A Weekend Getaway - Istanbul

By Halal Trip | 01, Jul, 2016
A Weekend Getaway - Istanbul

The cultural and financial centre of Turkey, the city is divided by the Bosphorus. The city is huge and a treat for visitors who love dining and exploring historical structures.

Day 1: Itinerary

Early Morning to Mid- Day Destinations

Suleymaniye Mosque: One of the largest masjids in Istanbul.

Suleymaniye Hamam: Enjoy the luxury of a Turkish bath. It ideally takes about 90 minutes.

Halal Restaurants: Inside the masjid complex there is a good restaurant serving Ottoman cuisine. Opposite the masjid there are several small restaurants.

Afternoon to Evening Destinations

Istanbul Archaeology Museums: Has over a million artefacts spanning over 3 buildings. Can take from 2-3 hours.

Topkapi Palace: Historical palace and the centre of Ottoman for about 5 centuries. Can take from 2-3 hours.

Mosques: Firuz Aga Mosque, Sultan Mahmut Turbesi

Evening Destinations and Dining Options

Grand Bazaar: Famous destination for shopping. There are numerous teahouses, restaurants and masaajid. Takes up to 2-3 hours.

Halal Restaurants: Inside the Grand Bazaar; Seyhmus Kebap Evi Burc Kebap, Kardeslar Café, etc.

Day 2: Itinerary

Early Morning to Mid- Day Destinations.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque: The Blue Mosque, one of the best examples of Ottoman architecture. Take 2 hours to explore.

Hippodrome: Historical structure that was used for hosting Roman and Byzantine celebrations. Takes about 1 hour.

Hagia Sophia: Houses a museum with several artefacts. Keep 1 hour to explore this museum.

Halal Restaurants: Hayat Cafe, Mozaik Café, Asitane, etc.

Afternoon to Evening Destinations

Istanbul Museum of Modern Art: Features modern art work. Takes about 1 hour.

Egyptian Spice Bazaar: Colourful spice market where you can get refreshing aroma of the spices.

The Land Walls/Edirnekapi: This was the main point of entry into the city during the ancient times.

Mosques: Fatih Masjid, Rustem Pasha Masjid, New Masjid.

Halal Restaurants: Hamdi Restaurant, Bab-i Hayat Restaurant, 360Istanbul Restaurant, Istanbul Modern, etc.

Evening Destinations and Dining Options.

Galata Bride and Tower: Bridge links two parts of Istanbul. Get views of the city from the Tower.

Taksim Square: The main hub of the city where all the action can be experienced.

Mosques: Taksim Masjid, Dolmabahce Masjid, Huseyinaga Mosque.

Halal Restaurants: Several cafes and restaurants surrounding the Taksim Square such as the Taksim Square Hotel, Marmara Taksim, etc.

Miscellaneous:

If you reach Istanbul on Friday then you could enjoy a boat ride at the Bosphorus.

Some of the must-try dishes in the city include Hamsi, Tavuk Gogsu and Simit. Dine at one of the sample mezes, you can find some nice mezes in Istiklal Street. Restaurants worth dining at include Rumeli Iskele, Sultanahmet Koftecisi Selim Usta and the Cafe Amedros.

Souvenirs: Buy Turkish jewellery, Evil Eye or the Blue Eye, Turkish Carpets and ceramics.

Transportation: Understanding public transportation in Istanbul is difficult but is good if you have been in the city before. Taxis are an affordable and easy means of travelling around.