Hidden Gems for Istanbul

Find great things to do in Istanbul

The only city in the world that is in both Asia and Europe, Istanbul also straddles the ancient and modern worlds. It is home to breathtaking architecture, delicious food, and some of the warmest, most genuine people. In our travel guide you will find great things to do in Istanbul.

1. Hidden Gem Istanbul: Grand Bazaar

A million different spices, colourful oil lamps and hand-made clothes: sprawling across 60 streets and almost 5,000 shops is the Grand Bazaar. This is the largest covered marketplace in the world and offers an enormous selection of goods. It can be quite overwhelming but take it easy; drink a glass of tea while you browse leather goods, carpets, fabric, clothing, brassware, furniture, ceramics, and gold and silver jewellery. Allow at least three hours for your visit.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Basar / © Instagram: rararanisa

2. Hidden Gem Istanbul: Moc Istanbul

If you’re looking for decent coffee in Istanbul, this is the place. Ministry of Coffee, more often referred to as MOC in the local coffee community, was one of the first specialty coffee shops to open up in Nişantaşı. With two floors and sidewalk seating, MOC is one of the largest cafes in the area, and certainly among the most popular. The coffee is simply delicious! Just go there, bring a book, relax and enjoy.


MOC / © Instagram: goekcheaa

3. Hidden Gem Istanbul: Istanbul Modern

Founded in 2004, this huge former warehouse on the banks of the Bosphorus is the most prominent of Istanbul’s contemporary galleries. The museum offers a variety of cultural activities in its permanent and temporary exhibition halls, a photography gallery, spaces for educational and social programmes, a library, a cinema and a café with an incredible view of the old city across the water. Istanbul Modern embraces a global vision to collect, preserve, exhibit and document works of modern and contemporary art and make them accessible to art lovers.

Istanbul Modern

Istanbul Modern / © Instagram: maria_dzyubda

4. Hidden Gem Istanbul: Van Kahvalti Evi

Our favourite breakfast spot is Van Kahvaltı Evi (“Van Breakfast House”) in Beyoğlu’s Cihangir neighbourhood. The restaurant has quickly become one of the most popular in this area and it’s easy to see why. The Van breakfast is simply delicious! At Van Kahvaltı Evi, along with the standards, your breakfast plate comes with an assortment of up to 15 different dishes. It can get very crowded here so make sure to come early or expect to wait. This breakfast is no ordinary meal, it is an entire experience.

Van Kahvalti Evi

Van Kahvalti Evi / © Instagram: akifyaldir

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