Things to do on New Year’s Day 2024 in Istanbul: Top Attractions, Ideas

Majority of the iconic and tourist attractions and popular activities of Istanbul can easily be enjoyed on the 1st of January. Below we put together some of the top things to do on New Year’s Day in 2024 in Istanbul. Make sure you check the opening times in advance. And with our guide, you can make the most of the first day of 2024 in Istanbul with these New Year’s Day events and activities.

From the city’s magical sights and sounds, special tours and festive activities, to January sales, iconic attractions and city walks, you can find are plenty of reasons to get out in Istanbul on the New Year’s Day.

Istanbul New Year’s Day activities

1. Take a stroll in the lively Istiklal Street

Located in the Taksim neighborhood, Istiklal Street (Istiklal Avenue) is probably the most famous street and entertainment area in Istanbul. It is a long colorful pedestrian street full of all kind of shops, restaurants, cafes, street shows and more. Continue reading…



2. Shop the January sales at Istanbul’s Shopping Malls

Istanbul also hosts more than 200 modern shopping malls. And some of them are really very huge and amongst the best shopping malls in Europe. As it is one of the winter sales time in Istanbul, we recommend you to visit many of the popular shopping malls and make shopping. Also make sure check the top department stores and main shopping areas of Istanbul. Continue reading…


3. Visit Galata Tower, admire stunning views of the city and take walking tour of the neighborhood

Galata Tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking the beautiful Istanbul and has a luxurious restaurant at the top. You can enjoy the excellent panoramic views of Istanbul, Golden Horn and Bosphorus.

  1. Galata Tower Ticket and Walking Tour (best one with a guide + 5% discount)
  2. Galata Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket and Audio Guide (good one with audio)

Explore Galata Tower & around


4. Visit Ortakoy and eat baked potatoes by the Bosphorus

Ortakoy is a popular, lively and attractive neighborhood of Besiktas, located just by the Bosphorus and under the Bosphorus Bridge. Strolling around the Ortakoy Sqaure, watching the crowd, having a rest and drinking tea or coffee at the various cafes and restaurants by the Bosphorus are top attractions here. The lively nights at the weekends are also fantastic. Many locals prefer to buy baked potatoes and enjoy it by the beautiful views of the Bosphorus. Continue reading…


No Regrets Booking Advice





5. See the sights on Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus

Istanbul Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is a cheap way to discover and explore the popular zones of Istanbul which you just couldn’t walk to and see in one day. The sightseeing bus runs every 30/60 minutes and lets you see the most popular popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of the city. And what is great that you can all do it in a couple of hours.

The city sightseeing bus runs every 30/60 minutes and lets you see the most popular popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of the city. And what is great that you can all do it in a couple of hours.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Hop On Hop Off Istanbul (best price, audio guide will lead you for all + 5% discount)
  2. 1-Day Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour with Commentary (top selling one)
  3. 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Scenic Cruise (combo – good for both bus and cruise trip)
  4. Two Continents Evening Bus Tour with Commentary (evening bus tour is also fantastic)

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Hop-on Hop-off Bus?


6. Visit the charming Museums of Istanbul

For the ones who are a true enthusiast of culture and art, Istanbul museums offers the best of the city’s historical heritage, culture and modern art. Istanbul hosts more than 80 museums and many art galleries showcase all the culture, arts and history; including painting, sculpture, photography and more. Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul Modern, Rahmi Koc Transport Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts are amongst the best museums in Istanbul that won’t want to miss. Continue reading…


7. Visit Sea Life Aquarium or Istanbul Aquarium

Sea Life Istanbul Aquarium is the 5th largest aquarium in the world.


Visitors may experience and enjoy the lovely sea creatures, the largest collection of sharks in Europe, the Digital Aquarium, the Turtle Hospital where you may see the injured turtles are getting healed, thematic zones, school trips, birthday parties and much more.

Below are the online tickets that you can buy directly from the Venue.

