Begin your day in the neighbourhood of Ortaköy with breakfast at a local café. You can sip a cup of Turkish coffee while you take in views of the water. Nearby, the local flea market is filled with crafts and souvenirs from area merchants. Not far from Ortaköy, the extravagant palace of Dolmabahçe is a symbol of the area's vibrant past. Dating from the 19th century, it served as a residence for Ottoman sultans. The French-inspired structure blends baroque and rococo styles and is open for tours.
From the palace, you can catch a taxi and begin your afternoon at the Istanbul Modern. This renowned art gallery houses a collection of works by artists from Turkey and around the world. Visit the museum's café for lunch and enjoy your meal on the terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. Afterwards, a 15-minute walk leads to the Galata Bridge, which crosses the Golden Horn waterway. At the far end of bridge, the famous Spice Market fills the air with the fragrant scents of spices and herbal teas.
Start the evening with a walk in the historic Sultanahmet district, home to some of Istanbul's most famous buildings. Topkapı Palace was a royal residence of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. Nearby, the famed church of Hagia Sophia is not to be missed. Be sure to shop for jewellery, ceramics and textiles at the Grand Bazaar, then relax with a traditional Turkish bath at Cağaloğlu Hamam. If time allows, explore the Bosphorus. Boat tours leave from Eminönü Pier next to Galata Bridge.
Ataturk (the founder of the modern Turkish Republic) stayed here when in Istanbul and died here on the morning of November 10, 1938. Clocks throughout the palace are permanently stopped at five minutes past nine, the time of his death.
The Grand Bazaar (Covered Bazaar)
The Grand Bazaar is the oldest covered bazaar in the world, with more than 3,500 shops.
The Tunel Metro is the shortest underground railway in the world and also one of the oldest, built in 1871-76. It takes just 90 seconds to travel between Tunel square and Karakoy Square.