Independent route in Istanbul for 4 days

Istanbul – ancient city at the junction of Europe and Asia. Because of its position, he became the center of world history. I will tell you to see in Istanbul yourself for 4 days so as not to miss anything important.

We also have a three-day route in Istanbul. Read about him here.

Touch the greatness of the ancient Constantinople was my little dream. The city, which was the capital of the four empires, was supposed to preserve traces of ancient civilizations in architecture and traditions.

Istanbul remains the economic and cultural heart of the country, despite the fact that the political center of Turkey was transferred to Ankara.

The most populated megalopolis in Europe is located immediately in two parts of the world.

Bosphorus divided into two parts, Istanbul gathered the best from European and Asian civilizations. Such contradictory and peculiar, the city of one falls in love with himself, and others disappoint.

Turkey Currency – Lira.

Her course to the ruble on the date of the trip was 12.88 rubles. As usual, we decided not to change money in Moscow, but to remove them by arrival from the card.

We flew to Istanbul in the morning, and flew in the evening in two days. I was sure that this time would be enough to meet the city, but after arrival I understood how much mistaken.

Like any lively megalopolis, Istanbul has a big problem – road traffic jams. Therefore, planning movements around the city should pay much attention.

Due to traffic jams, we almost did not have time to do on our first day in Istanbul.

And there are so many interesting places: historical monuments, modern complexes, beautiful landscapes, colorful markets. We decided to touch everything gradually.

About food in Turkey can be told no less than about her beauties. In Turkish restaurants, we found the perfect European service, tasted the best fish and got into a real paradise for sweet tooths.

Acquaintance with Istanbul: District areas and hotel selection

The western side of Istanbul is the biggest.

It is she mainly interesting to tourists.

All major historical monuments and attractions are located here. Eastern shore Many are undeservedly considered more conservative and religious. Prices for accommodation and food here will be slightly lower than in the tourist area, but you need to take into account that every day you have to spend a lot of time on the road. Be that as it may, in the first arrival, special attention should be paid to the European part.

Bay Golden Rog divides the western shore for another two parts. South of her is located Fatih district. This is the historic heart of the city. It was here many centuries ago a great Constantinople stood.

Quarter Sultanahmet Impritated history: Ancient monuments here are found at every step.

In this area, many hotels. Most of them are small and cozy hotels, compactly spread in the alleys of the Old Town. Near the square itself is very high, but it is worth a little to the side, you can find many cheap cafes and hotels below.

On the north shore of the bay is a modern center.

District Besiktash stretched along Bosphorus.

There are many cultural attractions, luxury hotels and Central Taksim Square. This is the most expensive part of the city. Along the embankment there are hotels and restaurants with very high prices, but it is enough to rise slightly higher from the strait and prices begin to decline again.

We chose a small hotel Sayban Gold Hotel In the Fatih area with a very convenient location: two minutes walk from Sirkeggi Metro Station and five minutes from the tram of Gulkhan. In addition, it is possible to walk from him to all the attractions of the historic center and the pier Emino.

Rooms were very small.

But from the veranda, where the breakfast was served, a wonderful view of the Bosphorus opened. For 3 nights with breakfasts, we paid 9 thousand. rubles per room for two. Good price for accommodation in this area. Found a hotel on Booking.Com, there was a good discount on our dates.

Autumn in Istanbul

We doubted for a long time, is it worth going to Istanbul in November.

Unfortunately, the opportunity to visit this city was released only at this time. Therefore, I started learning sites with weather and learn the opinions of local residents.

It is said that the weather is Istanbul as a mood of a woman – capricious and change.

Here almost no cold weather, but the weather may be windy and rainy. November, as in most European countries, cloudy and cool.

I was afraid that because of the proximity to the strait, the weather will be cold and drank.

We can say that we are not lucky: the sky really was tightened with clouds, often there was a drizzling rain. However, it did not prevent our walks at all. The air was warm, the wind does not permeate. Jacket with a hood or umbrella, waterproof shoes – and you can safely go on a trip. In some ways, this weather is even better for viewing the city than the exhausting heat.

On the trip in November there is a significant advantage.

At this time, significantly less tourists. Maybe therefore the Turks themselves look somewhat relaxed. There are no bustle on the streets, there are many free seats in hotels and good discounts are often offered.

November weather did not spoil the impression of the first meeting with Istanbul.

