Ideally, you would have several days in Istanbul to truly gain an understanding of the culture; however, some people may only have 24 hours. If you are one of such individuals, you should concentrate on the highlights and the food and leave the remaining attractions for your next trip to this wonderful city!
You need to stay nourished to be able to see all of the sights you want to see in your 24-hour whirlwind Istanbul extravaganza. The food of Turkey is amazing. Whether you have enthusiasm toward new food or an aversion, a number of Turkish delights are a must.
Grab a simit any time hunger strikes. This simple food item is reminiscent to that of a bagel only it has a more developed crust inside and out. You should also not be afraid to try any of the street food, as it is fast, inexpensive, and some of the best representations of everything offered throughout the city.
Must See and Do
Start the day with the rest of the city. You will most likely wake to the call of prayer being sounded from the many minarets throughout the city. Take your breakfast seriously, and head to the ferry port. It is here where the Sea of Marmara, Golden Horn, and Bosphorus Strait meet, and the entire city attempts to travel to various parts of the region simultaneously. It is a spectacular sight to see all of the various types of boats, vessels, and people take to the waterways each morning in this vast metropolis. Take a guided cruise. You will be able to sit back and simply take in all the sights and sounds as you travel from one historic empire to the next. You will see Sultan palaces, mansions of Ottoman nobility, Byzantine fortresses, and much more on this 90-minute Bosphorous cruise.
Once back on land, head to the old city to explore the ancient cobblestone streets and the Grand Bazaar. This mall is home to 2,000 shops and stalls. While you are here, it is a good idea to stop for a coffee or tea to recoup slightly before you continue. Next, stop at the Spice Bazaar to see an entirely contrasting type of Bazaar and an experience unlike any other. It is important to note that the Spice Bazaar is closed on Sundays.
The Archeological Museum Complex is not only the oldest museum in the city, it is the best museum to take in all the historical periods of the city at one time. It is the best bang for your time-constraining schedule. As you walk through the suburbs and city neighbourhoods, be certain to pay attention to the religious diversity. You will see elaborate and breathtakingly-beautiful mosques, churches, and temples.
This city is rich in culture, history, and religion. It is also the only city in the world to be situated on two continents. A day in Istanbul will leave you with enough of a taste to ensure you plan for more time on the next trip.