If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with 48 hours to spare in Istanbul, then you’re in for a treat. Perhaps you’re already planning a relaxing beach trip to Turkey and want to allocate some time to explore. Or maybe you’ve booked a dedicated city break. Whatever your reasons for visiting Istanbul, this historic city is brimming with things to see and do. Of course, you could always do with more than just a couple of days to do it justice. But if you’re pressed for time, then this guide will help you make the most of your 48 hours in Istanbul.
Start your first day with a bang by heading to the Topkapi Palace. This former residence of the Ottoman sultans is now a museum, and it’s packed with treasures from the imperial collection. You could easily spend all day here, but if you want to see more of the city, then move on to the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Also known as the Blue Mosque, this mosque is one of Istanbul’s most iconic landmarks. After admiring the exterior, head inside to marvel at the beautiful blue tiles that adorn the interior.
Next, it’s time for some shopping. Haggle for a bargain at the Grand Bazaar, where you’ll find everything from spices and textiles to carpets and jewellery. When you’ve had your fill of shopping, take a stroll through the nearby Egyptian Bazaar. This covered market is famed for its aromatic spice shops, and it’s the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Then, quench your thirst with a refreshing cup of Turkish tea before heading back to your hotel for some well-earned rest.
After breakfast at your hotel, jump on a ferry over to Kadikoy Market on the Asian side of Istanbul. This huge outdoor market is full of stalls selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and breads. Once you’ve grabbed some supplies for lunch, continue on to Ortakoy Square. This vibrant square is lined with cafes and restaurants, and it’s the perfect place to relax with a cup of Turkish coffee or people watch as locals go about their day-to-day lives.
After lunch, it’s time to explore some more of Istanbul’s rich history. Pay a visit to Dolmabahce Palace, which was built in the 19th century as a residence for the Ottoman sultans. Its opulent interiors are sure to impress, so be sure to have your camera ready. Then wrap up your sightseeing with a visit to Istiklal Avenue – one of Istanbul’s most popular pedestrian streets. Stroll down this busy street lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.
To sum up
Istanbul is an amazing city with so much history and culture waiting to be explored! If you’re short on time, then these are just some of the things that you can do in 48 hours. Of course, there’s much more that this city has to offer so you could easily return.