Istanbul in 2 Days

With only 2 days to spend in Istanbul, there was definitely some pressuring fitting everything in. There’s so much to see and do in the city and I wanted to see it all. But with careful planning and lots of walking, we were able to see everything on our list!

Tips:  We were able to book a tour that took us to almost every single place and included lunch. So book a tour to save time and learn about every place as you go! We stayed in an airbnb by Taskim Sqaure but it was a little far to the big attractions and felt a little unsafe at night. I suggest staying close to the big tourist attractions to save time and feel comfortable. Lastly, because of their culture, I would suggest no super low cuts, short shorts, etc.

This is the link to the tour we booked:


Here are the top things to do in Istanbul!


Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is probably one the first places you imagine when thinking of Istanbul. It is a beautiful building inside and out and is one of the most famous and iconic destinations in all of Istanbul! Today, the building is still for people to kneel in pray on their lush, red carpet after the call of prayer.


Hagar Sophia

The Hagar Sophia used to be a Greek Orthodox Christian church until the Ottoman empire transformed it into a mosque. Today it is a museum in which you can explore both floors of the Hagar and even see the Christian elements that didn’t go completely away. Enjoy the beautiful view and decor of this amazing and beautiful mosque.


Grand Bazaar

One of my favorite places to shop was the Grand Bazaar. We ended up here at the end of our tour and were amazed and lost with how unique and beautiful it was inside (as you can see in this off guard picture). It is one of the oldest and largest markets in the world – built in 1461 and has over 3,000 shops!


Turkish Photo booth

There are pop up photo booths like this everywhere! In almost ever tourist attraction, you’ll find one of these. You get in line, pick the color dress you want, take pictures, and have fun. You choose your favorite photos and that’s all you pay for. The experience was super fun, funny, and cheap!


Istiklal Street in Taksim

Probably my favorite street ever! With literally hundreds of people walking the street at all times of the day and night. There hundreds of stores, restaurants, bars, clubs, street vendors, and street performers. It is impossible to be bored when you’re on this street, if you’re in Istanbul you must check out this!


Topkapı Palace

The Topkapı Palace is one of the largest museums in Istanbul. It used to serve as the main residence for the Ottoman Sultans. Today you can take a tour to see where the residents, workers, and sultans would sleep, eat, and make history!


Galata Tower

The Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower next to the Blue Mosque. You can climb all the way to the top to get a beautiful view of Istanbul! Although we did not go up, we were able to enjoy the view from one of the roof top restaurants in the area.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. It was a great experience being able to explore the undergrounds of the city!


XOXO, Le Papillion


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