Istanbul is one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Not just because of its long and tumultuous history, but because it lies on the border of two continents; Europe and Asia. 

This guide features all the unmissable things to do in Istanbul as well as a few hidden gems, so you can be sure to have a wonderful trip to the city and come away feeling like you’ve seen it all. 

Visit the Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul. It was a former Byzantine church but later became a mosque after the Ottomans took over Constantinople (the name given to the city by the Romans). 

Marvel at the Mosaics of The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is one of the most famous mosques in the world because of the stunning blue tiles that adorn its interior walls and arches (hence the name, Blue Mosque). 

Climb Galata Tower

Built by the Genoese in 1348 as part of their walled fortress on the northern shore of the Golden Horn, the Galata Tower was the tallest tower in Constantinople when it was completed. 

Gorge on Istanbul’s Street Food

One of the best street food dishes in Istanbul is the fish sandwich, or balik ekmek in Turkish. It’s made with fresh local fish that’s grilled and topped with a little bit of lettuce and onions, just enough to bring out the freshness of the fish. 

Relax in a Turkish Hamam

The Turkish Hamam, or Turkish Bath, is a must-see attraction in Istanbul for any visitor to the city. It’s an incredibly unique experience, combining aspects of both a spa and historic Turkish tradition.