see + do
Istanbul see + do
For visitors to Istanbul, the question is not what one should see in the city, but what one can afford to skip until the next visit. Those on a one- or two-day itinerary should plan for immediate immersion in the historical district, from the majestic palaces and mosques of Sultanahmet to the exotic Oriental alleys of the Grand Bazaar, squeezing in an hour-long hammam treatment to unwind.
Culture fiends who want to go slightly off the beaten path usually head to the quieter Süleymaniye Mosque, the farther-flung Kariye Museum, or the superb Dolmabahçe Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus near Beşiktaş.
For those with a little more time on their hands, İstiklal Caddesithe main pedestrian drag through Beyoğluand its surrounding neighborhoods of Galata, Tünel, and Çukurcuma are ideal for day and night-time wanderings, while art buffs shouldn't miss the neo-industrial structures of the Istanbul Modern and Santral Istanbul, as well as the state-of-the art architecture at the Kanyon Shopping Center.
If Istanbul's bustle and the traffic become too much to bear, take to the water: The serene car-free Princes' Islands are only a short boat trip across the Sea of Marmara, and you really can't top chartering your own private yacht for a Champagne sunset sail up the Bosphorus.