Looking for things to do in Istanbul on Sundays? You’re in luck! While some places may be closed, there are still plenty of options to keep you entertained during your Istanbul weekend.

What is Closed in Istanbul on Sunday

First things first, let’s address what is closed in Istanbul on Sunday. Unfortunately, the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays. If you’re interested in porcelain, the Imperial Porcelain Factory is open Monday-Friday but closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Read more about Grand Bazaar, and its working hours and days…

But don’t worry, there are plenty of other places to explore.

Best Things to Do and To See on Sunday in Istanbul

Wondering, what to do on Sunday in Istanbul? One option for your Sunday morning is to visit some of the iconic landmarks in the Sultanahmet area, which are closed on Mondays.

Visit Sultanahmet Area

Start with Haghia Sophia, a stunning Byzantine church-turned-mosque-turned-museum that is sure to take your breath away. Allow approximately one hour to explore this awe-inspiring site.

Next up, head over to the Blue Mosque, located just a stone’s throw away. While the mosque is an active place of worship, it is also open to visitors. Plan to spend about 30 minutes here.

After that, check out the Basilica Cistern, an underground reservoir that is an impressive feat of engineering. Allow approximately 30 minutes to explore this unique site.


Go to Archeological Museum

Finally, make your way to the Archeological Museum, which houses an impressive collection of artifacts from throughout Turkey’s history. Plan to spend about two hours here. All of these landmarks are located within walking distance of each other, so you can easily see them all in one morning.

Dolmabahce Palace

For your Sunday afternoon, head over to Dolmabahce Palace, a stunning example of Ottoman architecture that was once the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. Allow approximately three hours to explore the palace and its grounds.

Dolmabahce Palace

Visit Art Galleries

If you’re looking for more options of what to do in Istanbul on a Sunday, there are plenty of museums and galleries that are open on Sundays. The Istanbul Modern is open on Sundays from 10:00 am-6:00 pm, and the Pera Museum is open from 12:00 pm-6:00 pm.

Take a Bosphorus Cruise

A Sunday is a great day to take a relaxing Bosphorus cruise. You’ll get to see Istanbul from a different perspective and enjoy the beautiful views of the city’s skyline. Many companies offer Bosphorus cruises on Sundays, so you can easily find one that suits your schedule.

Find out how to take a budget-friendly Bosphorus cruise

Are Shops Open on Sunday in Turkey?

As for shops being open on Sunday in Turkey, it really depends on the type of shop and the location. Some shops may be open, particularly in tourist areas, while others (usually small local businesses) may be closed. It’s always a good idea to check ahead if you have your heart set on visiting a particular shop or market. Malls are open every day.

Cevahir Istanbul

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Istanbul Nightlife on Sunday

And if you’re looking for a taste of Istanbul nightlife, head over to the Taksim area on Sunday evening. There are plenty of little meyhanes (traditional Turkish taverns) off Istiklal Caddesi on a side street called Nevizade. You can enjoy mezzes (small plates) and raki (an anise-flavored alcoholic drink) while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of Istanbul after dark.

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Looking for additional places to visit and things to do in Istanbul at night? Be sure to check out our article.

What to Do on Sunday in Istanbul: Answering the Questions:

  • Are Things Open in Istanbul on Sundays?

Yes, many things are open, including museums and landmarks like Haghia Sophia and the Archeological Museum.

  • Are Things Closed in Istanbul on Sunday?

We say no! But don’t forget that Grand Bazaar is closed on Sundays.

  • What Days Are Things Closed in Istanbul?

It varies depending on the place, but generally, things like markets and bazaars may be closed on Sundays or religious holidays.

  • Are Places Closed on a Sunday in Turkey?

Mostly everything is open, but some local places can be closed.

  • Is Taksim Square Closed on Sunday?

No, Taksim Square is not closed on Sunday.

  • Is Istanbul Spice Bazaar Open on Sunday?

Yes, the Spice Bazaar is open on Sundays.

  • Is Istanbul Busy on Sundays?

It can be, particularly in tourist areas, but it may also be quieter in residential areas. Sundays are a popular day for locals to spend time with their families and relax, so you may find some places to be less crowded than usual.

  • Do People Work on Sundays in Turkey?

It depends on the industry and the job. Some businesses and shops may be open on Sundays, while others may be closed. In general, however, Sundays are considered a day of rest and relaxation in Turkey, so many people do not work on this day.


In conclusion, while some places may be closed on Sundays in Istanbul, there are still plenty of things to do and see. Whether you’re interested in historic sites, museums, or nightlife, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So, pack your bags, book your flight and explore Istanbul on a Sunday, you won’t regret it!

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