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Weekend in Istanbul

Istanbul is a city that has drawn tourists for centuries, so a weekend is not enough time to do it well. However, this blog of Istanbul's highlights will give you a decent idea of its various attractions, which you may see on the weekends when you're not sleeping and unwinding in the cozy Cabriole Home you select for your short- or long-term renting period for the duration of your visit in Istanbul.

No matter how often you visit, Istanbul is one of those places that never fails to enchant. An amazing cultural experience is around every corner at this mysterious intersection of East and West. With its captivating bazaars, Ottoman mosques, and innumerable teahouses, Istanbul is enchanting. A better way to elongate your stay in Istanbul is by renting out one of our fully furnished apartments to have the most incredible experiences on every weekend.

You will undoubtedly be mesmerized by the diversity of cultures, history, beautiful mosques and other places of worship as well as the craziness that comes with this remarkably cosmopolitan city given that it is divided between two continents. Here’s what you can do on the weekend: Istanbul edition.

Start off in Sultanahmet Square

The majority of Istanbul's well-known attractions may be found here, in the city's touristic center.

You'll find plenty of things to do, see and eat to keep you busy here, including the breath-taking Aya Sofia, the magnificence of the Topkapi Palace, and the aroma of Turkish street food filling the air is just going to be something you’ll definitely enjoy as you continue to fall in love with Turkish cuisine. Don’t forget to stuff yourself with Turkish delight as well.

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The area truly gives you a rush as you roam about because it is constantly busy and bustling at any time of day. The Blue Mosque is definitely also one thing you should surely check out. A portion of it is open to worshippers performing the daily prayers but it is open for tourists just like Hagia Sophia. The mosque's inside is stunning, and once you're there, you'll understand how the building came to bear its well-known name. The mosque's 260 windows, which are exquisitely embellished with lilies, carnations, tulips, and roses, provide a soft glow on more than 20,000 cobalt-blue "iznik" tiles. 

Be in awe of the liberal application of these ornamental tiles, which signifies the pinnacle of Iznik tile expertise. You can also browse through other websites for tours around the city and get a discount if you choose any trip through affiliate links on travel pages.

An absolute classic place to check

Hagia Sophia needs no introduction as it is a world famous attraction already. The enormous structure was opened in 537 by Emperor Justinian and constructed over two previous churches. Hagia Sophia was intended to be the most magnificent and majestic building ever built as a tribute to God. 

In the wake of the Ottoman invasion of Constantinople in 1453, Hagia Sophia was transformed from a church to a mosque. Up until 1935, the structure served as a mosque before being transformed into a museum. The Hagia Sophia lost its status as a museum on July 10, 2020, and was converted back into a mosque. 

Try Simit while you're here. It's a delicious kind of sesame seed bread or a local version of the bagel that's great for breakfast or a snack! Comes with different accompaniments that can be sweet or savory. 

Another one of Istanbul's top attractions is the Basilica Cistern, a sizable underground water storage facility. Possibly the most peculiar site in the city, it is a magnificent display of Byzantine engineering. The awe-inspiring architecture and vast interior of the cistern offer a welcome respite in the summer.

Fun-filled areas to see

One of the nicest things to do on a weekend in Istanbul is to visit the Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar, which has more than 4,000 stores offering jewelry, lanterns, rugs, leather goods, hookah, ceramics, and other items, is the biggest market in Istanbul and, according to some estimates, the biggest covered market in the world.

Istiklal Street (Istiklal Caddesi) is Istanbul's primary artery if Taksim Square is its beating heart. One of the nicest things to do while visiting in Istanbul is to take a stroll down the street that was originally known as the "Grande Rue de Pera.” You’ll find many bars and restaurants on this avenue that can be the perfect places to be at on a weekend! Istiklal Street is a pedestrian-only street that is bustling with people during the day for shopping and with people at night for entertainment.

Since the capital was moved to Ankara in 1923, a number of opulent residences that were once home to embassies of foreign countries have been reduced to consulates. Several magnificent examples of Art Nouveau architecture can be found here as well.

Weekend trips from Istanbul to nearby villages or beach towns are also a welcome addition to your list of things to do! You can also enjoy a ferry on the Bosphorus up to the Black Sea if seeing this particular sea has been on your bucket list! Other options include checking out the area around the Galata Tower for a bite to eat or to admire locally made handicrafts or souvenirs! One of Istanbul's top attractions and the Golden Horn's most identifiable landmark is the slender Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi).

The Genoese, who were the Byzantine Empire's top commercial partners, fortified Galata in 1348 by constructing the 67-meter-tall tower. Since that time, the tower has endured numerous earthquakes and restoration attempts.