Hit Enter to search or Esc key to close
Blog thumbnail

Activities to do in Istanbul

Activities to do in Istanbul

Blog thumbnail

Getting out of normal: check out some “b-side” activities to do in Istanbul

 Certainly, during your trip in the city of Istanbul, you must visit sights such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and participate in a boat trip through the Bosphorus.

However, the city has other activities that will certainly enrich your experience. Check out our post with some of the “out the radar” attractions in Istanbul:

– Spend a night at Bomontiada

– What is it?

One of the busiest locations on the European side of the city, the ambitious Bomontiada complex houses the iconic Babylon concert hall, the Alt art exhibition space, the Leica Store and Gallery, the Ara Güler Museum and five different restaurants.

– Why you should visit?

The opening of Bomontiada within the old and abandoned Bomonti beer factory transformed the sleepy neighborhoods of Bomonti and Kurtuluş, generating a wave of creative activities and new openings in the area.

 – Watch a concert at Salon IKSV

 – What is it?

 Maintained by the Istanbul Art and Culture Foundation (İKSV), the Salon is a concert hall located in the beautiful Nejat Eczacıbaşı building, in Beyoğlu’s Şişhane district.

– Why you should visit?

 Consistently hosting some of the main international shows in the city, the Salon is filled with the names of jazz, rock, alternative, classic, experimental, and world music.

Indulge in a profiterole at İnci Pastanesi

– What is it?

 The iconic İnci Pastanesi opened in 1944 at İstiklal Caddesi, quickly becoming famous for its profiteroles and classic interior.

– Why you should visit?

 In 2012, the gentrification that led almost all original small business owners to İstiklal also forced İnci to move to a nearby side street, abandoning his nearly seven-decade-old home. Although the new location is not exactly the same, the flavor of its profiteroles maintains the same quality.

Taste some wine and have a dinner at Mikla.

– What is it?

 Directed by acclaimed Swedish-Turkish chef Mehmet Gürs, Mikla is not only one of the best restaurants in Turkey, but one of the best in the world. 

– Why you should visit?

 Located atop the Marmara Pera Hotel, Mikla offers stunning views of Beyoğlu, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus, as well as a menu with some of Istanbul’s most creative exquisite cuisines, made with local ingredients and influenced by Turkish and Scandinavian techniques.

Search for hidden treasures at the Feriköy Flea Market

– What is it?

 Held within the vast covered market in Bomonti every weekend, the Feriköy Flea Market and Organic Bazaar is a great place to buy fresh produce and look for antiques.

– Why you should visit?

The Saturday food market features a wide range of 100% organic products, including vegetables, fruits, honey, cheese, and jam from different corners of Turkey. In the early hours of Sunday, antique dealers replace greengrocers and set up their stalls selling all kinds of antiques, knick-knacks, vinyl records, old books, magazines, original movie posters and treasures waiting to be found.

Eat at the classic Karaköy Lokantası

– What is it?

 Karaköy Lokantası is one of Istanbul’s most iconic restaurants and a popular place to have lunch in the historic district of the same name.

– Why you should visit?

 The classic restaurant is perhaps best known for its hünkar beğendi, a remnant of Ottoman palace cuisine made with meat slowly cooked on a creamy bed of eggplant puree. At dinner time, Karaköy Lokantası becomes one of the city’s meyhanes with its excellent meze.

Hike inside a wooded wonderland in the Belgrad Forest

– What is it?

 Perhaps the most beloved green space in Istanbul, the Belgrad Forest is one of the wooded wonders that spans more than 1,300 acres.

– Why you should visit?

Being a popular weekend destination, the forest has designated picnic areas and a 6.5 km trail used by runners and hikers. It starts at the source Neşet Suyu and has markers every half kilometer so you can track your distance. After taking a few steps in the forest, you will quickly feel the revitalizing touch of fresh, clean air.

– Fill your face with kumpir in Ortaköy

– What is it?

 Kumpir is a famous food in Istanbul – a great way to fill your belly while spending little.

– Why you should visit?

 There is no better a place to devour a baked potato the size of a human head than in Ortaköy, where you will find a series of stalls serving kumpir.

Do a full body scrub at Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı

– What is it?

 The work of the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı, was built between 1578-1583 to serve the levendes (maritime forces of the Ottoman navy) and was reopened to the public in 2012 after a major restoration.

– Why you should visit?

  The hamam ritual is an unmissable experience for anyone visiting Istanbul and there is no better a place to do it than within this architectural masterpiece that dates back half a millennium. Please note that the hamam is open to women in the morning and men in the afternoon.

Indulge in a full Turkish breakfast at Emirgan Sütiş

– What is it?

 The main branch of the classic Sütiş pudding shop is among the most coveted breakfast spots in Istanbul.

– Why you should visit?

 Sütiş is a little expensive, but your breakfast creams and egg dishes are fantastic, not to mention that you are sitting in a building with a great view of the Bosphorus.

Sample forgotten Anatolian recipes at Çiya Sofrası

– What is it?

 Çiya serves a variety of Anatolian dishes (mainly from the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern Anatolia), all made with ingredients imported from their native regions.

– Why you should visit?

 Its wide selection of delicious dishes is accompanied by a variety of herbs, most of which you have probably never heard of. The two-story venue offers unusual dishes like mualle (eggplant and lentil stew with pomegranate molasses), maş soup (mung beans), sitti simidi (thin cracked wheat rice) and yeşil erik tavası (green plum stew).

Watch an opera or ballet at the Süreyya Opera

– What is it?

 Housed in a beautiful building built by politician Süreyya İlmen Pasha in 1927, the Süreyya Opera House is the privileged place to watch an opera or ballet on the Asian side of Istanbul.

– Why you should visit?

 Due to the fact that its stage remained incomplete, Süreyya functioned as a cinema and wedding hall for many years until its restoration in 2007. Now reopened to fulfill its original purpose, Süreyya deserves a visit just for its architecture. Nostalgia shines on the walls of this building and in the art deco foyer, inspired by the Champs-Elysées Theater in Paris.

– See an independent movie at Kadıköy Sineması

– What is it?

 Opened in 1967, the family-run Kadıköy Sineması is one of the oldest cinemas in Istanbul.

– Why you should visit?

 Undoubtedly, one of the best places to watch a film on the Asian side, Kadıköy Sineması is nestled in an arcade on Kadıköy’s main shopping street and regularly shows a series of national, international and independent films.

– Dine meze inside a historic train station in Mythos

 – What is it?

 Mythos is an old school meyhane located inside Haydarpaşa Train Station, one of Istanbul’s most valuable historical landmarks.

– Why you should visit?

 A Kadıköy favorite that can be packed every night of the week during the hottest months, Mythos always makes for a memorable evening with its delicious meats, expertly grilled fish and loose rakı in a nostalgic setting.

Spend time and have a cocktail in hand at Arkaoda

– What is it?

 Since opening a store on the street of Kadife Sokak bars in 1999, this iconic establishment has played a pioneering role in transforming Kadıköy into Istanbul’s most trendy neighborhood.

– Why visit?

 Antique velvet armchairs, good music, and warm dim lighting make Arkaoda a great place to relax with friends for hours on end. A cozy café during the day and an increasingly popular bar/club at night, Arkaoda is our favorite bar on Kadife Sokak, Kadıköy’s main street of bars.

How can Guide in Turkey help me to know the attractions of Istanbul?

If you want to know these places during your trip in Turkey, we can organize private tours.

Contact: +90 536 273 59 61

E-mail: info@guideserviceinturkey.com

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *