Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world, so naturally it offers a lot of historical sights. As a result, you may feel overwhelmed with the amount of things to see and do in a short amount of time. However, don’t stress! There are plenty of ways to have an amazing time in Istanbul without feeling rushed.
If you have the energy and the budget for it, three days is enough to see the main highlights of Istanbul and to get a general idea of the city’s vibe.
If you’re in a rush to get to your next destination or you want to spend as little time in Istanbul as possible, you might want to take a look at our 4-day itinerary. That said, a three-day Istanbul trip will definitely give you enough time to see and experience the highlights of the city and its surroundings. You’ll be able to visit the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Archaeological Museum, among others, and get a better idea of the rich history of the city.
But if you’ve got a limited amount of time, two days will help you to see the highlights more quickly.
If you have three days to spare, you can take a long weekend to visit Istanbul! The best way to see the city is on foot, so take your time and wander the narrow streets and explore the hidden bazaars. Don’t forget to take a boat ride down the Bosphorus and visit the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. You’ll definitely want to spend some time at the Hippodrome and visit the ruins of Byzantium.
The best way to see Istanbul is to start with the older, historic side and move on to the modern side.
If you’re on a short trip to Istanbul, a three-day schedule is perfect for seeing the top highlights. You can easily fit in a visit to the Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet and the Blue Mosque, plus a day trip to Ephesus or Cappadocia, and plenty more. With a longer trip, you can add in the Palace of the Knights or the Basilica of St. Mary of the Apostles.
Start at the Hippodrome.
The hippodrome is the perfect place to end your trip to Istanbul. It’s a great place to sit back and take it all in. The atmosphere is electric and the sights and sounds are unlike any other place you’ve been. If you have time, pay extra to take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the track.
Cross the Golden Horn to the Galata Bridge.
If you’re short on time, it’s definitely possible to see the main sights and attractions of Istanbul in three days, but you’ll definitely want to be efficient about it. This means plenty of early mornings and late evenings to see the most-visited spots, as well as a few days for a little bit of rest and relaxation. If you want to do more relaxing than exploring, consider booking a boat tour of the Bosphorus or hop on a cruise along the Golden Horn.
Explore the Grand Bazaar.
If you want to see the most popular sights in Istanbul, then you’re going to need more time than three days. But, you don’t need to spend an entire week to do so! Instead, take a break from sightseeing to soak up the atmosphere of the city and visit the bazaar for a few days.
Visit the Blue Mosque.
If you want to see and do more, add on another day to your Istanbul travel plan. But if you’re planning to fly home, then three days is more than enough to see the highlights of this beautiful city.
For most travelers, it is enough time to see Istanbul in all its glory. You can explore the historic sites, sample the delicious food, and take in the vibrant atmosphere. Of course, you will want to spend more time exploring the more offbeat corners of the city but that is entirely up to you.