

Where is Istanbul?

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The city straddles the Bosphorus Straits which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. If you are spending more than 2 days in Istanbul, we recommend getting the Rick Steves Istanbul on how to beat the crowds and avoid the common tourist traps. The book is a must if you want a free self-guided walking tour of some of the popular neighborhoods in Istanbul.

With its geographically strategic location, Istanbul is a blend of Eastern and Western influences seen in its food, culture, and buildings. Istanbul’s beautiful hills,  valleys, and seas made the city an international trade hub. This resulted in a melting pot of cultures.

The city was also the capital of three major empires, the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman which gave the city its cultural heritage. With iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque whose cultures have contributed to the unique customs, languages, and cuisines. 

Today, Istanbul is a vibrant metropolis that showcases a blend of ancient and modern while bridging the gap between the East and the West. A trip to Istanbul leaves you captivated and wanting to return. 


Constantinople and Byzantium are just some of the names of this beautiful city that has a rich history that spreads over two millenniums. Its location between two continents, Istanbul bears witness to the rise and fall of three great empires of all time.

The earliest known settlement dates back to 660 BC when Greek settlers established Byzantium on the European side of the Bosphorus Straits. The city was renamed Constantinople when the city became the new Roman capital.

Constantinople became a center for Greek culture and Christianity with many churches built across the city. Hagia Sophia was built during the reign of Justinian the Great and remained one of the largest cathedrals at that time. 

By the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople. The city became the capital of the empire and experienced prosperity. The Ottoman sultans revitalized the city by welcoming everyone to the city. To know more of Istanbul, read Out of Istanbul from acclaimed journalist Bernard Ollivier who begins his epic journey on foot from Istanbul to Tehran, recreating the steps of the famed Silk Route.

The urban landscape changed as Istanbul turned from a ramshackle old town to an imperial capital. By the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire declined and was dissolved after World War 1.

It was Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who founded modern Turkey and established Ankara as the new capital. Despite losing its political status, the city remained a cultural, economic, and tourism hub.

With significant changes and modernization, Istanbul experienced rapid population growth, urban development, and redevelopment. While the city has transformed for the better, Istanbul has beautifully preserved its architectural marvels.

Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace continue attracting millions of visitors annually. 

Today, Istanbul is a bridge between Europe and Asia geographically and merges Eastern and Western cultures seamlessly. The city continues to evolve. Istanbul embraces its past while seizing the opportunities of the present.

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Visa Requirements

Tourists visiting Turkey must obtain a visa to enter the country from one of Turkey’s diplomatic missions unless they come from the 91 visa-exempt countries. 

Citizens from 29 countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the Bahamas just to name a few can apply for the eVisa before arrival. 

Although the processing time for the eVisa varies between 24 to 48 hours, it is best to apply early to allow for any unexpected delays in processing. 

Citizens from India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the Philippines, can apply for the conditional eVisa and stay for a maximum of 30 days.

When applying for a Turkish Visa, the application is simplified, and the process is streamlined with services offered on a user-friendly platform. Using these services, you can focus on preparing for your trip and leave your application process in expert hands. 


What is the most beautiful area of Istanbul?

historic district of Sultanahmet, street lights with the Blue Mosque in the background
Photo by Youssef Mohamed on Unsplash

While the term “most beautiful” is subjective, the historic district of Sultanahmet is one of the most beautiful areas in Istanbul. With landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet exudes an old-world charm.

This neighborhood in Fatih, on the European side of the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul. The main attraction here is Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine Church that was converted into a mosque and now serves as a museum.

The Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is famous for its blue-tiled interior which gives it its name. As the Blue Mosque is a living place of worship, visitors are welcome to visit outside of prayer times.

With its bustling streets and vibrant atmosphere, the neighborhood caters to both local and international tourists with a wide range of dining options. Sultanahmet is also a safe neighborhood in Istanbul and is a popular choice for first-time visitors.

