Exploring the regions of the world is an exhilarating journey that opens up a world of diverse cultures, landscapes, and experiences.

One of the most enriching aspects of global exploration is immersing yourself in different cultures. Whether you’re in Malaysia or any international destination, make an effort to connect with locals. Try their traditional cuisine, participate in local festivals, and learn a few basic phrases in the native language. It’s a fantastic way to bridge cultural gaps and create memorable experiences.

Our world boasts a plethora of natural wonders. From Malaysia’s lush rainforests to the surreal landscapes of Iceland, nature lovers are in for a treat. Don’t forget to research and respect the environment, as responsible tourism is crucial for preserving these breathtaking places for future generations.

History buffs will find endless fascination in exploring ancient ruins, historic cities, and museums. Major cities like Rome, Istanbul, or Kyoto are like living history books. Delve into the past, learn about the stories behind the landmarks, and share these insights with your readers.

For the adrenaline junkies, there are endless adventure opportunities worldwide. Think about zip-lining in Costa Rica, trekking in the Himalayas, or scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Adventure activities not only provide thrilling content but also connect you with a community of like-minded travelers.

If you find yourself in Paris, explore the iconic Eiffel Tower. Apart from taking in the breathtaking views from its observation decks, consider having a picnic in the Champ de Mars park nearby. It’s a delightful way to experience the tower and soak in the Parisian atmosphere. Plus, it makes for some fantastic Instagram-worthy content!

If you have any more specific questions or need recommendations for a particular destination, feel free to ask.

An image of Carlton Hill at sunset, 24 hours in Edinburgh

24 Hours In Edinburgh: Unlocking The Best of Edinburgh

How do you spend 24 hours in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and the second most populous city after Glasgow. The city is known for its history and culture and as a center of education. Our 24 hours in Edinburgh take you on a whirlwind adventure through cobbled streets and lively neighborhoods.

We begin at the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock to the illusions at Camera Obscura and the vibrant atmosphere of the Royal Mile. Edinburgh is steeped in history and bustling boutiques and cafes at every corner.

There are two main areas in Edinburgh, the Old Town, and the New Town, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. As you walk through the medieval Old Town to the planned New Town designed to take advantage of the topography is still intact.

At Arthur’s Seat, you can get a panoramic view of Edinburgh’s stunning natural beauty. With the city located on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh’s landscape is a mix of hills, on the shoreline of the Leith, and encircled by a green belt making the city a blend of nature and modern.

You can wander through Edinburgh’s historic alleyways, explore the many museums and galleries and stop to savor the traditional Scottish delicacies, Edinburgh would leave a memorable impression on you.

Edinburgh is a city of contrast. With its harmonious blend of past and present, the city’s cobblestone streets have an air of timelessness. The city beautifully weaves a tapestry of rich culture, history, and stunning beauty.

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links which may earn me a commission if you click on them, at no extra cost. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

Discover Edinburgh’s ghostly side with a ghost & gore walking tour where you will be entertained with tales of witchcraft, executions, punishments, and invasions. End your tour with a free copy of ‘Witchery Tales’ by Adam Lyal. 

Uncover the history of Scotland as you explore Edinburgh’s Old Town with a costumed guide in the witches & history of Old Town walking tour. Listen to the secrets of the Lady Stairs Close, Grassmarket, and Candle Maker Row.

Spend a day exploring the Scottish Highlands on a guided tour from Edinburgh. Visit the Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, and Kelpies. Spot Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots, and then head into the Trossachs where the Lowlands meet the Highlands. 

Spend an evening of whisky appreciation at the Royal Mile at the whisky tasting & storytelling tour. You get to taste four single malt scotch whiskies, from the Lowlands’ delicate flavors to Islay’s robust flavors. You can also choose the option without whisky tastings for those who want to avoid alcohol. 

Take a walking tour and discover the magic of Harry Potter. Visit the places where JK Rowling found inspiration for Harry Potter. The tour also takes you to the grave of Tom Riddle in Greyfriars Kirkyard and visit the golden handprint of JK Rowling outside the City Chambers. 

Soak up the scenery at Glencoe, relax at Fort William, and visit the many filming sites of Harry Potter at Glenfinnan Viaduct in the day tour of Glenfinnan, Glencoe, and Fort William. And then, continue to the Glenfinnan Monument which symbolizes the Jacobite uprising before ending for some refreshments at Pitlochry.

At the airport, easily identify your bag with these luggage tags made with eco-friendly leather. These tags are slim and soft which makes them durable for long-term use. These tags come with a flap cover to protect your personal information.

Where is Edinburgh?

This capital city is in the country’s southeastern part, on the southern shores of the Firth of Forth. The Old Town is Edinburgh was built on seven hills which are Carlton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Castle Rock, and Arthur’s Seat.

These seven hills were compared to the seven hills of Rome, hence, Edinburgh’s nickname as the “Athens of the North”. Edinburgh has a cool, temperate, maritime climate. The city is also known as the “windy city” due to its position between coasts and hills.

Between the end of July to early September, Edinburgh hosts a series of festivals with the popular ones being the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Edinburgh Art Festival.

The literary scene at Edinburgh became evident during the Scottish Enlightenment with several prominent authors having lived in Edinburgh. These authors include Adam Smith, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and JK Rowling.

Edinburgh is a beautiful fusion of the past and present, where history intertwines with modernity. From the magnificent Edinburgh Castle to the stately Holyrood Palace, the city’s heritage is worth visiting.

If there is one travel essential you need before your trip, it is the Rick Steves Edinburgh Snapshot Guide. The guide is updated annually, so you have the latest news and happenings at your fingertips. This informative guide comes with maps that makes organizing your trip to Edinburgh easier. 


With a history that dates back to the Mesolithic Age, Edinburgh was at the center of a series of conflicts between the many Celtic groups. By the 1st century, the Romans occupied Edinburgh. However, the Romans didn’t last long as the Angles and the Scots dominated the area.

However, it was in the 12th century when King David I established Edinburgh as a royal burgh was its strategic importance realised. Edinburgh Castle was built as a royal stronghold and its location atop Castle Rock solidified its reputation.

From the 12th century onwards, Edinburgh grew as a political, cultural, and economic hub. The development of the New Town was a testament to its rapid growth. Today, Edinburgh is a vibrant cosmopolitan city proud of its heritage and historic landmarks while embracing modernity and innovation.

