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Things to do in Istanbul

  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST)

    All major flights to Istanbul touch down at Ataturk Airport, located approximately 14 miles west of the city center. On average, 82,000 passengers ... More
  • Istanbul Fast Ferries

    You can cruise between the continents for $1— plus 30¢ for a glass of tea on board—by catching a local ferry at the Eminönü docks on the Golden Hor... More
  • Istanbul Modern

    The art museum in a former customs building was one of the most significant openings in the city's recent history. The collection pales in comparis... More
  • Istanbul Modern Art Museum

    Inaugurated in 2004, this converted warehouse, directly on the Golden Horn, is Turkey’s first museum of contemporary and modern art—although in a c... More
  • Leb-i-Derya

    Time your visit with the sunset—and the evening call to prayer. That’s when young locals file in for cocktails, like fresh-ginger–and–muddled-lime ... More
  • Longtable

    Designed by Mahmut Anlar, Istanbul’s hottest restaurateur, this low-lit, sexy, and (yes) long-tabled space is festooned with whimsical bric-a-brac—... More
  • Mado, Istanbul

    Sample the goat’s-milk ice cream, which is thickened with the powdered root of wild orchids. Splurge on a triple scoop of pistachio, pomegranate, a... More
  • Main Duty Free

    At this, one of Europe’s biggest duty-free shops, prices are lower than comparable shops in the airport’s Euro Zone. You’ll find all the expected b... More
  • Mehmet Çetinkaya Gallery

    As one of the top souvenirs, hordes of salesmen troll the streets for customers to buy carpets. Top threads can be found just behind the Blue Mosqu... More
  • Noah’s Ark

    The sheer number of carpet stores in Istanbul, particularly in the Sultanahmet area, can be overwhelming, but Noah’s Ark has an excellent reputatio... More
  • Old Bazaar

    Designed to look like Istanbul’s huge, centuries-old, labyrinthine Grand Bazaar with its colorful carnival of domed buildings, arches, and pillars,... More
  • Parisli Cemil Hair Salon

    This is not a luxury spa—don’t expect aromatherapy or an oxygen facial—but it’s a perfectly serviceable salon for basic freshening-up if you’re in ... More
  • Pera Museum

    Set in a lavish 19th-century mansion overlooking the Golden Horn, the privately funded museum stages exhibitions such as a show of Kutahya pottery ... More
  • Polisajci Brothers Antique Show

    Located in the Grand Bazaar, home to more than 4,400 shops, the Polisajci Brothers Antique Show is a small operation selling antique metalware once... More
  • Prayer Rooms

    For a peaceful place to get right with God—or to get away from the PA system—prayer rooms, called masjids, are available throughout the airport (5 ... More

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