Are 2 days enough for Istanbul?

Keeping in mind that Istanbul is a sprawling metropolis, 2 days in Istanbul itinerary is enough to visit the highlights of the city. You can use our self-guided walkable guide to help you make the most of your time here. 

Day 1: The Highlights

Hagia Sophia

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, the vast hall of the Hagia Sophia lit up in the evening with large crowds admiring its architecture
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Our first stop in our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Hagia Sophia. As we entered the grand entrance, a sense of amazement washed over me. We could only imagine the stories this architectural marvel would tell as we along the ancient walls.

It was the vast space and the rays of sunlight that streamed through the glass windows that took our breath away. The intricate mosaics depicted religious figures of archangels Gabriel and Michael.

As my steps echoed through the halls, the thought that this was the same place where many emperors, sultans, and countless pilgrims had walked these grounds before me. The history of the Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman Empires lingered at every corner.

At the heart of the Hagia Sophia, we appreciated the devotion, creativity, and resilience of this masterpiece that has stood the test of time. Hagia Sophia is a living testament to our desire to build a building so enduring, yet speaks to the souls of the generations to come.

There is no entrance fee to visit Hagia Sophia and it is open every day of the week from 10 am to 10 pm. During prayer hours, some barriers separate the prayer section from visitors.

Visiting during prayer hours gives you a limited experience as you cannot enter the main space within the mosque. There are always long queues at the entrance as visitors are admitted in groups. 

Topkapi Palace

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, Topkapi Palace corridoor
Photo by Meriç Dağlı on Unsplash

Our second stop in our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was Topkapi Palace which is a quick 4-minute walk from Hagia Sophia. As we stepped into the gates of Topkapi Palace, it was as if we were time traveling back in time. 

Nestled on the banks of the Bosphorus, this palace beckons you to visit. With lush gardens that envelop you in a symphony of colors and scents of blooming roses, jasmine, and aromatic spices.

Walking through the corridors, the intricate craftsmanship, the elaborate tiles, and the hand-painted patterns that covered the walls spoke tales of distant lands and adventure. 

The Harem was an exclusive sanctuary for the sultan and his concubines. We could only imagine the forbidden romances and untold desires. This was a place where a delicate balance of power and passion happened.

However, it was the Treasury that left us breathless. This room contained a vast collection of artwork, jewelry, and heirlooms. The Topkapi Dagger with a golden hilt ornamented with emeralds, a golden watch, and an emerald lid was in the second room.

It was the Spoonmaker’s Diamond set that caught our eyes. This set was in silver and ornamented with diamonds. Views of the Bosphorus with its sparkling waters can be seen from the pavilions which were constructed for the sultan’s viewing pleasure.

There is an entrance fee of ₺500 ($20) for foreign adults and includes the main areas of the palace and the Hagia Irene Church. You need to fork out an additional ₺225 ($10) to visit the Harem. A combination ticket for Topkapi Palace, the Harem, and Hagia Irene is available at ₺650 ($25) with an audio guide.

Basilica Cistern

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, the interiors of Basilica Cistern with its pathways illuminated with red and green lights
Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

Our third stop in our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was Basilica Cistern which is a 6-minute walk from Topkapi Palace. As the cool, damp air greeted us, we found ourselves in a subterranean world that once whispered tales of ancient grandeur and mystery.

The cistern got its name as it was once located under the public square, the Stoa Basilica. The basilica was built during the Early Roman Age. Several ancient texts mention that the basilica was surrounded by gardens that faced Hagia Sophia. 

As the cistern reopened after renovation, the pathways are now illuminated with red and green lights that add to its mysterious charm. Look out for the Medusa Heads hidden in the farthest corner of the cistern.

Although the origin of the two Medusa heads is unknown, they may have been removed from an ancient Roman building. As the gentle sounds of water echo throughout the chambers, carp swim gracefully with their hues creating a reflection in the mirror-like waters. As if they were guardians of these cisterns.