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Visa Requirements

The United Kingdom maintains a common travel area with the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. The United Kingdom was part of the European Union until January 2020 when citizens of the EU/EEA/Swiss citizens enjoyed freedom of movement until 31st December 2020.

Citizens from the Commonwealth countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Canada are visa-exempt and can stay in the United Kingdom for up to 6 months. 

Nationals from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates can apply for an Electronic Visa Waiver (EVW). These nationals can stay or visit the United Kingdom for up to 6 months on a single-entry basis.

Find out if you need a visitor visa to the United Kingdom. As a safety precaution, it is recommended to register your trip with your embassy so that you know you are in safe hands while visiting and exploring the United Kingdom.

Get yourself a passport holder with an RFID-blocking shield that protects your personal information. These passport covers are made with eco-friendly synthetic leather and are soft to the touch.


Is Edinburgh a walkable city?

Yes, Edinburgh is a walkable city due to its compact layout, especially in the historic city center. The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace are popular tourist attractions that are within walking distance from one another.

The city’s pedestrian-friendly areas coupled with its narrow winding streets make Edinburgh easily accessible and an enjoyable experience. Hike up Arthur’s Seat or Carlton Hill are some of the vantage points with beautiful panoramic views of the city and its surrounding landscape.

What to do in Edinburgh for 24 hours?

This is how you spend 24 hours in Edinburgh. We start our day at Edinburgh Castle, the iconic landmark perched on Castle Rock. As we will be exploring on foot, make sure you bring your water bottle and wear a good pair of walking shoes.

Edinburgh Castle

This is a close-up image of Edinburgh Castle perched on a hill, 24 hours in Edinburgh.
Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash

Our first stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle, the iconic fortress that dominates the skyline of Edinburgh. The castle has a history of being a royal residence, military garrison, prison, and fortress. 

Edinburgh Castle has seen its fair share of historical conflicts from the Wars of Scottish Independence to the Jacobite Rising of 1745 or the ‘Forty-Five Rebellion’. The St Margaret’s Chapel is the oldest building in the castle and Edinburgh, dating back to the 12th century.

Another area to look out for is the One O’Clock Gun which is fired every day at 1 pm, except on Sunday, Good Friday, and Christmas Day. Edinburgh Castle also houses the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Stone of Destiny which was used to inaugurate monarchs is also on display at the Crown Room.

You can join the Edinburgh Castle Highlights Tour with skip-the-line entry tickets that would transport you back in time. And, also learn and appreciate the histories of the royals and admire the beautiful views of Edinburgh from the castle. 

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is an image of one of the displays at Camera Obscura and the World of Illussions at Edinburgh.
Photo by Jakob Ben Cotton on Unsplash

Our second stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was the Camera Obscura & World of Illusions which was a quick 1-minute walk from Edinburgh Castle. This is Edinburgh’s oldest attraction that dates back to 1853 and is one of the top attractions in Edinburgh.

Camera Obscura would surely captivate your senses. With over 100 exhibits spread across five floors, it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours indulging in the wonders of science, illusions, and art. 

Once you’re done exploring, you can head up to the Rooftop Terrace, where you’ll be welcomed by breathtaking views of Arthur’s Seat and the Royal Mile. Don’t miss the opportunity to use their free telescopes, as they offer a unique and mesmerizing perspective of the city.

You can visit Camera Obscura any day between 8 am to 10 pm, which means you can easily fit it into your schedule. The ticket prices are affordable, with adult tickets costing £21.95 ($28), while students with an ID or citizens over 65 can get in for £19.95 ($25). For kids aged 5-15, it’s just £16.95 ($21), and if they’re under 5, they can enter for free. With all these fantastic features, it’s undoubtedly an excellent place to visit. 

St Giles Cathedral

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is an image of the ceiling at St Giles Cathedral.
Photo by Pau Sayrol on Unsplash

Our third stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was the St Giles Cathedral. This cathedral is an easy 3-minute walk from Camera Obscura. This beautiful church stands as a testament to Scotland’s heritage. 

The High Kirk of Edinburgh, also known as, has a Romanesque facade and once you step inside, be awed by its gorgeous interior. The stained glass and the majestic vaulted ceilings are a kaleidoscope of colors. 

With a history that dates back to the 12th century, if the walls could speak, they would whisper tales of war and reformation. As you walk further, you will come to the medieval tombs with the memorial brass of the Regent of Moray being the oldest. 

St Giles Cathedral is not only a breathtaking masterpiece, it is a living testament of a nation that is resilient and the unwavering spirit of its people. A trip to the cathedral is a must, whether you are seeking spiritual solace or simply to admire the beauty of human creativity at its best.

While there is free entry to St Giles Cathedral, you would need to pay £ 2 ($3) for photography permits. 

Royal Mile

24 hours in Edinburgh. An image of the Royal Mile with people walking on the streets.
Photo by Vishnu Prasad on Unsplash

Our fourth stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was walking along the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is a stretch of road and a succession of streets that run through the Old Town of Edinburgh.  

The street connects two significant locations in Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, and the Holyrood Palace. The street begins in the west from Castlehill and ends in the east at Abbey Strand.

As you walk along the Royal Mile, look for Gladstone’s Land, a 500-year-old building restored to its former glory. 

Join the Dark History Royal Mile Walking Tour and learn about the lesser-known facts about Edinburgh’s historical landmark. End your walking tour with a visit to Canongate Graveyard.

Or, enjoy a Harry Potter Walking Tour where you get to test your knowledge of all things Harry Potter. Visit the place where JK Rowlings gained inspiration for the book and visit the grave of Tom Riddle who played Lord Voldemort in the series.

Scott Monument

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is a bottom-up image of the Scott Monument with a view of Sir Walter Scott's statue.
Photo by Jacob Meissner on Unsplash

Our fifth stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was Scott Monument. This iconic landmark is a 6-minute walk from the Royal Mile and is at the Princes Street Gardens. This monument is dedicated to Sir Walter Scott, the famous Scottish historian, author, playwright, and novelist.

The monument was designed in Victorian Gothic style with the marble statue of Sir Walter Scott and his faithful dog, Maida at his side. About 68 other statues are from the characters in his novels.