Transportation Istanbul

Istanbul is a huge city, so it is very important to deal with his transport arteries. Do it’s not so easy. In most cases, to get to some point you need to make transplants to different types of transport.

Help to understand the complex routes of Istanbul are always ready for its inhabitants. Turks – Very Responsive People.

So do not be afraid to ask the road. Most of them speak good English and even with the complexity of understanding, they sincerely try to tell. It was cut out several times.

How to get to Istanbul from the airport

In Istanbul two airports:

  • Them. Ataturk – located 19 km from the center on the Western side. Before the airport, the subway goes, so you will not get any problems getting out of it.
  • Them. Sabih Goekchen – Located in the Asian side of 35 km from the strait. The route to the center will not be so simple.

We flew on the plane of the airline "Victory", and all Loocosostans always arrive in Sabihi. For two there, we paid 16,000 rubles. I watched prices for almost a year, and it was one of the best offers.

When cheaper to go to Istanbul

There are several routes from Sabihi airport:

  1. To order Transfer from the hotel – the easiest and most convenient way. In the expectation zone you will be met by the driver with a sign and takes to the entrance to the hotel. Just cost it will be very expensive. Our hotel request 250 lir (3250 rubles).
  2. Taxi – You can order it either through the Uber system, or catch on the street. Yellow machines in Istanbul really a lot. Cost travel from Sabih to the Fatih region will be approximately 100-150 lir (1300-1950 rubles).
  3. Buses – There are several options here:
  • On the flight bus E10 or E11 to get to the pier of Kadykёy, and then overlook the ferry to the other side (our marina was called Emino) – the fare about 2.5 lir (32.5 rubles) by bus and about 5 lir (65 rubles) on the ferry.
  • Havatas bus is a private bus that goes to Taksim Square. Travel in it is worth 15 lir (195 rubles). Next you need to drive on the tram – more 4 Lyry (52 rubles). Total approximately 247 rubles.

4. Underground – you need to make a minimum of 2 transplants. By bus E9 We are going to the metro station Tavshantepe.

With a pink branch M4 Making a transplantation on Marmarai at Irylyk Ceshmes Station. This is the penultimate stop on the pink branch to which most people come. The names of the stations are written and pronounced in English, so their complex names should not be afraid. On the tunnel, the train will pass under the Bosphorus, and you can go out in the right place of the historic center. The fare will be approximately 5.5 Lira or 72 rubles

We decided to move on public transport and went to the hotel on a flight with a ferry by car. Landing has no problems: the bus station right opposite the exit from the airport. From here, all sorts of flights, including commercial.

Time in the way to description approximately 1-1.5 hours With all transplants. Only in it is not taken into account one thing: Istanbul is the city of traffic jams. Arriving at 11:30 we pushed 3.5 hours on the roads of the Asian part of the city to the pier. Our dreams to have time to see something on this day melted in our eyes.

But the trip on the ferry dispelled fatigue.

So great was to watch the windows behind the beautiful city. For me it was a real half-pasta walk, and not a trip to public transport. The buffet works on board, in which you can take tea and snack something.

I do not know why most metro sites are described as one of the most uncomfortable ways of travel from the airport. On the departure day we took advantage of them and spent a little more than an hour on the road. It is really much more convenient and allows you to accurately calculate the time on the way.

What is Istanbul Card

Those who decide to ride on the flight routes, it is worth buying Istanbul Card.

On this map, the fare is reduced more than 2 times. For example, a one-time bus will cost approximately 5 lire, and on the map spikes only 2. At the same time, each subsequent transplant will be cheaper. This is an important point, because in Istanbul, even when moving from one metro branch, you need to re-pay the passage to another.

You can buy Istanbul Card in special terminals that stand at many stops. At the airport they can be found on the bus area.

Cost card ; 6 lir (78 rubles).

In the same terminal, the card can be replenished with any amount, when passing through the turnstile, payment will be charged with it.

Just be careful: it does not give delivery. You can still replenish the map in the ticket office or in the shops, in which Istanbul Card image hangs.

To pay the pass, the map will need to attach to the entrance turnstile. It operates on all types of public transport:

  • over freight buses;
  • trams;
  • underground;
  • ferries;
  • Marmaray Branch.

Map can use several people at once. Only when transplanting at a reduced tariff will be paid only one pass. Everyone else will cost as the first landing.

