For a relaxing day, try some of the following ideas for nice things to do in Istanbul:
Breakfast in Ulus Park
Ulus Park is located on one of the hills that faces the Bosphorus and the first suspension bridge. There is a restaurant in the park where you can enjoy an omelet and fresh orange juice, or a continental breakfast.
Cocktails at Sunset on Zoe Yacht
Enjoy a refreshing cocktail over unbeatable views of the Bosphorus at sunset in the comfort of your own private yacht come floating restaurant! Or enjoy their dinner cruise on the Bosphorus for a unique way to celebrate in Istanbul.
Stroll through Akmerkez Shopping Mall
Akmerkez is a very big shopping mall, located near to Ulus Park. You can either shop or just sit down and observe the local people out shopping. It a busy modern cosmopolitan neighborhood close by Levent metro stop.
Visit Ortakoy Square and have lunch
Take a taxi from Akmerkez to Ortakoy. Ortakoy Square is in a neighborhood which is full of restaurants, bars and art galleries. You can visit the art galleries, sit on a bench by the Bosphorus Strait and gaze at the passing ships, or browse in the many small jewelry shops. There are many options for snacks, meals or just a coffee over a game of backgammon.
Walk in the narrow streets of Beyoglu and Pera
In Beyoğlu neighborhood, start walking from the entrance of Taksim’s Istiklal Street but be sure to get off the main street for some of the time – the pleasant side streets await discovery too. At the end of the Istiklal Street, you will see one of the oldest subways in the world, called ‘Tunel’, built in 1876. On the other side of it, you will find a choice of small cafes. Stop by for a beverage.
Have dinner in Hamam Restaurant in Sarayburnu area
Go back to the Tunel area. Take the Tunel metro (consists of only 1 stop) to the Karakoy area. Walk across the Golden horn on Galata Bridge and see the fishermen. After you pass to the other side, take a taxi to Sepetciler Kasri. End your day by having dinner in ‘Hammam’ restaurant in Sepetciler Kasri.
Explore the Princes Islands or Anadolu Kavagi
Feeling overwhelmed in the city and looking to chill out? Why not take a relaxing boat trip to the Princes Islands in the Marmara Sea or to Anadolu Kavagi near the Black Sea. Both are just over an hour away by boat for an amazing day trip surrounded by nature, the sea and tranquil village life. Have a swim, take a walk in the village and enjoy a traditional fish lunch by the seashore.
Plan to visit the rest of Turkey
There are lots of special places all around the country and if you have more time to visit outside of Istanbul, check our Turkey vacations planning section for tips and itineraries.