There is an entrance fee of £8 ($10) for adults and £6 ($8) for children and students. A family ticket for those with 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children is £20 ($25). The opening hours are 10 am to 4.30 pm. The gardens are  

National Museum of Scotland

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is an image of the Grand Gallery of the former Chambers Street Museum.
Photo by Dorien Monnens on Unsplash

Our sixth stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was the National Museum of Scotland which is a quick 11-minute walk from the Scott Monument. The museum began in the early 18th century intending to have a museum that reflects Scottish history.

The National Museum of Scotland has free entry and is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. The lowest galleries begin at the basement level with exhibits from prehistory to the medieval period. Some notable artifacts on display include the Monymusk Reliquary, the St Ninian’s Isle Treasure, several Pictish Stones, the Galloway Hoard, and many others. You can walk your way up to the rooftop terrace.

Palace of Holyrood House

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is an image of the ruined Holyrood Abbey on the grounds of the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Photo by Diego Allen on Unsplash

Our seventh stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was the Palace of Holyrood House which is a 15-minute walk from the National Museum of Scotland. The palace is at the end of the Royal Mile and is the official residence of the British Monarch when in Scotland.

According to local legend, the Holyrood Abbey was founded in 1128 by King David 1 who had a vision of a cross when he was hunting. The abbey was used as a royal residence. The current palace was built in the 17th century and contains 289 rooms.

Purchase the entrance ticket to Holyrood Palace and wander the opulent rooms and gardens of the palace. Climb the narrow, steep, and winding staircase to the chambers of Mary, Queen of Scots who lived in the palace between 1561-1567, and Supper Room where she witnessed the murder of her private secretary, David Rizzio.

Carlton Hill

24 hours in Edinburgh. This is an image of the Dugald Stewart Monument at Carlton Hill in Edinburgh.
Photo by Julia Solonina on Unsplash

Our eighth and last stop in our 24 hours in Edinburgh was Carlton Hill. This hill is a 20-minute walk from the Holyrood House Palace. Carlton Hill is the Acropolis of Edinburgh due to the National Monument that resembles the Parthenon in Athens.

Carlton Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it is home to several of Edinburgh’s iconic monuments such as the Dugald Stewart Monument, the City Observatory, the Nelson Monument, and the Old Royal High School.

Take an early walk and watch the sunrise from Carlton Hill. Its grassy slopes and panoramic views of the city are spectacular. The hill hosts several events including the Beltane Fire Festival, the Dusshera, and the Samhuinn Fire Festival. With that, we end our 24 hours in Edinburgh. From the iconic Edinburgh Castle to Carlton Hill, Edinburgh has much to offer. 

What are the best places to stay in Edinburgh?

There are a variety of accommodations to stay in the beautiful and historic city of Edinburgh. Our choice would be to stay in the Old Town as you are within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and St Giles Cathedral.


The InterContinental Edinburgh is a 240-room luxury hotel located at George Street which is a quick 10-minute walk to Edinburgh Castle and a 3-minute walk to the Melville Monument. 

The hotel has been welcoming guests since 1881 and as you walk into the grand lobby, you will be greeted by exquisite artwork and rich fabrics that set the tone of luxury. The rooms are a symphony of comfort and style and take on a 19th-century color palette.

Some of the rooms have breathtaking views of Edinburgh Castle while others have the city view of George Street. However, it is the hotel’s prime location that is centrally located which is an added plus point.

Guests loved the lovely and friendly staff, the comfortable beds, and the spacious rooms. The Royal Mile is moments away with many major attractions nearby. The InterContinental Edinburgh is an experience that captures the essence of Edinburgh.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or simply seeking a getaway, this hotel will leave you with cherished memories for years to come. 

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery by the Castle is a renowned restaurant with 9 suites which are located above the restaurant. This is a place where history and mystery intertwine, where cobblestone streets whisper tales of the past.

The building dates back to the 16th century and was known as Boswell’s Court, a physician who once lived here. The rooms are furnished in Gothic style with either a four-poster bed or draped with tapestries. 

The hotel is not wheelchair friendly and not family-friendly as it has narrow turnpike staircases. However, the hotel is within walking distance of the major attractions in Edinburgh such as Edinburgh Castle and Camera Obscura.

Guests loved the friendly and welcoming staff, the stunning rooms, and the comfortable beds. Reviewers commented that the room decor takes you back in time. Some recommended suites to stay in are the Old Rectory, Sempill, and Turret.

This hotel beautifully combines fine dining and historical charm in an immersive experience. Staying here is a unique experience and a memorable one for anyone visiting Edinburgh.

Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian is a 241-room luxurious hotel on Princes Street. The hotel seamlessly blends the grandeur of a bygone era with modern sophistication for those seeking the ultimate lavish vacation.

With views of the Edinburgh Castle, the Waldorf Astoria captures the essence of the city’s rich cultural history. The building’s facade, the Caledonian was part of The Caledonian Railways in the early 19th century. 

The rooms and suites are a haven of serenity and luxury. All rooms come with free WiFi and views of the city. The rooms were designed for your comfort. It includes lavish bedding, a deep bathtub, and views of the iconic Edinburgh Castle or across the cityscape. 

For total relaxation, spend some time at the spa which offers a sanctuary of wellness and relaxation. The range of treatments include massages, facials, and manicure and pedicure. Spend some time at the steam room and sauna and let your stress melt away.

Guests loved the welcoming and helpful staff who went above and beyond to make guests feel special. Guests also loved the delightful breakfast. However, do take note that not all rooms have beautiful views as some rooms face a small courtyard while others face a parking lot.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby and getting from the airport to the hotel is as the airport bus would drop you off just across the street. The hotel marries history and modernity and beckons travelers to embark on a journey of luxury where the past is celebrated and the future is embraced. 

The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel is a 187-room hotel that is an Edinburgh landmark at the east end of Princes Street is another hotel we recommend if you have more than 24 hours in Edinburgh. The hotel is next door to Waverly Station and is a 5-minute walk to the National Gallery and Old Town. 

Originally built as the North British Station Hotel, the hotel is a beautiful example of Victorian style with sweeping staircases, classic columns, and contemporary interiors. With plush furnishings, gleaming chandeliers, and intricate details, the Scottish warmth envelopes you as you step into this hotel.