The raised wooden walkways take you through the massive arches and brought us to the Weeping Column called the Peacock’s Eye. The carvings on this column were a tribute to the slaves who worked and died during the construction of the cistern.

The entrance fee for Basilica Cistern is ₺350 ($14) per person with the opening hours being 9 am to 7 pm daily. Other than the long queues, a visit here leaves you fascinated and left us in awe and gratitude at the legacy left by those who built this architectural marvel that has stood the test of time. 

Blue Mosque

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, the interiors of the Blue Mosque
Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

Our fourth stop in our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Blue Mosque. The Blue Mosque is about 300 meters or a 5-minute walk from the Basilica Cistern. As we stepped into the courtyard, we felt a sense of tranquility.

As we approached the structure, the beauty, and grandeur of the mosque is captivating. Its interiors are adorned with 20,000 Iznik-style ceramic tiles which give the mosque its name. 

The upper levels are painted blue and the 200 stained-glass windows cast natural light onto the interiors of the mosque. The chandeliers further add to the mosque’s ethereal beauty.

The spacious prayer hall has elegant arches and cascading domes with delicate floral motifs. The calligraphy adorning the walls was decorative while serving the purpose of creating a serene and visually stunning atmosphere for worshippers.

There is no entrance fee to visit the Blue Mosque. However, as it is an active mosque, visits are only allowed outside of prayer times. The Blue Mosque is at Sultanahmet Square and is within walking distance from Hagia Sophia.

Grand Bazaar

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, colorful pottery at the Grand Bazaar
Photo by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash

Our fifth stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Grand Bazaar. This bazaar is the oldest and largest in Istanbul. With 61 streets and more than 4,000 shops, we ended our day 1 in Istanbul with some retail therapy. If there is one thing that catches your eye, it is the beautiful Turkish lamps which come in all shapes and sizes.

The Grand Bazaar is a 10-minute walk from the Blue Mosque. Or, you can take the tram from Sultanahmet Station to Beyazit Station which is just two stops away. As you enter the bazaar, be prepared to be transported back in time. Here, time stands still. The Turkish tea glasses set with removable glasses are worth buying, whether as a gift or simply as a decorative piece at home.

With over four centuries of tales in its walls, the Grand Bazaar is the soul of Istanbul. The maze-like alleys lead to shimmering mosaics and vivid lanterns where the art of bargaining is heard throughout the bazaar. 

The Grand Bazaar is a living museum. After shopping, stop to drink a fragrant cup of Turkish tea or indulge in freshly brewed Turkish coffee. Sit in the courtyard as you let the world pass by.  There is no entrance fee to visit the Bazaar. But, bring your wallet with you as you shop for souvenirs for your loved ones.

Day 2: Other Must-Visits

Galata Tower

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, Galata Tower and its surrounding neighborhood
Photo by Berk Karabıyık on Unsplash

Our sixth stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Galata Tower. This tower was a watchtower at the highest point of the now, lost Walls of Galata. The tower defies the passage of time as it rises above Istanbul’s bustling vibes.

As we ascended, our anticipation grew as the panoramic view of Istanbul came into view. From the cityscape, the mosaic, minarets, and domes that shape the city’s skyline contrasted against the Bosphorus, the view was breathtaking.

Local legends mention that Ahmed Celebi was the first person to fly with bird-like wings from the tower and land on the Asian side of Turkey. 

He was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. The story goes that Sultan Murad Khan watched the flight and awarded Ahmed with a bag of gold. He was then exiled to Algeria where he remained till his death.

There is an entrance fee of ₺350 ($14) for adults and the opening hours vary during summer and winter seasons. 

Spice Bazaar

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, the spices at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey
Photo by Linus Mimietz on Unsplash

Our seventh stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Spice Bazaar. This bazaar is about a mile or a 20-minute walk from Galata Tower. Walking in here was a whirlwind of sensory delights with sights, scents, and sounds that transport you to a fascinating world.

