Istanbul Odyssey: Top Attractions for an Extended Stay of 4 Days or More

There is a lot to see in Istanbul so explore the city both in 2 days Since 3 is a bit difficult, our recommendation is 4 or 5. For those who find it difficult due to time or have a stopover with that many days, it is best to spend the two days getting to know the old part of Istanbul with some walk through the Bosphorus.

If you want to know what to do in the old part, here is the post.

On a third day, my recommendation is that you add the modern part of Istanbul where you can see what to know here.

What to do in Istanbul 4 days

If you already have 4 or 5 days, there are other interesting places to see in Istanbul that, despite not being the most touristy, are very beautiful and in many cases we will see a little more about what the daily life of the local is like.

To fully immerse yourself in this culture, in addition to living and getting tired of walking through streets, neighborhoods and markets, you have to try its gastronomy that has so much to offer… Different typical dishes with a mix of flavors through the use of spices, vegetables, their soups and for those who like meat, the kebab. The most famous dessert that you will see everywhere, Baklava, made with pistachio. Obviously faithful to the Turkish style it always ends with some turkish tea or chamomile. We found the coffee a little bitter but it is also a classic. For those who want to continue adding, smoking shisha/hookah is also part of the culture.

If you have time you can visit and use some Turkish bath. The most famous… cemberlites , although obviously the most expensive and not the best, so they say, located near the Grand Bazaar. The oldest the Suleymaniye hamam and the only mixed one, a few meters from the previous one and a little cheaper.

Places far from the old area to see in Istanbul

These places that we will mention and visit are far from Sultanahmet and you will have to take at least 2 transports to get there or an Uber if you want the easy option.

To visit this entire area we left very early in the morning and stayed until a little after noon since the distances are not so short and the only way was to get there by bus.

Fatih neighborhood

Our first point was the Fatih neighborhood, to observe a not so touristy area and see more closely what life is like in this type of neighborhood. To get to Fatih we took the T1 Tram and got off at the Sehzada mosque next to the park. Sarachane. Here they caught our attention for the first time since we looked out to see what it was like inside and we had not previously taken off our shoes. The truth is that we are quite respectful of those things and we thought that they were only taken out to enter, but no… you have to leave them before a wooden platform that is usually there at the entrance.

A few meters away is the valente aqueduct, one of the few Roman buildings left standing, which once served to bring water to the entire city. From there we began to walk aimlessly, getting lost in the streets until we reached the Fatih Mosque. On the way we visited street markets, mainly with used things that you can imagine, where they looked at us like strangers since we were the only tourists walking through these streets. It was early in the morning so the shouting of the early hours when everyone was settling in reigned in the streets.

Fatih Mosque

We arrive at Fatih Mosque , one of the largest in the city, and without a doubt the most important place in this neighborhood. Here we find the essence of Istanbul, as it is the most orthodox neighborhood where we will see mostly women with veils.

Eyup neighborhood

Our next point was the Eyup neighborhood, another of the authentic neighborhoods faithful to traditions, quite far from Fatih where the only way to get there was by bus. Religiously it is the most sacred since here is the Eyup mosque. And what does it mean? Imagine that following an order, that mosque comes after Mecca, Medina and the Jerusalem mosque. This happens because it is said that the main companion of the Prophet Muhammad died and was buried here. The mosque is not one of the most striking but it is obviously worth visiting for its religious importance and to fully immerse yourself in Islamic culture.

Pierre Lotti’s Cafe

A few meters away and not so few is the Pierre Lotti’s Cafebut….. You have to go up since it is located at the top of a hill and that is why it attracts both tourists and locals, enjoying its views while having a typical coffee or tea.

There are 2 ways to go up. The first is walking and getting to know the cemetery. As I always say, it is not something that attracts my attention to visit and that is why we went for the second option, which is the cable car that can be paid for with Istanbulkart. Many say that the cemetery is worth it, so if you are in good physical condition and like to visit these types of places, go for the first option and save a few pesos in the process.

When you reach the top, if you don’t feel like drinking in the cafe, there is a viewpoint where you can take photos without problems. But I recommend going to the cafe since it is not expensive at all and it is worth sitting down to relax a little with those views.

We descended and walked to the port to take the boat that would take us to Sultanahmet again. During the journey we realized that it reached Uskudar, that is, the Asian part. So we took advantage and did the entire tour of the Golden Horn. A cheap way to navigate…

What to see in Istanbul on the Asian side

Having already arrived at Uskudar, from where we have beautiful views of the sunset, we walked to the famous Maiden’s Tower to take some photos.

From here, if you have time and are prepared to walk a lot, you can cross the bridge that divides both continents, visit the Ortakoy Mosque and the Bebek Neighborhood, and if you already have more days and have not thought about a getaway to Capadoccia, we highly recommend it. So try to get settled, otherwise you will have enough time to explore the entire city more than peacefully.

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