All rooms were designed with comfort and style in mind to provide a restful sanctuary amidst the bustling city. While the Classic Rooms overlook the interior courtyard, the Superior Deluxe and Executive Rooms have views of Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.

Guests loved the welcoming and attentive staff and the hotel’s excellent location. The dining options and the food were good. Although some rooms were small, these were made up by comfortable beds. 

The hotel has three rooms which are disabled-friendly. The hotel is also family-friendly with baby cots, babysitting, and baby meals available. The Balmoral is a symphony of luxury, history, and modernity of this grand hotel. 

Virgin Hotel

Another hotel we recommend if you have more than 24 hours in Edinburgh is the Virgin Hotel which is a 222-room boutique hotel at the top of Victoria Street, connecting the Grassmarket and the George IV Bridge. The hotel is in the historic India Buildings and although the historic architectural details are gone only the restored glass cupola survives.

All rooms have a unique two-chamber design to make your stay more comfortable. The rooms have sliding doors that separate the sleep and relaxation lounges from the dressing area. To get the best views, ask for the rooms on the upper floors.

Guests loved the excellent location, the beautiful views from the rooms, and the kind and attentive staff. Guests also enjoyed the clean and modern rooms that came with a yoga mat. Although the WiFi can be inconsistent, the bed was comfortable. 

Spending your days at the Virgin Hotel is not only inviting, it is an invitation to fall in love with Edinburgh. From the city’s skyline to savoring a glass of Scottish whiskey, this hotel seeks to create beautiful memories for you, long after you’ve bid Edinburgh farewell.

Frequently Asked Questions on Edinburgh

What is Edinburgh famous for?

Edinburgh is famous for its historic cobbled streets, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and literary heritage. Edinburgh’s Old Town is characterized by its medieval castle with Gothic architecture. The city is also known for its international festivals such as the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Festival Fringe, and Hogmanay which is an informal street party that is the celebration of the Scottish New Year.

What is the best time to visit Edinburgh?

The best time to visit Edinburgh is during the summer months from June to August which is also the peak tourist season. During these months, the weather is warm and the days are long. The city hosts a variety of festivals during these months, which means you need to book your hotel in advance and expect large crowds everywhere you go.

Does Edinburgh have nightlife?

Yes, Edinburgh does have nightlife. The city offers a range of entertainment options with numerous pubs, bars, clubs, and live music. The Old Town remains a popular nightlife area with the Royal Mile and Grassmarket areas bustling to live as the sun sets.

What not to miss in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Palace of Holyrood House are some of the places which you must not miss when in Edinburgh. Other popular sites are Carlton Hill, Camera Obscura, and Edinburgh Old Town which is steeped in history and culture.

Also, do not miss taking the Johnie Walker Whisky Experience or the Guided Gin Tasting Tour, or a Guided Secret Food Tour where you can tantalize your taste buds while sampling a secret dish.   

Is Edinburgh a friendly city?

Yes, Edinburgh is a friendly city with a reputation for its warm and welcoming atmosphere. The “Edinburghers” are always helpful to tourists. With many festivals and a thriving arts and cultural scene, Edinburgh is vibrant and inviting.

Is it safe to walk alone at night in Edinburgh?

Yes, Edinburgh is safe to walk alone at night. However, always be aware of your surroundings and avoid dark lanes. Although Edinburgh is generally well-lit and is bustling with tourists, never let your guard down, especially if you are a solo female traveler. 

Can you do Edinburgh without a car?

Yes, you can do Edinburgh without a car. Edinburgh Old Town is great for walking as the area is compact and easily accessible on foot. The city is known for its extensive and efficient public transportation system which makes getting around Edinburgh effortless.

Do Edinburgh Trams go to the airport?

Yes, Edinburgh Trams do go to the airport. These trams connect the city center and the airport with several stops along the way. The trams depart every 7 minutes and operate between 7 am to 11 pm. The ticket prices vary by zone and the type of ticket purchased. Alternatively, you can pre-book your bus transfer from Edinburgh Airport to South St David Street with a drop-off at Princes Street. 

Is Edinburgh worth visiting?

Yes, absolutely! In our opinion, Edinburgh is a must-visit. Why? Edinburgh welcomes tourists with open arms and the city is also famous for its history, culture, and arts. From its UNESCO World Heritage Sites to the Fringe Festival, Edinburgh has so much to offer. The city is perfect for short trips, especially if you are only spending 24 hours in Edinburgh.


24 hours in Bangkok. This is an image of a row of statues at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha

24 Hours in Bangkok: Exploring the Best of Bangkok

So, what can you do within 24 hours in Bangkok?

This is a city that knows how to captivate you. Picture a vibrant metropolis filled with bustling streets, towering skyscrapers, and a delightful blend of tradition and modernity. From the moment you set foot in this capital of Thailand, you’re in for an exhilarating ride.

Bangkok is the capital city rich in its cultural heritage, beautiful temples, and busy markets. Our blog takes on our journey where we spent 24 hours in Bangkok. From the Grand Palace to Wat Arun, we spent some time reflecting on our daily experiences.

First things first, let’s talk about the weather. Brace yourself for the heat and humidity that Bangkok graciously offers. It’s like stepping into a sauna, but with a side of spicy street food. 

So make sure you dress light, stay hydrated, and prepare to embrace that sticky, sweaty glow. Don’t worry, though, because there are plenty of air-conditioned oases and refreshing iced drinks to keep you going.

As we navigated the city, we encountered a symphony of sounds and a kaleidoscope of colors. Bangkok’s streets were a buzzing tapestry of life, with tuk-tuks whizzing by, motorbikes zigzagging through traffic, and street vendors calling out to lure you in with their mouthwatering aromas. 

We heard the chorus of car horns, and laughter, and perhaps even catch a hint of traditional music blending in the background. Bangkok has something for everyone, from the grandeur of the Grand Palace to the tranquility of Wat Arun, we found ourselves in awe of the city’s stunning temples and intricate architecture. 

We took a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River to explore the floating markets, where you can haggle for fresh produce or simply soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

But amidst all the chaos and excitement, Bangkok also has its serene pockets. You can escape the urban jungle by exploring the green oasis of Lumpini Park or taking a boat ride along the peaceful canals of the Chao Phraya River. 

