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  • Writer's pictureMatt B

Top 5 Things To Do in Istanbul in 2022

Known as a the link between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is the only city in the world that lies between two continents, but what makes it unique is its ability to harmonize the ancient customs with modernity.

If you’re wondering what this city has to offer, here are my recommendations for the best things to do in Istanbul.

1. Marvel at Hagia Sophia

One of the most iconic and architectural masterpieces Istanbul has to offer, Hagia Sophia is a must-see attraction. Over the years, this lofty structure has assumed many roles. It was initially built as a Christian Cathedral but it was later turned into a Mosque and then a museum. In 2020, the monument’s role was reverted to being a functioning Mosque and a tourist attraction. Boasting a diameter of approximately 40 meters and souring 49 meters high, the enormous central dome is Hagia Sophia’s most captivating feature.

This monumental building is open for everyone to visit but its closed to the general public during the 5 prayer times of the day.

2. Shop at the Grand Bazaar

Established in the mid-14th century, the Grand Bazaar was a base for the local trade of jewels and clothing. Spanning across 30,700 square meters, the Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered market on the planet. Today, you’ll get anything and everything in this market, so be prepared to shop till you drop. With alley upon alleys of cafes, eateries, shops, and stalls, this place is massive and it’s one of the most bustling places in the city. To have a fantastic time at this market you’ll need great haggling skills which will help you score the best deals for Turkish handicrafts, delights (yummy treats that you'll find everywhere), gold, spices, souvenirs and so much more.

3. Explore The Basilica Cistern

Located just a short walk from Hagia Sophia, this structure has survived the test of time and it’s the largest Byzantine Cistern in Turkey that’s still standing. Originally, the Basilica Cistern was used as an underground water reservoir to meet palace water needs during the Byzantine era. This Cistern is the largest in the city with 336 columns, each one of them measuring 9 meters in height. All these columns are slightly different and it’s believed the reason behind this is because they were built from recycled materials from other older buildings. Its size is overwhelming and the underground atmosphere is eerie but the history of how it came to be and the longevity of the structure makes it one of the best things to experience in Istanbul. It’s also a great place for shooting some incredible photos.

4. Visit The Galata Tower

Located in the Beyoğlu district, Galata Tower is one of the most popular monuments in Istanbul. It’s situated on a hilly terrain, which makes it a popular observation deck that offers unobstructed 360-degree views of the city. Erected in the 14th century, this round medieval structure has served different roles over the years – a watchtower, an observation deck, and now a popular tourist attraction from where you can see how this city rests between Asia and Europe.

5. Try some delicious Turkish cuisine

If you love to travel for food, then Istanbul should be a top choice on your list. From Turkish tea to baklava to puffy lavas bread with yogurt dip to Iskender Kebap to freshly squeezed local pomegranate juice and everything in between, Istanbul is a great place to eat your way around.

Now you are ready to experience the best things to do in Istanbul in 2022. I wish you a wonderful journey and please don't hesitate to share with me your thoughts about your overall travel experience. I look forward to reading your comments!

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