Feel This city! ... Feel The Rhythm
Where to Visit Istanbul in One Day.
If you have only one day in Istanbul. here is what I suggest to have the most efficient of what you can have. Istanbul is such a big city that you may not have the taste of it in such a short period of time, so spare some longer time for your next visit. One day visitors are mostly the cruise passengers or transt passengers. So here is what to do
: Cruise port in Istanbul is at Karakoy district, just the opposite side of Eminonu pier. When you complete your entry procedures, you will leave the passenger terminal . Most probably you will see the Taxis in front, however I do not suggest taking a taxi, as the touristy attractions are all in one tram ride distance and the traffic in the touristy area can be hactic for cars. On the link below you can find a small map of Istanbuls touristy area where all spots on this itinerary were marked with numbers and easy to understand. Touristy area map.
After you exit from the passenger terminal (1), just take the left way and follow the seashore to the bridge. Soon you will reach the Galata Bridge. Galata Bridge connects the Karakoy district ( Ferry terminal area) and Eminonu district. Just on the beginning of the bridge you wil immediately realise the tram stop (2). There are regularly trams to touristy area. Tram tickets costs 2,5 TL ( 1.1 Euro). When you take the tram from Karakoy, after 4 stops ( Eminonu, Sirkeci, Gulhane, Sultanahmet) get off at Sultanahmed (9). Pass the square and follow the road from the back of St Sophia to the Topkapi palace.(10) Just walk along the gardens of the palace and soon you will reach the entrance of Topkapi palace (6) . I advice a tour to harem section also.. Spend 2-3 hrs at the Palace..
Afterwards take the front road and go back to St Sophia (4).. And enjoy there on both floors.. Climb up to the gallery for second floor, watch the wonderful mosaic.. Spent around 1 hour.. After St sophia pass to the right way and walk to the other side of the tramway, there is the Basilica cistern. (7)
Basilica cistern is a must see with the medusas head.. Spent around 1/2 hour at Cistern. And now you are almost tired and need a lunch break, w alk up the tramway on the right side you will see Sultan pub and Sultanahmet Koftecisi (9). Have lunch at Sultan Pub or Sultanahmet Koftecisi..
After Lunch , now the time for Blue mosque (5). You will see the blue mosque just in front of you at Sultanahmed square. Enjoy the wonderful tiles.. After blue mosque, look for the hippodrome next to the mosque , on the side road. Enjoy the monuments in the park.. After the hippodrome either walk up the tram way or take a tram to Beyazit.. There you can lead to Covered bazaar (8) from the Carsikapi gate.... You can have a souvenir shopping.. Don't go in to every street , you will be lost.. Just spend 1-2 hrs max.. Leave the bazaar from the same gate.. And take the tram back to Eminonu. (3)
At Eminonu look for the new mosque (3) (Yeni Cami) and next to lays the spice market.. Spice market is a small covered shopping place where you can find spices and souvenirs also.. It is very authentic and worth to see. From the spice market you can walk back to your ferry again..
If you do still have time, you can try a Turkish bath after the covered bazaar.. Try Cagaloglu hamam (11) near St Sophia.. Just in the same street with Basilica cistern but you shall walk around 200 m. in to the street.. After a long tired day, Turkish bath shall be a very nice rest place. After the Hamam you can take the road back to your cruise.