These moments of tranquility amidst the urban buzz provide a much-needed respite for the soul. Since we didn’t visit any markets on this trip, this gives us another reason to visit Bangkok again. 

So, walk with us as we spent 24 hours in Bangkok. Be prepared to immerse yourself in the vibrant city of Bangkok. This city will sweep you off your feet, tantalize your taste buds, and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Let’s dive in!

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Enjoy a VIP fast-track service with meet and greet service and also skip-the-line access in the Premium Immigration Lane. You have the option for a hotel transfer 

Once you arrive at the airport, pick up your True5G Thailand Tourist SIM Card from the True Shops with a validity of 8 days and 100 THB credit included. True Mobile network is known for its speed and is one of the best telco providers in Thailand. 

And, after your memorable trip in Bangkok, get a private transfer from your hotel in Bangkok to your airport, worry-free. Your driver will wait for you at your hotel lobby and drive to the airport of your choice without any stops.

Join a Michelin Guide Street Food Tour on a tuk-tuk and visit Bangkok’s only street food joint with a Michelin Bib Gourmand, the Jay Fai. Explore the lively Chinatown and find out the history of these dishes and what each stall is known for.

Enjoy a private tour of the best of Bangkok in a day that takes you to several temples, Chinatown, and the flower market. In this full-day guided tour, you will learn about Bangkok’s history while enjoying a personalized tour with your guide and private air-conditioned vehicle.

Where is Bangkok?

Bangkok is in the heart of Thailand, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River and surrounded by fertile plains, canals, and waterways that crisscross its landscape. The canals are traditionally known as “khlongs” and were used for transportation.

Bangkok has a tropical monsoon climate which means there are three seasons hot, rainy, and cool season. The cool season is from November to March which is also the best time to visit Bangkok. 

During these months, the weather is pleasant, the city experiences less rainfall, and humidity is low. The temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C which is ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities. We traveled to Bangkok during these months and experienced larger crowds and higher prices everywhere.

The hot season is from March to May when daily temperatures can exceed 35°C and is another good time to visit with fewer crowds and lower rates for accommodations. The rainy season is from June to October with rainfall every day.

While the showers are short, traveling during these months means that tourist places are more open. Flight prices and accommodations are cheaper.

Bangkok is a food haven and with a diverse culinary scene, eating the local street food is a must. Some popular street food is pad thai which is a stir-fried rice nodded dish, and tom yum goong which is a spicy and sour soup that just bursts with flavor.

And, how can we miss out on mango sticky rice? This dessert is made with sweet sticky rice, and ripe mango slices, and drizzled with coconut milk. Mango sticky rice is tasty and believe me, when I say, one is not enough.


The earliest known history of Bangkok was that it was a small trading post on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the 15th century. Back then, it was known as “Bang Makok” which means “place of the olive plums”. 

Bangkok grew rapidly during the 18th century and after Ayutthaya was destroyed by the Burmese, King Taksin established a new capital on the eastern banks of the Chao Phraya River and named it “Krung Thep” which means “City of Angels”.

However, it was during the reign of King Rama IV that Bangkok would get its official full ceremonial name “Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphiman-Awatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit” which is the longest in the world.

The new name of the capital translates to “City of Angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of nine gems, seat of the King, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.”

The new city was developed after the former capital city of Ayutthaya with the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha being built. These iconic landmarks are symbols of Bangkok to date.

Bangkok continued its expansion and modernization throughout the 19th century with the canals serving as transportation routes and providing irrigation to the surrounding farmland. This led to the nickname, “Venice of the East”.

Today, Bangkok is a metropolis known for its beautiful temples, delicious street food, and a city that seamlessly blends the old with the new. Bangkok left us with a lasting impression and the yearning to return.

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Visa Requirements

While a tourist visa is a popular option for travelers to Bangkok, the other visa classes are transit visas, non-immigrant visas, and courtesy visas. Regardless of visa type, you would need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months and proof of onward ticket with sufficient funds for your stay.

Citizens from Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Peru, and Chile can enter Thailand visa-free for 90 days within any 6 months. Travelers from Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are exempted from visa for 30 days. 

Citizens from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Denmark, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates are also exempted from visa for 30 days so long as they have proof of onward ticket.

To determine if you need a visa, you can check the Do I need a visa section from the official e-Visa website. 

Alternatively, If you’re planning to obtain a Thai visa, there are online platforms that can assist you in streamlining the application process and ensuring a smooth experience.

How do you get around Bangkok?

From tuk-tuks to trains and massive traffic jams, getting around Bangkok is overwhelming. Our guide explores the best ways you can use that saves you time and money. With an interconnected public transportation system, exploring Bangkok is now so much easier.

Skytrain (BTS) & Metro

The Skytrain and Metro are the best ways to get around Bangkok. There are four rapid transit systems in Bangkok which are the BTS Skytrain, the MRT, the SRT Red Lines, and the Airport Railway Link.

These lines are complemented by the Blue and Purple Line MRT while the Airport Railway Link connects Suvarnabhumi International Airport to the city center. The Skytrain and MRT both operate from 6 am to midnight while the Airport Railway Link is from 6 am to 12.30 am.

The fares for the Skytrain and Metro start from ฿15 ($0.50) to ฿40 ($1.15) per person with the rates depending on the zones traveled. The fares for the Airport Link are between ฿15 ($0.50) to ฿40 ($1.15) depending on distance. The Express Airport Line is ฿90 ($2.50) for one-way travel and ฿150 ($4.30) for return travel. 

Rideshare & Taxi

Rideshares and taxis are the other best ways to get around Bangkok. While there is no Uber in Thailand, there is Grab and Line Man Taxi which are convenient ways to travel within the city. For Line Man, there is a call fee of ฿20 ($0.50). While commercial taxis operating through Grab are legal, private cars are not. 

Taxis in Bangkok are comfortable with the drivers helpful and courteous. All taxis are metered with rates starting at ฿35 ($1). Passengers are required to pay for the toll at freeways. 

Some point to note if you are taking a taxi is to never get into a taxi that doesn’t use a meter. As most drivers may not speak English, having the address of your destination in Thai would help the driver and ensure you get to your desired location.


These iconic motorized three-wheelers are used by locals and tourists for short trips within the city. Unless you want to experience the thrill of sitting in a tuk-tuk, these are not recommended. 

