Unveiling the wonders of Istanbul in just three days may seem like an impossible task, but our carefully curated 3 day itinerary in Istanbul aims to showcase the city’s most iconic attractions and hidden treasures. The perfect fusion of Eastern and Western influences, Istanbul’s rich history and vibrant culture make it a must-see destination for travelers from around the world.

Your Ultimate 3-Day Itinerary in Istanbul: Places to See and Schedule (Long Edition) >>

Whether you’re exploring the ancient marvels of the Sultanahmet District or immersing yourself in the bustling European side, our 3 day istanbul itinerary is designed to provide you with an unforgettable experience. With detailed guides for each day, including time spent at each location, this is your ultimate travel companion for an enchanting 3 days in Turkey.

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Day 1: Sultanahmet District

  • 08:00-09:30 > Hagia Sophia (90 mins)
  • 09:30-10:30 > Sultanahmet Square (60 mins)
  • 10:30-12:00 > Topkapi Palace (90 mins)
  • 12:30-13:30 > Turkish Lunch (60 mins)
  • 13:30-14:30 > Basilica Cistern (60 mins)
  • 14:30-15:30 > Blue Mosque (60 mins)
  • 15:30-17:00 > Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts (90 mins)
  • 17:00-18:30 > Istanbul Archaeology Museums (90 mins)
  • 18:30-19:15 > Dinner (45 mins)
  • 19:15-19:45 > Galata Bridge (30 mins)
  • 20:00-23:30 > Bosphorus Dinner Cruise or Night Walk (210 mins)

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Day 2: European Side

  • 09:00-10:30 > Dolmabahce Palace (90 mins)
  • 10:30-11:30 > Seaside & Breakfast (60 mins)
  • 11:30-12:00 > Taksim via Cihangir (30 mins)
  • 12:00-12:15 > Taksim Square (15 mins)
  • 12:15-15:00 > Istiklal Street (165 mins)
  • 15:00-18:30 > Contemporary Museums (210 mins)
  • 18:30-19:00 > Dinner (30 mins)
  • 19:00-21:00 > Karakoy, Galata & Museum (120 mins)
  • 21:00-22:00 > Galata Tower (60 mins)
  • 22:00-01:00 > Pub Crawl (180 mins, optional)
Istiklal street in Istanbul

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Day 3: Bosphorus, Asian Side & Relaxing

Bosphorus Istanbul

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How to Get Around These Places

Istanbul is a large city with a complex transportation system. However, with some careful planning and knowledge of the local transportation options, getting around the city can be a breeze. Here are some tips for getting around to the attractions listed in this itinerary:

Day 1: Sultanahmet District

  • Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Square, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, and Blue Mosque, The Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts and the Istanbul Archaeology Museums are all within walking distance of each other. Wear comfortable shoes and plan for a lot of walking.

Day 2: European Side

  • To get to Dolmabahce Palace from Sultanahmet, you can take a taxi or a bus. There are several buses that run between the two areas, including the 25E, 99, and 99A. Alternatively, you can take a tram from Sultanahmet to Kabatas and then take a short walk to Dolmabahce Palace.

Day 3: Bosphorus, Asian Side & Relaxing

  • The Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar are both within walking distance of each other. Again, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk.
  • To get to Kadikoy, take the ferry from Eminonu Pier. The Moda Neighborhood is a short walk from the ferry terminal.
  • To get to Nova Plaza Pera Hotel & Hammam from Eminonu, take the T1 tram in the direction of Kabatas. From there, you can walk to the hamam.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to navigate Istanbul with ease and enjoy all of the amazing sights and experiences it has to offer.


To sum up, this concise 3-day itinerary in Istanbul covers the essential attractions and experiences for travelers seeking a compact and time-efficient visit. With a perfect blend of historical sites, vibrant neighborhoods, and relaxing moments, you’ll effortlessly discover the magic of Istanbul in a short time. So, gear up for an unforgettable adventure in this mesmerizing city, and let its charm leave an indelible imprint on your heart.

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