The air is filled with fragrances of spices, herbs, and dried fruits that greeted us at every turn. Pyramids of saffron, paprika, golden turmeric, and emerald green cardamom created a mesmerizing patchwork of colors.

The merchants beckoned us with smiles and gestures and invited us to taste, touch, and smell their spices. The cascade of cinnamon sticks, dried rose petals, and aromatic teas gave us a sense of bustling energy.

There is no entrance fee to enter this bustling marketplace. Try your hand at bargaining and return with the freshest dried fruits, spices, teas, and Turkish delights.

Bosphorus Cruise

Photo by Tolga Ahmetler on Unsplash

Our eighth stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was cruising on the Bosphorus. Step aboard a luxurious yacht or a boat. As you set sail, the gentle breeze caresses you as you watch the sunset amidst the aroma of spices and drinks.

Watch the Istanbul skyline, where ancient and modern merge in a symphony of architectural marvels. The shore becomes a kaleidoscope of colors as lush green hills meet the water, adorned by splendid Ottoman mansions and fishing villages along the shores.

Dolmabahce Palace

the interiors of Dolmabahce Palace which is the largest palace in Turkey
Photo by Ahmet Demiroğlu on Unsplash

Our ninth stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Dolmabahce Palace. To get to the palace, take a tram from Sultanahmet to Kabatas, which is the last stop. The palace is a 10-minute walk from the Kabatas tram station. The palace is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm.

An entrance fee of ₺450 ($18) includes visits to the Main Palace, the Harems, and the Palace Collection rooms. As we stepped into a world of opulence, it is the magnificent facade that takes your breath away.

This is, after all, the largest palace in Turkey. Dolmabahce was built as a modern contemporary palace to replace Topkapi Palace. Its striking European and Ottoman styles are a mix of neoclassical, baroque, and rococo elements.

With 285 rooms and 46 halls, its sheer size leaves you in awe as you step into a world of pure indulgence. The Grand Staircase welcomes you and as you look up, the ornate gilded ceilings with frescoes depicting mythical scenes is a visual masterpiece.

The other areas within the palace as the four gates with the Bosphorus Gate being the most picturesque spot to take photos. 

Dolmabahce Palace is an architectural marvel and a testament to the ambitions and desires of a bygone era. The palace is a place where dreams were transformed into reality, where power and luxury merged and left a mark on the pages of history.

Optional Day Trip: Sapanca Lake

Sapanca Lake is the perfect day trip from Istanbul
Photo by Oğuzhan EDMAN on Unsplash

Our tenth and last stop on our 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was a day trip to Sapanca Lake. Sapanca Lake is about 85 miles or a 1.5-hour journey from Istanbul. As we stepped onto the shore, a gentle breeze swept through our hair.

However, it was the clear waters of the lake that caught our attention. As the water shimmered like liquid sapphire against a backdrop of clear blue skies, it was a picture-perfect moment. 

The lake is perfect for adventure seekers and nature lovers with hiking trails, watersports, fishing, and picnicking. The hiking trails lead you to the forests and take you to the viewpoint with panoramic vistas of the lake and its surroundings.

Stay to watch the sun descend on the horizon, casting a golden glow on the landscape. With sunset hues in fiery orange, pink, and lavender, this is one of the best places to watch the sunset in Istanbul.

After endless days of touring Istanbul, Sapanca Lake is a sanctuary for the soul, an oasis of peace. It is a place where time slows down. It is a place that allows you to reconnect with nature and yourself. 

What are the best places to stay in Istanbul?

Taksim Square, Sultanahmet, Beyoglu, and Karakoy are some of the best areas to stay in Istanbul. However, our best choice is Sultanahmet, especially if you are a first-timer in Istanbul.


This neighborhood is nestled on the shores of the Bosphorus and is where history, culture, and breathtaking beauty intertwine. The cobblestone streets lead you on a journey through history.