Drivers of tuk-tuks are known to overcharge tourists and are always found around the major tourist spots in the city. Tuk-tuks are also known to take tourists to gem shops and massage parlors to gain some commission from these joints.


While cycling in Bangkok is slowly gaining popularity, the heat, traffic, pollution, and uneven road conditions make it difficult to cycle throughout the city. To experience another side of Bangkok, join the Colors of Bangkok tour or the classical bicycle tour of Bangkok. 


With uneven footpaths and loose concrete tiles, walking is the least convenient way to get around in Bangkok. However, walking is the best way to explore the neighborhood you are staying in and is an enjoyable experience. Get yourself a tumbler with double insulation so your drinks stay cool or warm, as you walk throughout the city.

Some of the best areas to walk in Bangkok are Chinatown, the Old Town of Bangkok known as Rattanakosin Island, Sukhumvit Road, Rama I Road, Silom Street, Thonglor, and Chatuchak Street. When walking in the evenings, you would need a mosquito repellant bracelet that looks pretty and offers about 300 hours of protection against mosquitos and other insects.

GoCity Bangkok

What to do in Bangkok in 24 hours?

Spending 24 hours in Bangkok is not enough to see the city in all its glory which is why recommend spending at least 5 days in Bangkok. Since we had many places to visit in one day, we started the day early with a visit to the majestic Royal Grand Palace.

We ended the day with a visit a Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. Since we visited the Historical City of Ayutthaya, we have included our itinerary for that trip as an optional day trip if you have more than 24 hours in Bangkok.

The Royal Grand Palace 

24 hours in Bangkok. This is an image of the Royal Grand Palace in Bangkok. The palace is known for its English-Thai architecture and as the residence of the Thai monarchy.
The beautiful architecture of the Royal Grand Palace

Our first stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was the Royal Grand Palace. This iconic landmark is one of the most visited attractions in the city and is a symbol of Thailand’s history and monarchy.

The palace was established when King Rama I moved the capital from Thonburi to Bangkok with the palace being the administrative seat and residence of the monarchy since then. 

While our trip here was rather short as we had many places to cover in a day, we visited the major buildings such as the Dusit Hall, the Phra Monthien Buildings, and Wat Phra Kaew. 

We loved that almost all the buildings were adorned with beautiful colors and intricate carvings which we are delight for us. Besides the many buildings, we loved walking past the well-manicured gardens, the ornate pavilions, and the murals about Thai mythology and history. Since there are many areas that are open to the elements, it would be wise to purchase a compact travel umbrella that fits in your backpack or purse.

We paid an entrance fee of ฿500 ($14) which gave us access to the Royal Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew, and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles. This ticket was only valid on the day of purchase and for one visit only.

Wat Phra Kaew 

24 hours in Bangkok. This image is one of the many doors at Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
One of the many doors at Wat Phra Kaew

Our second stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was the Wat Phra Kaew of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. This sacred meditating Buddha statue is made from jade and clothed in gold and diamonds. 

The statue is placed on a pedestal, high above the heads of devotees and tourists as a sign of respect. The statue is enshrined within the Phra Ubosot which is the main ordination hall with stunning murals depicting the life of Buddha.

The outer court has several galleries known as “Phra Rabiang” that shows the murals from the Ramakien which is Thailand’s version of the Indian Ramayana. Finally, we looked out for the demon guardians known as Yakshas who protect the temple and its visitors from evil spirits.

As Wat Phra Kaew is an active temple, we were required to dress modestly which meant covering our knees and shoulders. This temple is a short walk from the Royal Grand Palace.

Phra Siratana Chedi

24 hours in Bangkok, Phra Siratana Chedi is a golden stupa erected by King Rama IV to house the relics of Buddha from Sri Lanka
The stupa which contains the relic of Buddha from Sri Lanka

Our third stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was the Phra Siratana Chedi which is a golden stupa erected by King Rama IV to house the relics of Buddha from Sri Lanka. Its bell-shaped circular base is from the Ceylonese-style stupa. 

This towering structure is the tallest structure within the palace complex and can be seen from the Chao Phraya River. There are four entrances to this stupa, all of which were closed during our visit. Each entrance is crowned with a smaller stupa and decorated on its three sides. 

After taking a few photos, we walked just south of the Grand Palace to Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. Although it is just a short walk, we recommend you bring a hat, wear sunscreen or carry an umbrella as the heat can be unbearable.

Wat Pho (The Temple of the Reclining Buddha)

24 hours in Bangkok. This is a close-up of the reclining Buddha at Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
A close-up of the reclining Buddha

Our fourth stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was Wat Pho or the Temple of the Reclining Buddha. This is one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok and is known for the reclining Buddha statue.

The first thing we noticed as we walked around the building was the unique Thai and Chinese architectural styles, decorative motifs, and colorful murals. The large gold-plated Buddha was lying on its side with his head resting on his hand.

This symbolizes Buddha’s entry to Nirvana. However, it was Buddha’s feet with inlaid mother-of-pearl illustrations with 108 panels with auspicious symbols of Buddhism. There are also 108 bronze bowls where we dropped coins as it helps to maintain the wat.

We passed by the Wat Pho Thai Traditional Medicine and Massage School where visitors can get massages by students of the school. The school has trained more than 200,000 massage therapists who are practicing in 145 countries. 

As we exited, we walked to the Tha Tien Pier and took a scenic boat ride to cross the Chao Phraya River, and made our way to our last stop for our 24 hours in Bangkok trip.

Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn)

24 hours in Bangkok. This is Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn which is Bangkok's most iconic landmark.
Wat Arun is a photographer’s delight

Caption: Wat Arun is a photographer’s delight at any angle

Our fifth and last stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn which is Bangkok’s most iconic landmark known for its stunning architecture and historical significance. 

We paid an entrance fee of ฿100 ($3) and were greeted by its towering prang which stood at 70 meters. Four smaller stupas surround the main tower. What is unique about this temple are the bits of porcelain and shells that decorate the exteriors of the tower.

The tower is believed to represent Mount Meru and the seven-pronged trident at the top of the central tower is known as the Trident of Shiva. The temple’s rich cultural heritage reflects a blend of Thai and Khmer architectural styles.

