3 Days in Turkey – What To Do in Turkey in 3 Days

There are numerous reasons to visit Turkey, including fascinating history, breathtaking scenery, lovely people, intricate architecture, and some of Europe’s best shopping. But if you have just 3 days in hand to explore Turkey, it is best to focus solely on Istanbul. Three days in Istanbul will allow you to see the city’s most famous sights — but expect a jam-packed itinerary if you wish to make the utmost of your time there! Istanbul is one of the world’s most fascinating tourist destinations, sandwiched amid Asia and Europe.
Best Time to Visit
No matter you travel to Turkey from UAE, the UK, or any other country, the shoulder months covering March-May and again September-November are ideal for visiting Istanbul. The weather is perfect for strolling around the city as well as sightseeing during these months, and it is not as crowded as it is during the high season, which runs from June to September.
3 Day Itinerary
Istanbul is one of those timeless cities that will captivate you regardless of the number of times you visit. It is a magical nexus of the East and West, with incredible cultural experiences around every corner. Istanbul captivates visitors with its atmospheric bazaars, Ottoman mosques, and plethora of teahouses. Three days in Istanbul is not nearly enough to explore everything the city has to offer, but it does provide a good outline of the city.
Day 1 in Istanbul- Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar
Begin your day with a traditional Turkish breakfast before heading to both the Hagia Sophia & the Blue Mosque.
The Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbul’s most popular monuments, having a fascinating and contentious history. It began as the Christian church made in 325 AD via Constantine the Great and remained that way until the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453. Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, struck by the church’s beauty, converted it into his imperial mosque.
The Blue Mosque, or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, faces the Hagia Sofia. During the reign of Ahmed I, this mosque was made between 1609 and 1616. The Sultan’s goal was to construct a mosque to contend the Hagia Sophia that was the most revered mosque at the time.
The Blue Mosque is beautiful from the outside, yet when it comes to the interior, Hagia Sophia stays ahead. The Blue Mosque is presently under construction that detracts from its beauty, but it is still worth seeing.
After you have visited the Hagia Sophia as well as the Blue Mosque, go shopping at The Grand Bazaar!
Your trip to Istanbul will remain complete if you miss out this Istanbul icon, which perfectly reflects the spirit of the city. Be prepared – it is massive! You can get lost in the alleys maze, and the sounds, sights, and smells, and vendors waving to you from all directions can cause severe sensory overload.
The Conqueror Sultan Mehmet established the Grand Bazaar in order to concentrate trade and prevent theft. For everyone’s safety, the gates are always locked at night, and the merchants split the cost of having guards patrolling the bazaar.
After you have finished shopping, return your purchases to the hotel and relax with a light lunch. Everywhere you go, you will find grilled lamb or doner kebab, and it is always delicious!

Day 2 in Istanbul-Cagaloglu Hamam and Dolmabahce Palace
You will regret your visit to Istanbul if you miss out a hammam experience. The Cagaloglu Hamam in Istanbul is a historic Turkish hammam. It was one of the preceding major hammams built in Istanbul at the Ottoman period, and it is listed in the “1000 Places to See Before You Die”, which is a popular book.
Following this, it is time to visit the Dolmabahçe Palace. This is Turkey’s largest and most lavish palace, as well as Istanbul’s first European-style palace. Sultan Abdulmecit I built the Palace in 1843, and it is lavishly decorated with tonnes of gold, crystal, and stunning furnishings, all over. The grounds are spotless, with spectacular views of the Bosphorus visible via beautiful white gates.
Day 3 in Istanbul- Museum of Selfies and Bosphorus Bride & Asian Coastline
Discover the popular Museum of Selfies if you are looking for something random and quirky to do in town. It is full of amusing scenes. After that, go for a leisurely walk, stop in and out of cafes and souvenir shops before returning to the hotel in order to unwind as well as prepare for the final dinner in town.
Sunset Bar & Grill is a must-visit for a glamorous (yet pricey) night out. Sunset is one of Istanbul’s premier fine dining establishments, with stunning views of Bosphorus Bridge & Asian coastline. Reservations are required, and it is well worth it if you are celebrating a special occasion or just stopping in for appetizers and drinks to admire the view.
Tips to Consider for a 3 Day Istanbul Trip
• To avoid ‘biting’ time off the trip which you could spend strolling around the city, try to book your flights in the morning and your departure in the late evening/at night.
• Due to the short distance, try to book a hotel in Taksim, Sultanahmet, or Sirkeci. Do not make things more difficult by booking any hotel that is far away and wasting time.
• If you go in the winter, bring waterproof and warm clothing, as the weather in Istanbul can be quite unpredictable.
• You must always have a backup plan in case of inclement weather, such as rain or snow. An alternate route will avoid the scenario of panicked running around looking for a place to find shelter from the rain.
• Think about how you desire in spending your short 3 day trip. You can then create a plan and use it to determine your Museum Pass & Istanbulkart budget.
• Istanbul is not just limited to Topkapi Palace, Aya Sofya, and the Sultanahmet Mosque; there is plenty to do, from shopping to sipping tea in the streets on small chairs.
• If you arrive at any of these locations too late, you can always go for a walk; there is something always to enjoy nearby, be it a traditional café, a historical ruin, a beautiful coastline, or a fascinating alleyway. Maintain your optimism, use your ingenuity, and just move on!

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