Top Five Reasons to Visit Istanbul

  • Close up of The Blue Mosque.

  • View of Instanbul With Breakfast

  • View of Istanbul at night.

  • Zoom out view of the Bosphorus Bridge.

  • View of Hagia Sophia

With so many reasons to visit Istanbul, we’ve narrowed it down to my top five reasons to explore this amazing city! Pick just one or see them all! Pack your bag and bask in the joy of spring in this vibrant area.

1. The Mind-Blowing Culinary Experiences

İstanbul has a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes. While visiting, make sure you enjoy:

A Cup of Turkish Tea – Try out Pierre Loti overlooking the Golden Horn, Dem Karaköy or Bebek Kahve by the Bosphorus.

Turkish and Mediterranean Delicacies – My favorite spots are Ferahfeza (Mezes), Asitane (Ottoman cuisine), Topaz (fine-dining), and Konsolos (formerly the consulate building).

A Turkish Breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal for Turkish people. Go to a local market in almost any neighborhood and taste delicious varieties of local cheeses and olives.

Street Food – Make sure you try Balıkekmek (a fish sandwich) by the Golden Horn, have Turkish pizza, or try Simit (a Turkish bagel). I think a Simit is best when accompanied with white cheese and tea.

Nightlife – They say New York City is “the city that never sleeps,” but İstanbul is “the city that never wakes up.” It lives in a dream of nightclubs, bars and bistros. Some of my favorites include:

  • KLEIN: famous for its exceptional music and DJs.
  • Mentha: a kitchen-bar concept with elegant interior design.
  • Tektekçi: famous for its drinks and dancing.
  • Summit Bar & Terrace: offers a 270° view of the Bosphorus.


2. Historical Sites and Hidden Gems

The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower…these are just a few of the must-sees in the city that you can find in any tourist guide. While they are important to visit, I think what makes this city unforgettable are its hidden historical spots.

Be sure to visit the Hürrem Sultan Bath (Wife of Suleiman the Magnificent) and have a pampering day fit for royalty. When you’re finished, take the ferry to Kadıköy-Moda. Here you’ll find historic book and record stores to explore.

3. A City of Art

İstanbul is a perfect choice for art-lovers. Galleries and international art fairs I recommend include the Contemporary Istanbul and International İstanbul Biennial.

4. Music Festivals and Concerts

In the summer, pack a picnic, lie down on the grass at Küçükçiftlik Park, and watch your favorite band. When it’s spring, party all night at Babylon Bomonti in an atmosphere of a historical brewery.

Should you be interested in local Film Festivals, there are also several options like If!İstanbul (İstanbul Independent Films Festival), İstanbul Film Festival, or Film Ekimi – the October Film Festival. Additional Festival and Event tickets can be located here.

5. Home of Hospitality

Turkish people are well known for their hospitality. Wherever you knock, you’ll be very welcome without a doubt. Be sure to check out one of our many Hilton Worldwide properties for your next stay in Istanbul.

From its cultural heritage to spectacular views, İstanbul awaits you with all its charm.




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This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Esin A. Are you interested in traveling to Istanbul? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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