As we climbed the steep stairs, we enjoyed breathtaking views of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok’s skyline. As with the temples in Bangkok, dressing modestly and appropriately is a must. Make sure you have sufficient change and be aware of tuk-tuk scammers around the temple.

The best time to visit Wat Arun is either early in the morning before the crowds arrive or just before sunset. The temple is open from 8 am to 5.30 pm. In the evenings, the temple becomes illuminated, creating a magical atmosphere. 

OPTIONAL: Day Trip to Ayutthaya

Since we had more than 24 hours in Bangkok, we chose a day trip to Ayutthaya to explore its ancient ruins and its history. Ayutthaya or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya is an ancient city about 50 miles north of Bangkok.

Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and became the capital of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. At its peak, the city was a prosperous trade center, culture, and diplomacy. The Ayutthaya Historical Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that preserves the ruins of this former capital. 

The temples in Ayutthaya are a blend of Khmer, Sukhothai, and Mon with their distinctive tall and pointed central towers. Today, the city is a popular tourist destination for visitors who come to appreciate its historical significance and laid-back charm.

Since this was a day trip, we only visited the three major tourist sites in Ayutthaya which was Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol, Wat Mahatthat, and Wat Rachaburana. We ended our trip with a ride along the canals and island of Ayutthaya in a long-tail boat.

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol

24 hours in Bangkok. This is Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol or the Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol

Caption: Our first view of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol

Our sixth stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol which is known Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory. The most distinctive feature was the large and towering stupa that was surrounded by smaller stupas.

We paid an entrance fee of ฿20 ($1) for foreigners. The bell-shaped stupa stands on an elevated square base with stairs leading to the dome where relics were once placed. After praying at the main Buddha statue, we explored the temple grounds.

We walked along the rows of Buddha statues and came to the vihara of the reclining Buddha. The main ordination hall has been re-roofed with the monastery being extended to the east. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhol is open from 8 am to 5 pm with free entrance for Thai citizens. 

Wat Mahatthat

24 hours in Bangkok. This is the face of Buddha among the roots of a Banyan tree at Wat Mahatthat in Ayutthaya.
Buddha’s face among the roots of the Banyan tree

Our seventh stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was Wat Mahatthat or the Temple of the Great Relic. The is famous for its Buddha head entwined in the roots of a banyan tree. This temple complex is home to the Mahanikai School of Buddhism and precedes the founding of Bangkok.

We paid an entrance fee of ฿50 ($1.50) for foreign adults and walked to our first stop which was the Buddha head in the tree roots. While no one knows how the head became entangled, a theory mentions that the tree grew around the Buddha’s head when the temple was abandoned.

What we found unique was that the temple was built in Khmer style and is almost identical to the temple mountains of Phnom Bakheng, Preah Rup, and East Mebon. We continued walking around the many temples to the assembly hall on the east with a seated Buddha image.

Another striking image was the standing Buddha statue in one of the mandapas and an ordination hall. The temple complex was built to represent Mount Meru with the surrounding stupas being the other mountains. 

What was once a moat represented the cosmic ocean. While the area was crowded, the ruins have a magical charm to them and left me wondering what the temple was like in all its glory.

Wat Rachaburana

24 hours in Bangkok. This is Wat Rachaburana which is within Ayutthaya Historical Park
The ruins of an ancient city

Our eighth stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was Wat Rachaburana which is within the Ayutthaya Historical Park and is opposite Wat Mahatthat. As we walked through the Grand Vihan, the central prang comes into view.

According to the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya, Wat Rachaburana was built on the cremation site of two brothers who fought to the death over the royal succession. 

After the two brothers passed, the youngest son ascended the throne and became known as King Boromracha II who built two chedis on the site where his two older brothers fought.

However, it is the central prang in Khmer style that attracts the most visitors. The central tower is so well preserved that murals on the first level of the crypt are visible. The walk down is not for the faint-hearted or those who have claustrophobia as the stairs are steep with very little lighting.

While most of the valuables have been stolen over time, some items that were recovered are displayed at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. Today, the site is an important historical site that offers visitors a glimpse into Ayutthaya’s glorious past.

Long Tail Boat Ride

Our long tail boat as we began our journey along the canals of Ayutthaya

Our last and ninth stop for 24 hours in Bangkok was a private long-tail boat ride which took us almost 45 minutes. Our boating began along the canals surrounding the island. Our boat took us through the Khlong Mueang which was the city’s ancient canals.

We passed by Wat Rattanachai, Wat Phanam Choeng, and  Wat Chai Wathanaram which was one of the most beautiful sites on our boating journey. These long-tail boats are called “Rua Hang Yao” and are a common form of water transportation in Thailand.

These long-tail boats can be rented from the pier in front of the Chantrakasem Palace Museum near Hua Ro which is opposite Wat Monthop. 

What are the safest areas to stay in Bangkok?


This is one of the most popular and safest areas to stay in Bangkok. Sukhumvit Road and district is known for its bustling streets, upscale shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife. 

The road runs through several neighborhoods with BTS Skytrain and MRT connecting through the main neighborhoods such as Nana, Ashoke, Thinglor, and Ekkamai. Spend some time shopping at Terminal 21, a mall designed like an airport departure area, or watch the sunset from the Octave Rooftop Bar & Lounge.

The Athenee Hotel

Our first choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok is the Athenee Hotel which is a 374-room hotel built on the site of the Kandhavas Palace which was the home of Princess Valaya Alongkorn.

The hotel was elegantly refurbished and featured rooms with a blend of traditional Thai and modern features. The rooms are spacious and include plush bedding, free WiFi, and safety deposit boxes. Your furbabies are also welcome in this pet-friendly hotel with a limit of one pet per room.

With generally positive reviews, guests loved that the staff remembers who you are with impeccable service by staff. The hotel and rooms and clean and give a luxurious feel befitting its Marriott brand name.

The hotel’s central location is a plus point as it is close to the Phloen Chit BTS Skytrain Station. The delicious buffet breakfast and the clean swimming pool were added plus points which guests loved.

Sheraton Grande 

Our second choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok is the Sheraton Grande which is a 420-room luxurious hotel in the heart of Sukhumvit. The hotel beautifully combines Thai hospitality and modern amenities in a 5-star setting.