With the majestic Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet bears witness to the passage of time and the convergence of East and West, architecturally.

Spend your evenings at Sultanahmet Square where the melodies of street musicians accompany you as the city bathes in a golden sunset glow. Sultanahmet is a living testament where modern and ancient coexist. 

Stay in Sultanahmet and let the area weave its magic upon your soul. Hear the echoes of the past at every street corner, a testament to Sultanahmet’s rich heritage.

Hagia Sophia Mansions

Our first choice when spending 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Hagia Sophia Mansions Istanbul is a 78-room hotel that echoes the timeless elegance of Byzantine architecture. These meticulously restored mansions exude charm and beautifully blend the past and the present.

The Curio Collection is known for its unique experiences with each mansion designed to offer luxury and comfort to the weary traveler. The spacious suites are adorned with rich fabrics and exquisite furnishings with Byzantine-inspired artwork.

Guests loved the historic hotel with its boutique hotel charm and the professionalism of the Hilton brand. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance of restaurants and shops. The breakfast view of the Hagia Sophia was also stunning.

The attentive and helpful staff were plus points with the hotel being within walking distance of many historical landmarks in the Sultanahmet area. Staying here would be your best choice if you want to be close to the major attractions. 

Four Seasons Hotel

Our second choice when spending 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Four Seasons Hotel. This 65-room hotel gives you a sense of luxury from the moment you step through its doors.

The hotel is in the heart of the historic district of Sultanahmet and the hotel is within walking distance to many of the city’s iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace.

The views from the hotel’s rooftop terrace is breathtaking. The rooms are well-appointed and its design incorporates traditional Ottoman with modern amenities. The luxurious beds are comfortable, the rooms are spacious, and the bathroom features marble finishings with high-end toiletries.

However, the hotel’s exceptional customer service is a standout feature. The staff is not only attentive, they go above and beyond to ensure that every guest’s needs are met. The staff is always ready to assist with a friendly smile.

Guests loved the quaint property, the amazing breakfast at the greenhouse, and the excellent location. Despite being in a quieter neighborhood, there are plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance from the hotel.

White House Hotel

Our third choice when spending 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the White House Hotel. This boutique hotel is in the heart of Sultanahmet and is a 10-minute walk to the Grand Bazaar and Hagia Sophia.

The hotel was designed as an old-fashioned home that seamlessly combines Ottoman and Louis XIV decor. The attention to detail is evident with plush furnishings and artwork that adorn the walls of your rooms.

The rooms are spacious and open to either balconies or large windows that bring natural light into the rooms. While the rooms have a white and gold color scheme, the floor is in pale-wood laminated flooring. In-room safety boxes, a minibar, and tea/coffee are standard across all rooms.

Guests who have stayed here loved the friendly and professional staff, the excellent location, and the spacious rooms. The breakfast on the rooftop and the clean rooms were plus points of the hotel.

While there is no restaurant on-site, there are restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. This hotel is a home away from home, always warm and welcoming on every visit. Stay here once and you would return every time.

Sura Hagia Sophia

Our fourth choice when spending 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Sura Hagia Sophia which is a 232-room hotel within walking distance of the historic sites in Istanbul. The hotel perfectly combines modern amenities with the grandeur of its surroundings.

While the basement rooms are small and dated, the King Suite is spacious and comes with views of the Marmara Sea. The hotel also has a swimming pool, Ottoman-inspired gardens, a spa and Turkish bath, and a fitness center.

Guests loved the friendly and helpful staff, the excellent location, and the amazing breakfast. The hotel is near the Sultanahmet tram station and the many restaurants near the hotel. Guests also loved the smooth check-in and the large rooms.

Vogue Hotel Supreme

Our fifth and last choice when spending 2 days in Istanbul itinerary was the Vogue Hotel Supreme which is a 114-room that is within walking distance to the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, and the Topkapi Palace.

