Compared to other metropolis like Paris or London, one will quickly realize that Istanbul is not nearly as expensive as these cities. However, there is nothing wrong with sneaking in some free activities and saving some cash while traveling. You don’t need to break the bank in order to see and truly enjoy Istanbul. Here are the top 10 free activities in Istanbul!
Soak up the atmosphere of the markets
The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market cannot be missed when visiting Istanbul! Get lost (literally!) between the countless stalls, smell the exotic teas and spices and watch people bargaining.
Enjoy art at the Istanbul Modern
Istanbul is home to plenty of museums and art galleries. The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art shows contemporary art of Turkish and international artists in Beyoglu. Every Thursday you are able to visit the exhibitions free of charge.
Take a break in a park
Istanbul is a chaotic and noisy city. To take a break from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul visit some greenery. The Yildiz Park in Besiktas is filled with flowers, lakes and also public fitness facilities. The Gülhane Park used to be the royal garden of the Topkapi Palace and is one of the oldest parks in Istanbul.
Explore the old Istanbul
Make your way to the district known as Sultanahmet and discover Istanbul’s long historical past. Wander around Hagia Sophia, the Sultanahmet Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. A lot of these old monuments belong to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Watch the magical sunset over Istanbul
Due to Istanbuls hilly landscape, it’s quite easy to find a good spot to watch the sun set over this huge city. Enjoy the colorful and stunning view over the Bosporus and see how Istanbuls skyline lightens up!
Admire the incredible Blue Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is known as ‚Blue Mosque’ due to its blue tiles, is a must-see when in Istanbul. Gaze at the Islamic architecture, but don’t forget to respect the dress code. You can enter the mosque outside the prayer times.
Walk along the Bosporus
The Bosporus is a large waterway that divides Europe and Asia. Start in Ortaköy at the famous Bosporus Bridge and make your way up to Bebek. Make sure to keep an eye out for the amazing mansions on the coast!
Explore the neighborhood Cihangir
Located on the European side of Istanbul is the neighborhood of Cihangir. This area is known for its creative scene and is full of art, vintage shops and antiques. Get lost in the streets and discover this unique area.
Watch fishermen on Galata Bridge
The Galata Bridge connects the two European sides of Istanbul. You can watch fishermen from sunrise to sunset trying their luck to catch some fish. If you get hungry, try the fish kebab nearby, too.
Mingle in Ortaköy
Ortaköy is known for it’s beautiful little mosque next to the Bosporus Bridge. It’s a bustling district with Turkish street food and a buzzing market that takes place on Sundays.
What are your favorite free things to do in Istanbul?