Must-Have Experiences in Istanbul

Discover the best experiences to have in Istanbul
Discover the best experiences to have in Istanbul | © Koraysa / Alamy Stock Photo
A cultural and historic centre, Istanbul is known for many things such as its beautiful architectural buildings and culinary heritage. Find out what makes the Turkish capital unique with Culture Trip’s list of classic experiences.

Whether you’re visiting to soak up the sun and enjoy one of Istanbul’s many beaches or looking to familiarise yourself with Turkish culture, going on a tour will do nothing but enhance your trip. Hang out with the locals, learn about the history of Turkish coffee or explore the historic city of Cappadocia with our curated experiences.

ToursTaste of Two Continents Food Tour
From $117 per person
6 to 7 hours
4.9 (7)
Get a taste for both sides of Istanbul. Indulge in a market breakfast in Europe in the heart of the historic Old City, before going to Asia and exploring the fashionable streets of Kadıköy. We’ll make 10 different stops during our walk with a variety of samples at each – enough to fill your belly to the brim with all the amazing Turkish flavours! From home-made dishes and street foods, to traditional kebabs and Turkish ice cream – the Taste of Two Continents tour is your chance to immerse yourself inside Istanbul’s food scene and acquaint yourself with Turkish culture and habits.
ActivitiesTurkish Coffee Tour and Coffee-Making Class
From $59 per person
180 to 240 minutes
4.4 (10)
Perfect the art of pouring a delicious cup of Turkish coffee on a 3.5-hour coffee tour that includes a coffee-making class! Practice preparation techniques at a local coffee shop and stop at several venues for coffee tastings. You’ll learn about the long tradition of making Turkey’s national drink as you visit the spice bazaar, Ottoman coffee storage sites and some of the oldest coffee houses in Istanbul. Enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to 15 coffee lovers.
ToursIstanbul by Night: Local Food Tasting - Dining out in Turkish way as locals
From $89 per person
4 hours
4.5 (10)
Discover Istanbul’s culinary delights on a 5-hour evening food tour of the capital. Led by an expert local guide, your tour includes visit to all the food hotspots around the city that many tourists don’t even know about. Check out a traditional ‘simit’ bakery, grill your own kebabs on an open fire in a barbeque restaurant, and visit a ‘meyhane’ (Turkish tapas bar) for meze and live music!

Numbers are limited to 15 people on this small-group food tour, ensuring you'll enjoy personalized attention from your guide.
ToursSmall-Group Bosphorus Cruise and Istanbul’s Egyptian Bazaar
From $38 per person
3 hours
4.1 (10)
Explore the aromatic maze of stalls that make up Istanbul’s Spice Bazaar, and then hop aboard a sightseeing boat for a jaunt along the famous Bosphorus Strait! After traveling to the bazaar by coach and learning about the city from an onboard guide, enjoy some free time to explore and browse stalls selling fresh mint, cardamom, cinnamon and more. Follow up the market visit with a Bosphorus sightseeing cruise and see a collection of sights including the decadent Dolmabahçe Palace and Rumeli Hisarı Fortress.

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ToursHistoric Off the Beaten Path Tour of the Real Istanbul
From $66 per person
7 hours
4.8 (10)
See Turkey like a local on this historic off-the-beaten-path tour of the real Istanbul. Go where the locals go, and experience life in the back streets of Istanbul. Wind through the hills of Fener, home to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate Church and colorful Greek and Ottoman Houses. Meeting point is Pudding Shop Lale Restaurant.
ToursCappadocia In One Day Small-Group Tour from Istanbul: Rose Valley, Ortahisar, Kaymakli Underground City and Pigeon Valley
From $360 per person
15 hours
4.5 (10)
See some of the best of southern Cappadocia on this full-day tour from Istanbul, including round-trip transfers, flight and lunch. Explore this strange-but-beautiful UNESCO-listed region with its ‘fairy chimney’ rock pillars, cave villages and subterranean cities. Walk through stunning Rose Valley; Zelve into Kaymakli Underground City; see the abandoned village of Çavuşin, and ogle Ortahisar Castle and Pigeon Valley, with its rock dovecotes.

Enjoy in-depth attention from your guide on this small-group tour limited to 20 people.
ToursEphesus Trip from Istanbul
From $237 per person
14 to 18 hours
4.8 (6)
This full-day excursion covers the most exciting sites of the region, including the House of Virgin Mary, where the Blessed Virgin is reputed to have spent the last years of her life. And the Ancient City of Ephesus, the most important archaeological site in Turkey. You will also see the Artemis Temple and İsabey Mosque, as well as having a chance to explore local handicrafts of the region...

• Starts with picking up from your Istanbul Hotel and ends with dropping off to your Istanbul Hotel
• Return Flights, Airport Transfers, Entrance Fees, Lunch, and Licensed Tour Guide Included
• Even you have a chance to explore local handicrafts besides visiting historical & cultural destinations
• Small-group tour limited to 15 people ensures a more personalized experience
• Explore the Local Life not the touristic designed places