The hotel boasts a range of accommodations which include standard guest rooms to more luxurious suites. Each room is elegantly furnished with comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms, and free WiFi.

With several restaurants and bars, the dining options include authentic Thai dishes to international cuisine such as Italian from Rossini’s. Or, spend some time at The Living Room and The Sala which offer a wide selection of drinks and cocktails.

Some positive reviews include its excellent location with a covered walkway to the Asok Skytrain Station and the huge rooms with spacious bathrooms. Guests also loved the staff hospitality, the variety at the breakfast buffet, and the helpful staff.

Hyatt Regency

Our second choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok is the Hyatt Regency which is a 273-room hotel that features contemporary and stylish rooms. All rooms are equipped with spacious bathrooms and complimentary WiFi. 

The hotel has several dining options which cater to Thai, Japanese, and international cuisines. With a well-equipped fitness center and a swimming pool, staying here is a refreshing experience. 

The positive reviews include the hotel’s impeccable service with staff being attentive, helpful, and friendly at all times. Guests also loved the hotel’s convenient location and the quality and variety of food available. 


This is a bustling and lively district known for its nightlife. Silom is one of the major financial business hubs of Bangkok. The district has towering skyscrapers, upscale hotels, and modern shopping centers.

This busy street stretches several kilometers and offers recreational spaces with Lumphini Park. This park is the largest in the area and is a peaceful oasis amidst the chaotic city. 

Silom is also a culinary heaven with an array of restaurants, cafes, and street food stalls that serve Thai and international dishes. The BTS Skytrain and the MRT make it easier to access Silom from other parts of the city. 

Mandarin Oriental

Our fourth choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok in Silom is the Mandarin Oriental which is a 393-room luxury hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River. 

With a range of rooms from well-appointed suites with beautiful river views to the Deluxe Premier Rooms equipped with modern amenities and furnished with a blend of traditional Thai elements, staying here is the perfect vacation spot in Bangkok.

Some positive reviewers loved the layout and decor of the rooms and the hotel’s excellent location which is just a ferry ride away from Asiatique. Guests also loved the efficient service staff and extraordinary butler service.

Novotel Bangkok Silom Road

Our fifth choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok in Silom is the Novotel Bangkok Silom Road which is a 216-room hotel in the heart of Silom district. The hotel is known for its friendly and attentive staff which ensure a pleasant stay.

All rooms come with comfortable bedding, tea/coffee-making facilities, and free WiFi. There is a fitness center and swimming pool for guests to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. 

Some reviews mention that while the rooms are clean and spacious, the bathrooms can be slippery. Overall, the guests loved the hotel’s location which was within walking distance to ICON Siam and several restaurants.

Guests also loved the comfortable beds, the polite and attentive staff, and the good value for money that the hotel provides in terms of rooms, service, and accessibility.   

Pullman Bangkok Hotel G 

Our sixth choice for staying more than 24 hours in Bangkok in Silom is the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G which is a 469-room hotel with stylishly designed rooms. All rooms come with signature bedding, plush pillows, free WiFi, and floor-to-ceiling windows for that beautiful Bangkok sunset view.

The hotel is within walking distance to the Chong Nansi BTS Skytrain station and it is a quick 2-minute walk to the Mahanakhon Skywalk. Relax by the outdoor swimming pool or hit the gym and burn those calories after eating at the restaurants nearby, the choice is yours.

Guests loved the spacious rooms, excellent location, and substantial buffet breakfast. Although the rooms are dated, the water pressure and air conditioning are superb. The hotel is a 15-minute walk to Silom with friendly and helpful staff.

Frequently Asked Questions on Bangkok

What is Bangkok famous for?

Bangkok is famous for its beautiful temples, mouthwatering street food, its floating markets, vibrant nightlife, and shopping. The three must-visit temples are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun, and Wat Pho. Spend a few nights at the many sky bars across the city for stunning sunsets and views of the city, any time of the day.

Which month is best to visit Bangkok?

The best months to visit Bangkok is during the cool season from November to February. During these months, the weather is pleasant with low humidity. This time is a busy month as it is popular with tourists so you can expect larger crowds in major tourist areas.

Is it safe to use the MRT in Bangkok?

Yes, it is safe to use the MRT in Bangkok. The MRTs are a cheap way to get around the city and the system is well designed with interconnecting stations with the BTS Skytrain. The announcements are in Thai and English with clear signages throughout the stations. 

What is the fastest way to get around Bangkok?

The fastest way to get around is by using the Metro or BTS Skytrain. Both these trains are affordable and with interconnecting stations, moving between these two train lines is easy. 

Where to avoid staying in Bangkok?

While Bangkok is generally safe to visit, some areas are best to avoid staying. These are Patpong which is famous for its go-go bars and is a known red light district. Other areas are Soi Cowboy and Soi Nana which are known for adult entertainment. Khao San Road is another area known for its backpacker vibe and can get extremely noisy at night. 

What is the old name of Bangkok?

The old name of Bangkok is “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon” or the shorter version, “Krung Thep” which means the City of Gods. However, its full ceremonial name is “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

Do they speak English in Bangkok?

Yes, they speak English in Bangkok although Thai is official. However, if you are going into rural areas, it is best to know the basic Thai language to get along with the locals. 

What language do the Thai people speak?

The language the Thai people speak is Siamese. This language is spoken by at least 88% of the population. The language spoken in northern Thailand is known as Shan while those in northeastern Thailand speak the Isan language. Also, people in southern Thailand speak Malay due to the shared border with Malaysia. 

Is Bangkok worth visiting?

Yes, Bangkok is worth visiting and is one of my favorite cities in South East Asia. Bangkok is an affordable city to visit with its rich cultural heritage and history. The city is home to bustling and floating markets, beautiful temples, and a lively nightlife with many rooftop bars.

To conclude, Bangkok is a captivating destination that weaves modern charms with cultural heritage. Bangkok’s culinary scene is also a delight for the tastebuds. From mango sticky rice, pad thai to tom yum goong, there is abundant food at every nook and cranny of the city.

2 days in Istanbul itinerary, the domes of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia in the background

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.

Disclaimer: This post contains my affiliate links which may earn me a commission if you click on them, at no extra cost. Thank you for reading and supporting my blog!

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.

Read more:

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.