Weekend City Break at Istanbul – What to Do and See

19 June, 2014

Istanbul is one of Europe’s most exotic city, and if you are staying anywhere in Europe, you can easily fly over to Istanbul for a weekend escape at this interesting city where Asia and Europe meet. Food, transport and hotel are not very expensive compared to other cities in Europe so you can easily plan for a romantic weekend getaway with a limited budget!

istanbul-mosquePhoto credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chanc/

There is a lot to see in Istanbul so you should plan your key sights to check out in Istanbul over this weekend getaway, and you should plan to arrive in Istanbul on Friday as early as possible and leaving on Sunday evening or Monday afternoon because to explore the city’s finest attractions and experience Istanbul, you will need about 3-4 days.

For Day 1 of your Istanbul weekend getaway, check out the historical sights in the old city of Sultanahmet – it is interesting that the previous occupiers of Istanbul had built most of their monuments in this part of Istanbul from the Hippodrome, the Yerebatan Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.  Book your hotel in this Sultanahmet area and use it as a base for your Istanbul weekend trip.

Do note that the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays, while most of the museums are closed on Mondays so plan all your visits to these places on Friday and Saturday.

For Day 2, check out the Grand Bazaar – expect high prices to be quoted for tourists and be prepared to bargain hard.  Enjoy your lunch at the Konyali Restaurant which overlooks the Bosphorous.  You might also want to check out the newer side of Istanbul at Istiklal Caddesi (also known as La Grande Rue de Pera).  Saturday evenings will be a busy night with the number of bars and pubs in the area.

For Day 3, do a cruise on the Bosphorous and maybe even check out the lavish Dolmabahçe Palace with its beautiful European architecture and almost perfect interior decor. It was an effort by Ottoman rulers towards the start of the 20th century to copy all things Western and modern. Finally, end off your trip with an indulgence fit for a sultan – do a Turkish Bath at Süleymaniye Hamami where an attendant will rub, scrub, and rinse away all cares and stresses away!

Being in between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is great for exploring over the weekend be it sightseeing with your loved ones or party time with your friends. If you are planning a longer stay or even investments in Istanbul properties, check out Spotblue for latest deals on property for sale.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

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