[ITINERARY] 3 winter days in Istanbul

in #travelfeed3 years ago (edited)

Today I’ll show you another itinerary. If you’re planning a 3-day vacation in one of the best destinations in Europe, this post is for you.

I planned this one for my December escape in 2017 and that’s how it was…

First, you should think about being always anywhere connected. I searched the internet and found this Wi-Fi rental, they brought the hotspot right to the airport (They don’t speak English, but are really cool guys). It will cost you 4.50 euros per day.

For public transportation you’ll need the Istanbulkart. You can buy it from the vending machines at the metro station, near the airport. You need to deposit first of all 10 TL (Turkish Lira) and you’ll have 6 TL for receiving the card and 4 TL credit for the rides. You can load credit on the card wherever you’ll find a vending machine (tram and metro station). And this card can be used by as many people as you want, as long as there is money on it.

If you have connectivity and transportation, it’s time to check the sightseeing part. I’m recommending the Museum Pass. With 125 TL you can visit for 5 days a ton of museums in Istanbul and receive also many discounts with it.

Let’s begin…

As I arrived in the morning on the Ataturk airport, I wanted to just go and start sightseeing. I wanted to see and experience all, or at least as much of Istanbul as it would be possible.

!Tip: Before heading for Istanbul, learn how to bargain. You’ll have to bargain for everything.

I hoped in the first taxi, of course after bargaining with the taxi driver. I don’t want to tell you for how much I bargained my ride, because I know that I don’t have the skill. Haha!


Walking with the cats of Istanbul near the Aquarium.


1. I arrived at my first stop: The Istanbul Aquarium.

You can buy tickets from here, or at the ticket desk in the Aquarium.
Opening hours: everyday between 10:00 and 20:00


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Little colorful jellyfish and funny pinguins.

2. The Galata Tower

Visiting hours: Everyday between 09:00 - 19:00
Entrance fee: 25 TL
! The Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid for this museum.

The Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower, located in the northern part of the Golden Horn. It was built as part of the fortification system, used as a tower of observation on traffic in the Bosphorus and possible fires in the city. Later, it was used as a prison and a warehouse for ships. If you climb the steps you’ll find an incredible 360 view of Istanbul.


Here is the tower by day and by night.

3. The Galata Bridge

Visiting hours: Everyday - doesn’t close - It’s a bridge.
Entrance fee: Free

Take a walk at sunset on the Galata bridge, but don’t forget to walk also under the bridge, where you can find many restaurants and narghile cafes. You’ll find shrieking seagulls and a row of fishermen on the bridge, with a magical view of silhouettes of mosques.


Fishermen silhouettes on the Galata Bridge.

If you’ll get hungry, go under the bridge and find a restaurant. It won’t be difficult, because you'll have just one job: walk near a restaurant and wait that someone from there will ask you to come in and eat. But please, don’t forget that you should bargain. You bargain for everything!


I nice way to end the day - chilling under the Galata Bridge.

4. The Topkapi palace

Visiting hours: Everyday except Tuesday (For more information, please visit this site)
Entrance fee: 40 TL for the Palace, 25 TL for the Harem, 10 TL for audio guide
! The Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for this museum. You can buy it from the vending machines in front of the entrance or the information desk.




Cat before prayer time.

5. Hagia Sophia

Visiting hours:
Summer Schedule: 15 APRIL - 30 OCTOBER from 09.00 to 19.00 (last entrance is at 18:00)
Winter Schedule: 30 OCTOBER - 15 APRIL from 09:00 to 17:00 (last entrance is at 16:00)
Entrance fee: 40 TL
! The Istanbul Museum Pass is valid for this museum.

Hagia Sophia is one of the most imposing buildings in history. It was for 916 years the centre of the religious life of the Eastern Roman Empire, then it was a mosque for 482 years, and since 1935 it has been a museum. The dome is one of the largest in the world, only a few centimetres smaller than the Pantheon in Rome.



Hagia Sophia

6. Basilica Cisterna

Visiting hours: Everyday between 09:00 - 18:30
Entrance fee: 20 TL
! The Istanbul Museum Pass is not valid for this museum.

There are 336 columns, with the height of 9 meters, which can be reached with a ladder of 52 steps.

cisterna 1.jpg

Columns in Basilica Cisterna

You can also find two Heads of Medusa, which are used as the bases of two columns, in the north western corner of the cistern. This two are masterpieces of the art of sculpture during the Roman period.

cisterna 2.jpg

Head of Medusa

You will surely pass by the Tear or Crying Column, that has an appearance as if it were crying because it is wet, unlike other columns. This column resembles the columns of the Triumphal Arch of Theodosius I from the 4th century. It is said that the Crying Pillar was built for the memory of the hundreds of slaves who lost their lives during the construction of the Basilica Cistern.

cisterna 3.jpg

Crying column

7. The Blue Mosque

Visiting hours: Everyday between 09:00 - 16:00 (except for the 5 moments of prayer of the day – closed 30 minutes before and after the prayers + Friday closed for the evening prayer for 2h)
Prayers: Fajr 05:40 / Tulu 07:21 / Zuhr 12:59 / Asr 15:52 / Maghrib 18:15 / Isha 19:45
Entrance fee: Free

How to dress:

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Dress code for visitors

It’s the largest mosque in Istanbul and Turkey's national mosque. 21.000 Blue "Iznik" Plates have been used for its interior.


Respecting the dress code at the Blue Mosque.


The Blue Mosque at sunset.


The Blue Mosque at night.

8. Cruise on the Bosphorus

You can choose one of the many cruises from here. I opted for the Istanbul Bosphorus and Black Sea Cruise for 35 euro. They picked us up at the hotel. You can also eat on the boat, they serve traditional Turkish meze and other specialties and you’ll have audio guide included in the price.


Visiting the Asian part of Istanbul.


Nice meal near the Beykoz.


Heading to the port.

9. The Grand Bazaar

Opening hours: Weekdays from 08.30 – 19.00
Saturday from 08.30 – 19.00

It’s one of the largest covered markets in the world. It has 60 streets and 5.000 shops, with about 350.000 visitors a day. It is known for jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroidery and antiquity stores.



10. The Spice Bazaar – Egyptian Bazaar

Opening hours: Weekdays from 08.30 – 19.00
Saturday from 08.30 – 19.00

The Spice Bazaar is called Egyptian Bazaar in Turkish because the spices sold here used to be carried all the way from India and Far East through Egypt by caravans.

spice bazaar.jpg


At the end I want say that, if you have more time available for visiting, you should visit all the sights included in the Museum Pass. And I want to remind you to not forget to try the Turkish coffee, tea and the Turkish breakfast. (You'll get one heck of a lot of food so remember not to fill up on the first things at the start of the meal!)


Turkish coffee (left) and Turkish tea (right)


Turkish Breakfast - Beware, that's one portion!

The images from this article are taken with my Samsun Galaxy S5 😊

Some other posts that you might like:


Ha! Nice @martymnp! It's fun getting lost in such a beautiful city.

;) i know! I have some friends there and i visit them alot :d

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The spice bazaar it's great @didis.world

Istanbul it's one of the greatest cities in the World

I love it not just because i'm studying/playing the turkish music on turkish ney but also for their culinary culture, architecture ... history

Interesting Empire

Have a great time there if you'll intend to go there again soon

Hopefully i'll play there with my Tribe the next year

Regards @didis.world

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