  1. SEA LIFE Istanbul General Admission Ticket online from Viator
  2. SEA LIFE Istanbul Entry Ticket Online from GetYourGuide

Wanna learn more about Aquarium Sea Life Istanbul?

Istanbul Aquarium, located in Florya district of Bakirkoy, is one of the best theme parks in Istanbul.

With its 6,000 square meters area, a special-themed and 1,2 km long travel route originating in the Black Sea towards the Pacific, the fish species, rain-forest, a gift shop with an area of 470 square meters, 1 restaurant having the Panama Canal view on one side and the sea view on the other, it is also one of the best aquariums and theme parks in Europe.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Istanbul Aquarium Ticket & Shuttle Bus from Taksim (great one with fast entry and shuttle service)
  2. Istanbul Aquarium, Wednesday Bazaar & 212 Mall (Solo – Group)
  3. Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Shopping Mall Tour (good one)
  4. Istanbul Aquarium and Aqua Florya Independent Shopping Trip (good one)

Wanna learn more about Istanbul Aquarium?


8. Relax with historical Turkish Bath (Hammam)

This will is one of the one time experiences on your Istanbul visit. With a Turkish bath, also called Hammam, you can enjoy an authentic experience, relax your muscles, refresh your body. The traditional bath mostly include a 15-minute massage. It can a be unique experience for you in these cold days.

We recommend the below ticket options for the great value for money.

  1. Turkish Bath at Cemberlitas Hamam (500 Year Old Historical Turkish Bath close to Grand Bazaar + 5% discount)
  2. Famous Hurrem Sultan Hamam Experience (on the Sultanahmet Square, on the site of the ancient public baths from 100-200 AD)
  3. Turkish Bath & Spa at Catma Mescit Hamam (great experience at historical hamam close to Galata Tower)
  4. Grand Hotel de Pera Turkish Bath (very good one along Istiklal Street)
  5. Doubletree by Hilton Sirkeci Hotel Turkish Bath (another very good one along Sirkeci)
  6. Turkish Bath Package at Beyoglu Aga Hamami (very good one too)

Wanna learn more about Turksh Bath & Hammams in Istanbul?


Istanbul New Year’s Day after dark

You can find plenty to do on New Year’s Day in Istanbul as night begins.

9. Mystical night out at the Whirling Dervishes Show

Whirling Dervishes Show or Ceremony (“Sema” in Turkish) is one of the most visited attractions in Istanbul with the tourists. It is because that this ceremony is a very unusual event for the tourists and when they hear about it, majority of them try to catch this one hour show and witness the miracle of the whirling dervishes.

The best performances take place at the Hodjapasha Culture Center in Sirkeci, Eminonu. Note that as this show is very popular among the majority of the tourists, you should buy your tickets at least 2 or 3 days before the show.

Buy Whirling Dervishes Show Tickets at Hodjapasha Culture Center

Buy Whirling Dervishes Show Tickets at Orient Express Hall

Wanna learn more about Whirling Dervishes Show?


10. Rooftop Terraces to enjoy the New Year’s Day

There’s nothing better than to enjoy the Istanbul’s NYE evening in one of the best terrace or rooftop restaurant or bar, in the company of panoramic views of the city. We recommend you avoid the New Year’s Eve crowds and both relax and party with your family and friends in one of Istanbul’s best bars, pubs, or enjoy the New Year evening with a cocktail at a rooftop bar. See best rooftop restaurants and bars in Istanbul.


11. Fun night out at the Rhythm of the Dance Show (Turkish Dance)

The Rhythm of the Dance Show, also called as Turkish Dance, is one of the one time experiences in Istanbul for the tourists in an exclusive and cozy show atmosphere. This is a unique event that visitors may experience and enjoy the traditional dances from Turkish folklore with unique costumes and live music.

The show takes place at the famous Hodjapasha Cultural Center in Sirkeci, within a 550 years old historical building that was once an Ottoman bath. Note that as this show is very popular among the majority of the tourists, you should buy your tickets at least 2 or 3 days before the show.

Discover & Book Rhythm of the Dance Show


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