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One and a half days in Istanbul, suggestions

I know, I know its an enormous city and one and a half days is not much. We live in NYC and would feel the same way if people visited here and only had 1.5 days.
We will be heading back from Croatia and decided that since all the flights stopped in another city and the layover was long we might as well stay in one for a bit and we picked Istanbul.
We arrive late Saturday night and have Sunday and until perhaps one PM on Monday before we have to leave for airport.
I understand the great bazaar is closed Sunday so that will have to be done Monday AM.
Any suggestions Forrest use of time on Sunday?
good, bad and worrisome is all welcome.

Posted by
3186 posts

To me, the two top sites are the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. You will be glad you chose Istanbul.

Posted by
3789 posts

A lot of sites are close together so if you are prepared to do full days, you can see a lot in that time. I stayed at Hotel Nena which was quite central. I find museum tickets change frequently, but this is one place I got a 2 or 3 day museum pass. You had to line up first location, then it was skip the line. Topkapi took the most time and where I ran into obnoxious tour members. There may be some benefit of visiting there in the afternoon when the tours have moved on. I liked the Underground Cistern, and as several museums stayed open until 7pm I just popped into whatever I was near. I am a museum person, but found other than Topkapi, I rarely spent as much as an hour any place. There is a small bazaar near the Blue Mosque open every day, but not tje size of the one you intend to visit.
Sorry, I can't recall which I visited Sunday, but you can most likely easily google a list.

Posted by
41 posts

Read the question "2 or 3 days in Istanbul" by Tina____
There are 25 responses. Two are mine. rednipcan in which I give precise advice which you can narrow to one and a half days.
The key to your stay is to choose accommodations within a five-ten minute walk of Hagia Sophia. H.S., Topkapi, Blue Mosque, plus major archaeological museum are minutes walk from each other. And it is wonderful to stroll around in the evening when many local people gather at the large fountain in that area. Many restaurants, sweet shops, money exchanges.
Do check about open days and times for the days you are there.
And remember the new airport.

Posted by
14911 posts

The Spice Bazaar is open (and very busy) on Sundays. Check prayer times for the days you are in Istanbul (google it) - the Blue Mosque and the beautiful Süleymaniye Mosque close for prayers and all visitors are required to leave.