The rooms are in grey and beige themes and come with free WiFi and the usual modern amenities. Some rooms have views of Hagia Sophia while other rooms have views of the surrounding streets.

Guests loved the excellent location, the breakfast spread, and the lovely rooms. While the hotel has great staff and is close to the major attractions, the hotel is old and dated and does require renovation.

Frequently Asked Questions on Istanbul

Why is Istanbul famous?

Istanbul is famous for its rich history, stunning architecture, and its iconic landmark, the Hagia Sophia. The city is also famous for its flavorful cuisine, and cultural fusion due to its strategic location between Asia and Europe.

What language is spoken in Turkey?

Turkish is the official spoken language in Turkey. Kurdish, Arabic, and Zazaki are the other minority languages spoken in Turkey. Greek and Armenian are the languages that have legal protection and are spoken by the Greeks and Armenian in Turkey.

What is the best month to visit Istanbul?

The best months to visit Istanbul is during the shoulder season in the spring and fall months of March to May and September to November. During these months, the weather is pleasant for sightseeing and neighborhood exploration on foot. Pair your clothes with a beautiful long sleeve cardigan for that elegant style as you walk the streets of Istanbul.

Some key events to look out for are the Istanbul Film Festival in April and the Istanbul Music Festival in May. The Contemporary Istanbul is in September. Although there are occasional rain showers, these months are suitable for budget travelers as room rates drop with fewer crowds. 

Is English spoken in Istanbul?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Istanbul although the official language is Turkish. You can get around with English in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants that cater to international visitors. For added convenience, get the 2000 most common Turkish words book to increase your fluency while in Istanbul.
English is spoken and understood by many people in the tourism industry. There are signages in English and most menus would have English translations. However, proficiency in the English language decreases once you are outside the main tourist sites.

How do Turkish people say hello?

The Turkish say “salam” or “Merhaba” to greet people hello. “Merhaba” is the most common greeting and is originally an Arabic word. These greetings can be used to greet a person or a group of people. 

How do you reply to Merhaba?

A casual reply to “Merhaba” would be “sana da merhaba” which means “hello to you too.” Other useful phrases include “nasılsınız?” which means How are you?” and the reply to that question would be “İyiyim, teşekkürler. Siz nasılsınız?” which means “I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”.

What is the meaning of Shukran?

Shukran” is an Arabic word that means thank you. This is a common greeting to express gratitude and appreciation in Turkey and is used among Arab-speaking countries and communities. 

The polite way to respond to “shukran” is by saying “afwan” which means “you’re welcome”. Another term you can use is “ahlan wasalan”. 

Why is Turkish tea red?

Turkish tea is red as it is prepared using a specific type of black tea leaves that are found on the eastern Black Sea coast. The red color is the result of the way the tea is brewed and served.

The color of the tea is influenced by the specific type and quality of tea and the brewing time. To fully appreciate the vibrant red color, the tea is served in transparent tulip glasses. 

Can you drink water in Istanbul?

Yes, you can drink tap water in Istanbul. The tap water is safe for drinking and meets the required standards of the Turkish authorities. However, if you are traveling to rural areas, bottled water would be your safest bet. 

Can I use Uber in Istanbul?

Yes, you can use Uber in Istanbul. However, Uber is only available in Istanbul, Izmir, and Ankara. If you hail a ride on Uber, a regular yellow taxi will pick you up instead. An alternative to Uber is Bitaksi which is cheaper than Uber and used by locals more.

Is Istanbul worth visiting?

Yes, Istanbul is worth visiting. The city is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace. These historical sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past.

Istanbul is a bustling metropolis and is unique in how it blends Eastern and Western cultures and influences. From colorful markets to cruising along the Bosphorus, there is so much to do in the city.

Just like any other major city, Istanbul does have its fair share of challenges. From crowded popular attractions to traffic congestion, planning your trip to this magical city is essential.