Unique Things To Do in Istanbul

Rumeli Hisari on the Bosphorus is one of Istanbul's many attractions
Rumeli Hisari on the Bosphorus is one of Istanbul's many attractions | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Istanbul is a beautiful city home to more than 3,000 mosques – more than any city in Turkey – and an array of cultural experiences offering a perfect balance of traditional and contemporary. See the Turkish capital in a different light with these curated experiences.

Whether you’re keen to learn about all things food, want to capture that picture-perfect sunset or just want to immerse yourself in Turkey’s history, these hand-picked experiences will allow you to discover the secrets of this incredibly vibrant city.

ActivitiesLearn To Cook From a Local: Private Cooking Class In an Istanbul Home
From $90 per person
4 hours
5 (1)
Learn to cook from a local in this private 4-hour cooking class in an Istanbul home. The friendly mother-daughter team of Nuray and Ipek will introduce you to the delights of Turkish home cooking. Join them in learning how to prepare içli köfte (stuffed bulgar meatballs), karniyarik (eggplant stuffed with mincemeat and tomatoes), barbunya pilaki (beans stewed in a tomato and lemon sauce), and more. Help out with tasks such as chopping vegetables, wrapping börek, and frying eggplant, then sit down with your hosts to enjoy your freshly prepared meal with a glass of local wine.
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.
ToursBosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht
From $59 per person
2 hours 30 minutes
4.7 (6)
Witness the enchantment of Istanbul with a 2.5-Hour Sunset Cruise along the beautiful Bosphorus! Aboard the glass-encased luxury yacht, enjoy the city’s main attractions at dusk, including the Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy Mosque, Rumeli Fortress, Bosphorus Bridge, Maiden’s Tower and much more... Savor a delicious tradational Turkish drink (demirhindi), canapés and snacks as you cruise the strait and delight in the magic of Istanbul’s urban shoreline as night falls.

Your Most Personalised Bosphorus Cruise Experience in Istanbul.

A sunset on the water is an amazing way to end your cruise experience, and an equally amazing way to start your evening! Whether it's to impress that special someone with a picture-perfect moment or just appreciate a great time with great mates - a sunset cruise is something everyone will remember.
ActivitiesIstanbul Photography Tours
From $139 per person
5 to 8 hours
5 (1)
You'll tell me what you're interested in, what genre of photography you're into, what equipment you're bringing with, I'll create a unique experience for your taste.

Hey there! It's Kerem, a documentary photographer from Istanbul. I've been photographing Istanbul over 13 years, I am going to be guiding you during the whole trip. I'll create an experience tailored for your taste and give photographic tips if any is needed.

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ToursAncient Rome Under Istanbul
From $70 per person
6 hours
5 (3)
Istanbul was once the capital of Ancient Rome… When you walk the streets of the old city you will see Ottoman buildings surrounding you. But where are the Roman buildings? They are under today’s city of Istanbul. You just need to know the right doors to open to find them. On this tour we will find them.
ToursBosphorus Full-Day Sightseeing Tour: Golden Horn and Bosphorus Cruise, Spice Bazaar, Camlica Hill and Dolmabahce Palace
From $95 per person
450 to 500 minutes
4.4 (10)
Sail along the beautiful Golden Horn and Bosphorus and visit three other top Istanbul attractions on this variety-packed full-day sightseeing tour! Enjoy stunning views over the mosques, bridges, palaces and fortresses of Istanbul on your 2.5-hour cruise, and take a guided visit of the lavish Dolmabahçe Palace. Immerse yourself in the colors and aromas of the Spice Bazaar; admire Rüstem Pasha Mosque and enjoy stirring panoramas over the city from Camlica Hill. A tasty 3-course lunch by the calm waters of the Bosphorus completes the whole, unforgettable experience.Dolmabahçe Palace is closed on Mondays. We will replace this visit with a trip to St. Chora Church museum visit instead of Dolmabahçe Palace visit on Mondays.
ToursGolden Horn and Miniaturk Park Tour in Istanbul
From $39 per person
3 hours
3.5 (12)
Explore the European side of Istanbul on this 3-hour tour, and see highlights like the Golden Horn, Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Miniatürk model park! With an expert guide at your side, you’ll visit the Eyüp district’s most significant mosque before riding up a cable car to Pierre Loti Café. Enjoy stunning views of the Golden Horn – Istanbul’s natural harbor – and then finish your tour admiring miniature model replicas of Turkey’s famous buildings at Miniatürk.
These recommendations were updated on March 20, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.