Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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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 2021 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 2021 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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend. You’ll experience and enjoy the city from one of the best point of views on top of the Galata Tower. You’ll also enjoy a short walking tour with a guide along the touristic Galata neighborhood. Galata has the living memories of different cultures, nationalities, religions.

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)Highlights:

  • Benefit from fast track entry
  • Skip the ticket lines and save 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 360 Breathtaking view of the city
  • Discover the neighborhood
  • Witness the great cultural diversity
  • Ride on the 2nd oldest subway

Ticket price: €18
Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.
Meeting Hours: Wednesdays to Sundays at 09:30

Galata Tower & Walking Tour with Tickets and Guide


4. Visit Ortakoy and eat baked potatoes by the Bosphorus

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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…



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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

BigBus Istanbul 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. It drives through the popular sights along the interesting and different districts and neighborhoods of Istanbul and offers informative pre-recorded commentary that is available in 8 languages. The open topped double decker tourist bus really looks cool. Continue reading…

Take Big Bus Istanbul via Get Your Guide Book Big Bus Istanbul via Viator


6. Visit the charming Museums of Istanbul

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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 Museum, 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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)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.

Book Sea Life Istanbul Tour via Get Your Guide Sea Life Istanbul Admission Ticket via Viator

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)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.

Book Istanbul Aquarium Tour via Get Your Guide Istanbul Aquarium Admission Ticket via Viator


8. Relax with historical Turkish Bath (Hammam)

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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.

Book Historical Turkish Bath Experience


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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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. Continue reading…

Book Whirling Dervishes via Get Your Guide Book Whirling Dervishes Ceremony via Viator


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

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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)

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)

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. Continue reading…

Book Rhythm of the Dance via Get Your Guide Book Rhythm of the Turkish Dance via Viator


Insider Tips for First Time Visitors

For time visitors to Istanbul should check and well plan the area to stay, best time to visit the city, best places to see and top attractions, how to save money, where to go for eating and shopping, airport transfer and public transportation, etc. to make the most of their Istanbul visit easy, budget, convenient, and safe.

We recommend you to read our articles in the First Time Visitors section of our website before you plan your visit.

We also put together the top travel eases below that you can benefit from your trip. Check them out!

Where to Stay?

First time visitors should stay in the city center, better to be near city’s top attractions and within easy reach to public transport. Sultanahmet, Galata-Karakoy or Taksim would be your best choice. Continue reading...

Tourist Discount Cards

Istanbul has two major tourist discount cards. You'll have access to variety of major Istanbul attractions and services with a fixed price and save a lot. This is by far the most practical and cheapest way to explore Istanbul, as well as get airport transfer, public transportation card, unlimited internet, etc.

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)This is a travel discount card that is delivered to your hotel for FREE upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival. You can also receive it from its stand in both two Istanbul Airports.

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe comes with Pass for 12 Museums, 3 Tours by Historian Guide, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart (Public Transport), Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map.

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

Buy Your Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Tip: This discount card also gets you 20% for all the other attractions and services on their shop like guided museum tours, dinner cruise, theme parks, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc., and is a jewel to tourists with a lot to see.

Istanbul Tourist Pass

Things to do on New Year’s Day 2021 in Istanbul (Top Attractions, Ideas)This is a digital travel discount pass that is delivered to your phone upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival. It includes 30+ attractions and services including skip the line access and guided museum tours, dinner cruise, hop-on & hop-off Bus, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc.

Buy Your Istanbul Tourist Pass


Airport Transfers

Istanbul has two international airports. You'll find all the transportation opportunities such as Airport Shuttle, Metro, Train, Taxi, Private Shuttle, etc. from the airports to the city center and vice versa from our pages below. If you are a group or a family with kids or having lots of luggage with you, than we highly recommend you to take private shuttle transfers for your hotel as they offer a fixed rate, comfortable and safe transfer that include meet-and-greet airport pickups and luggage assistance to your hotel from the airports or vice versa.

This is a good option as while the Airport Shuttles or Public Buses will bring you only to the city center and you’ll need to take a taxi to reach your hotel which will seem to be harder for you, private shuttles will drive you just to the entrance of your hotel.

As for private shuttle transfers, we can recommend Kiwi Taxi as we recently tested them and had a great trip to our hotel. We didn't see any bad comments on internet. They have large selection of comfortable taxis, minivans, luxurious cars and 6-19+ passenger minibuses.

You can check and book your transfer from the below widget.



We'd be so glad by giving us a like below and join our Facebook page, where you can also ask any questions, share your Istanbul experiences, pictures, yell out complaints, and chat with thousands of Istanbul travelers.



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