What to see in Istanbul, if in the reserve of incomplete 4 days

Sights in Istanbul a huge set. Therefore, in order to have time to learn about the city as much as possible, we made up a plan:

  • 1st day: sightseeing along Sultanahmet Square.
  • 2nd day: a guide with a guide "Second acquaintance with Istanbul", dinner in a beautiful restaurant.
  • 3rd day: visiting the main attractions (Ayia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Palace Topkan, Basil Tank), admiring sea landscapes.
  • 4th day: Walk around the city and buying souvenirs.

First day We almost completely spent in Istanbul traffic jams. One plus: able to watch the life of the Asian part of the city from the bus.

On the second day From our morning, the excursion was appointed.

We chose it on the site Tripter. I still can not understand, I regret my choice or not. We caught a terribly boring guide. He came 1.5 hours later, said quietly and challenged, the story was inconclusive and extremely boring.

Before starting the excursion, he decided to take us to the opposite end of the city, so we spent two hours in traffic jams. As a result, we spent not 6 hours, as planned, but all day. In addition, we had to pay for entrance tickets to him.

But thanks to him, we were able to see those places to which they would not be exactly.

Modern Art Museum

His distinctive feature is that it works only on weekends.

On weekdays, the Borusan Holding office has been opened here, and people really work in it. Exhibits of the exhibition are placed right in working offices and meeting rooms. From the roof a stunning panorama opens.

Museum address: Baltalimanı Hisar Cad., 5.

Independent route in Istanbul for 4 days

Entry cost: 15 lir (195 rubles).


10 minutes walk from the museum there is an ancient fortress. It is built in the XV century under the siege of Constantinople in just 4.5 months. It is difficult to believe in it, since defensive walls and towers are stacked from stone and have a thickness of several meters. Today, cats live in the fortress.

We rose to the upper tower, where you can see the strait, went down to the mosque in the center of the courtyard. The walk was worth going to such a distance.

The cost of the entrance ticket: 10 lire (130 rubles).

After visiting these two places, the excursion could be safely finished, but we have not yet known about it.

Park Miniaturk

It is located at the very beginning of the Bay of Golden Horn.

Self, I was not going to go there, but since he was on the excursion, decided to visit him. Copies of the main attractions of Turkey in miniature are collected here. It looks very beautiful, but I can’t say that I was impressed with my husband a spectacle. If there is time, then you can go.

Ticket price: 15 lir (195 rubles).

From the Park Miniaturk we crossed on the other side of the boot on the boat for 35 lira (455 rubles). Not far from the pier there is a cable car that goes to the viewing platform above the city. We could not get on it because of the huge queue.

Mosque Eyuped Sultan

This is the first mosque-built Ommans.

Easured it in 1458 after the conquest of Constantinople. This place has great importance for Muslims, but the rest of the tourists do not have to go here.

Entrance to the mosque is free.

After that, we decided to finish our tedious tour. Especially in the evening, and we needed to have time for dinner in a restaurant.

Third day It was devoted to the inspection of the most famous sights of Istanbul.

On Sultanahmet Square, all major historical monuments of the old city are located.

Ayia Sofia

Ayia Sofia – This is a cathedral that has been preserved to the present day since Byzantium. Holy Sofia, built in the VI century, was the center of Christianity in ancient Constantinople. During the Ottoman Empire, the cathedral was converted to the mosque, and now this is a museum.

How we managed to fly to Turkey in March 2021 – Road

The cost of the entrance ticket – 60 lir (780 rubles).

Sultanahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque

Temple of the XVII century. Built from a special marble and decorated with blue ceramics, thanks to which he received its second name. The majestic building is located directly opposite Ayia Sofia.

entrance in it free.

Palace Topkamany – It is located in a beautiful garden immediately for the cathedral of Ayia Sophia. It is built on the ruins of the Palace of Byzantine Emperors. It is divided into 4 parts, in each of which contains separate entrance gates.

Ticket price: 60 lir (780 rubles).

Park Gulkhan – Very quiet and cozy place at the foot of the palace. Here you can walk in the silence of trees, look at unusual fountains and breathe fresh air.

Basilica tank – This is an underground reservoir of the ancient Constantinople, which kept the supply of drinking water in case of the siege of the city or drought.

The entrance to it is across the road from the main square. Represents a huge dungeon whose arches hold on the set of columns. There are no water there for a long time, but the twilight of the halls fascinates and leads to reflections on the ancient empire, the inhabitants of which built such a unique structure.

Logo costs 20 lir (260 rubles).

Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar

Huge area occupied by trading rows. Real market.

All here is for sale: sweets, souvenirs, textiles, clothing, dishes and much more. Covered rooms gradually ends and go to street trays. If you decide to buy something here, be sure to trample.

For example, we bought a set for tea for 50 lire (650 rubles) instead of 75 lire (975 rubles). Do it will have to be in English, but it is enough to know at least numbers. Be prepared to spend much more time in this labyrinet than planned.

Street Istiklal and Taksim Square – Long pedestrian street in the center of the European part of the city. Previously, the central avenue of Constantinople was held here. Today, the historical tram is escaping, the crowds of tourists walk, and many branded shops, restaurants and clubs work.

In the center Taksim Square, which ends the street, is the monument dedicated to the formation of the Republic.


Very beautiful and unusual place.

Rightly loaded ships go straight across the city center of the city, and next to them is a pleasure boat, transport ferries and other boats. In the historic center of the embankment, you can go to the Marmara Sea.

The day was like in the evening, and we did not have time to view half of the famous places of the Great City.

Fourth day Before departure to the airport, we have devoted the purchase of souvenirs, calm tea drinking near the panoramic windows of a cafe and quiet walks.

It was then that we understood how few of the four part-time to meet Istanbul. This place does not tolerate a rush. On the streets I want to slowly walk, and with monuments to get acquainted gradually, savoring the impression they produce. So we did not upset that much could not see, but decided to return here someday.

Food in Istanbul

I can’t call myself gourmet, but I really liked me in Istanbul.

Everything is tasty here: meat, vegetables, fish, side dishes, sweets. For days, we managed to eat and in expensive restaurants, and in street eateries. Turks are preparing great. Already on the second day, we started to enter the cafe not because of the feeling of hunger, but because it was simply impossible to pass by and deny yourself the pleasure of enjoying the new taste.

I did not like only one dish, advertised in many gears and travel articles.

This is a wet burger in a diner on Taksim Square. In the cooking process, it is soaked in broth, due to which the bun is succumb. In the eatery, thanks to advertising, there were a lot of people, but the taste of the boiler did not deserve even those 2.5 lire (33 rubles), which for it take. It is very small: consists of a piece of meat and dough. Sauce has a strange, slightly islant, and the appetite does not cause appetite at all.

Small cafes, restaurants and street snacks in Istanbul are located at every turn. Only 25-30 LIR (325 – 390 rubles) per person can be a good dinner. It is better to move away a bit from the center, then there will be less people, and the prices below. For example, in the area of ​​our hotel, the cafes were much freer than the Sultanahmet Square.

The most expensive cafes – Ostiklal and in the vicinity of Taxim.

Be sure to go to branded pastry, for example Hafiz Mustafa or Mado.

I don’t really love sweet, but I just couldn’t pass by these fascinating shop windows. Ice cream from goat milk, famous Pakhlava, cheese desserts – all this is just unusually delicious.

Still have a national drink Salepo. It is boiled from milk and drink in the cold time. I didn’t appreciate it either, too specific.

Read more about Turkish cuisine Here: Delicious Istanbul ;

From expensive restaurants we remember two places:

1. Olive Restaurant – Restaurant on the roof of the hotel of the same name. It offers stunning views of the city. Here we liked not only dishes, but also the quality of service. Waiters just perfectly served us, trying to predict any desire. The steak of the middle knocker was very tasty.

Restaurant address: Ebusuud Cad., 12

2. Karisma Sen Restaurant

Here we went to a quickly snack, but while you watched the menu, did not notice that the table was forced to be fresh fish and seafood.

We were offered to choose what exactly to prepare for us. We could not resist and decided to taste something with a difficult unfamiliar name. It was a delicious baked fish. For lunch we gave 250 lire (3250 rubles) Address: Kennedy Cad., ten

Separately, I want to say about the market. There are whole ranges that sell sweets, nuts and dried fruits, spices. If desired, everything can be tried before purchase.

To the question, can I find Istanbul in 2-3 days, I will answer unambiguously – no. And 4 days too little.

This city requires dimension, slow and deep immersion. It is too multifaceted and unusual to inspect it with one sightseeing tour.

One thing I can say for sure: this time is enough to fall in love with his european-Asian flavor. I have already made it to the list of places in which I surely want to return, and now I will dream of our next meeting.

Leave your tips to see Istanbul yourself in the comments. It will be useful to other readers.

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