Istanbul Turkey is considered as one of the most historically rich destinations in the world and a busting metropolis along with a foot in Asia and the other one would be in Europe. It is also considered as a city of many contrasts as there are old and new, East and West and traditional and modern. There are indeed wide numbers of things to do and discover in Istanbul, Turkey. And if you plan to be in the said place, even 2 days could already be of great experience. But there is a need for you to be guided with what you are to do or to visit during your 48 hours in Istanbul Turkey.

Above Photo Credit: Christopher Rudder

Day One

Istanbul Turkey
istanbul turkey
Istanbul Turkey

The Grand Bazaar
First stop, the Grand Bazaar. This is not a typical flea market, rather it is the oldest and the largest marketplace having some 3000 shops. Tiny shops would sell almost everything like spices, textiles, scarves and more. You can literally feel the history of merchants who arrived by travelling along the Silk Road. I purchased my prized satchel in the Grand Bazaar and for those who may not know, the opening scene of James Bond 007 Spectre takes place on the roof and inside the Grand Bazaar. I talk more about that here: How James Bond Inspired My Trip To Istanbul. Be prepared to put your bargain and haggle skills to the test.

Gülhane Sur Cafe
The Grand Bazaar with its endless stores and constant haggling will be draining. Time for classic Turkish coffee or tea, Kusburnu tea or maybe a few puffs from a hookah? Tucked away in an alley beside Ayasofya is Gülhane Sur Cafe. Awesome spot.

istanbul turkey

Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia) & Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)
There is so much history that runs through the walls of of Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia). It was once a patriarchal basilica that became an imperial mosque and now a museum. Across from Ayasofya is Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque). The Blue Mosque is absolutely stunning.

Watch our video about Ayasofya, Sultan Ahmed Mosque & Taksim Square

istanbul, Turkey

HodjaPasha Arts & Culture Centre | Whirling Dervishes’ 
If you truly want to experience Turkish culture visit the HodjaPasha Arts & Culture Centre and be a part of a Whirling Dervishes’ performance. Truly magical.

Istanbul Turkey

Taksim Square
Visit one of the most famous and major tourist as well as leisure district famed because of its shops, restaurants and hotels named as the Taksim Square.

istanbul turkey

Photo by: ephe drin

Day Two

Istanbul Turkey

Istanbul Cevahir Café
I don’t know about you but my mornings need to start with coffee. About a 5-10 minute walk from the Airbnb accommodations is a mall Istanbul Cevahir with a cafe in the middle called Istanbul Cevahir Café. Not only is the cappuccino a good cappuccino he creates art in a cup. Beautiful work that he’s won awards for.

Topkapi Palace
Day two starts at Topkapi Palace which is a large palace in Istanbul. It is known as one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost hundreds of years, during their hundred years of reigning.

Ortakoy Mosque & Ortakoy Market
Ortakoy Market is home to some great arts and crafts market as well as a wide number of high society clubs.

Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul Turkey

Photo by: Yucel Tellici & Baris ALTUNBAS

Galata Bridge | Kavak Balikçisi Yeniköy
The Bosphorus River is not just good for its spectacular day time and night time river cruises its good for fishing. The Galata Bridge is a typical bridge on the top but underneath are some of the best fresh fish restaurants selling the fish literally caught off the Galata Bridge. Fantastic. However since I have family in Istanbul they offered to take us out for dinner. Enter Kavak Balikçisi Yeniköy. Incredible. Fresh. Delicious.

Istanbul Turkey

Lastly, prepared to be amazed with some spectacular views of Istanbul. Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower popular in Istanbul Turkey.


48 hours in Istanbul


Yasim’s apartment is two Metro Stations away and 5 minute walk from Taksim square.

If you're thinking of using Airbnb for the first time, we have a $50.00 credit from us to use towards your first booking 🙂

Booking Flights:


The average person doesn’t need to think twice about getting out of town for a 48-hour travel adventure or a long weekend. The only thing stopping you dead in your tracks is finding cheap flights. Please visit our helpful posts on Booking Flights. Personally, I’m all about simplicity so I recommend Skyscanner, the best way to search the best rates in flights.

The perfect way to end my 48 hours in Istanbul Turkey, aside from spending time with my beautiful family was taking a night time cruise on the Bosphorus River. All the building are lit up and it looks absolutely magical.

Also READ: How James Bond Inspired My Trip To Istanbul 

Istanbul Turkey

My brother, Andrew Rudder

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48 hours in Istanbul Turkey

About Me:

Short Trips, Mini Breaks, Weekend Getaways & Stopovers
Using the latest travel apps, technology, and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers. 

I'm Christopher Rudder and welcome to Rudderless.

Read more about me here: Being Rudderless With Christopher Rudder
ad here: Rudderless Travel gets nominated for the Leibster Award 

Read more about my full-time profession here: A Consultant for Special Needs Students, AND a Travel Blogger!
and here: Special Needs Resource Educator - Children's Services


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