Top 15 Arabic Attractions in Istanbul (Things to Do as an Arab Traveler)

Istanbul offers wide range of attractions for its guest from the Arabic countries as it is one of the most beautiful cosmopolitan cities in the world. Here you can find our pick of top Arabic attractions in Istanbul gathered from the Arab visitors’ choices since many many years.

Why do Arabs visit Istanbul?

Here are a few reasons why tourists from Arabic countries prefer to visit Istanbul.

The most specific reason is that Turkey is a Muslim country and tourists from Arabic countries definitely feel more comfortable and safe in Istanbul.

Istanbul’s being a cosmopolitan city and a mixture of Islamic and Mediterranean cultures in a captivating atmosphere make them feel excited.

The big number of mosques and prayers all along the city is a comfortable thing that they can have all the religious services wherever they want. And that makes them feel like they are at their homeland.

They are able to find halal food and products in any restaurant or shop without a doubt, and enjoy the traditional Turkish cuisine, and especially Turkish kebab, baklava.

The all inclusive and world-class 5-star hotels of the city in the company of Bosphorus and Old City views offer all the best services for a traveler.

The Turkish TV Series made a great influence on the Arab world in the past few years and they are excited to see and experience the country and Istanbul.

Top 15 Arabic Attractions in Istanbul

1. Sultanahmet + Sultanahmet & Hagia Sophia Mosque

Sultanahmet Square

Strolling around the Sultanahmet Square, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere in the company of the most popular landmarks, museums, mosques, churches, fountains and historical sites of Istanbul and having a rest at the variety of restaurants and cafes around, is one of the best things to do in Sultanahmet.

Sultanahmet square, also known as Hippodrome and surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, is a popular meeting point and very impressive tourist zone of Sultanahmet leading to all historical sites around Sultanahmet.

We Highly Recommend These Fantastic Night-time Activities

The 4th century hippodrome from the Byzantium era, the Egyptian Obelisk, the Serpentine Column, the Colossus or Column of Costantine Porphyrgenitus, the German Fountain are the main sights in the square.

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) is one of the most beautiful mosques and landmarks in both Istanbul and the world.

It was built in the 17th century (1603-1617) with the order of Sultan Ahmet I. Its name comes from the very beautiful blue interior “Iznik tiles”. It is a great sample of the Turkish and Islamic architecture and one of the most visited sights and mosques in Istanbul.

Wanna learn more about Blue Mosque?

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque

Dating back to 325, Hagia Sophia is a former church and museum and declared as one of the world’s greatest architectural works and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world. Hagia Sophia is also one of the most visited landmarks and museums in Istanbul and in the world.

Serving as a museum since 1935, a decree on 10th of July 2020 to formally declare the Hagia Sophia as a mosque, after Turkey’s administrative court annulled a 1934-dated decision that paved the way for the use of Hagia Sophia as a museum.

Wanna learn more about Hagia Sophia?

2. Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet

One of world’s richest museums, is a magnificent oriental palace and one of the world’s greatest architectural works. It was the residence of the Ottoman sultans as well as the administrative and educational center of the Empire. It houses the finest samples of seal, book binding, jewelry and box craftsmanship as well as inscriptions.

The former imperial kitchen houses the finest collection of Chinese porcelain in the world. The Sultans’ costumes also exhibited there. The Treasury has a breathtaking and excellent collection of jewels such as emeralds, rubies and diamonds adorn turban crests, swords, golden thrones embroidered with seed pearls.

And finally comes the famous Harem, the private part of the palace where the wives and concubines of the sultans were lived.

Wanna learn more about Topkapi Palace?

3. Basilica Cistern in Sultanahmet

One of the most impressive and mystical buildings in Istanbul, the cistern is a very quiet and peaceful place conveyed by the columns through impressive arches.

The columns, including the legendary Medusa Heads, were compiled from the ancient structures and sculpted of several kinds of marbles. Read more about Basilica Cistern

Combo Tickets: Hagia Sophia + Topkapi Palace + Basilica Cistern

This is a great combo ticket. Our favorite. You can visit the above top 3 most visited sights in Sultanahmet with this combo ticket, with skip the lines access.

Great value for money. Book your tickets online in advance as they are selling out quickly.

Buy Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace & Basilica Cistern Combo Ticket

Click the red button to buy Combo online tickets and skip the lines.

4. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Sultanahmet

Located at the Ibrahim Pasha Palace, it is one of the most important buildings of 16th century Ottoman civil architecture.

The museum displays very unique, more than over 40,000 items at the carpet, manuscript, wood, glass-metal-ceramic and ethnography sections. Read more about Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

5. Arasta Bazaar in Sultanahmet

Situated behind the Blue Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar is a lively and touristic place that you may variety of carpets, rugs, leather, craft and souvenir shops.

6. Hurrem Sultan Hamam (Turkish Bath)

Located between the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, the historical Hurrem Sultan Hamam (Turkish Bath) (1556-1557) was constructed by the Architect Sinan, with the wish of the Hurrem Sultan, the famous wife of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The operating Turkish bath (separate baths for men and women) offers hamam packages with various massage therapies and rituals. There is also an outdoor cafe and restaurant where you may have a rest during your Sultanahmet stroll.

7. Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) in Beyazit

The Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is without a doubt is the most popular tourist spot for shopping in Istanbul. It is a shopping adventure that you won’t want to miss. One of the most popular historical bazaars and markets in Istanbul.

Top 7 Historical Bazaars & Markets in Istanbul with Local Advice

A series of covered streets feature over 4,000 merchants all selling their products and wares. Here you can find anything here from spices, dried fruits, basketry, drapery, haberdashery, boots and slippers to gold and silver jewelryContinue reading…

8. Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Entertainment

This is one of the most popular night time entertainments in the city. Mostly preferred with the tourists who want to experience a unique attraction specific to Istanbul. Typical dinner cruises start from the Kabatas pier daily at about 20:00 pm and goes for about 3 hours.

Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise & Boat Tours (2020 Guide with Tickets Advice)

While you cruise along Bosphorus and enjoy your meal, you’ll be entertained by traditional belly dancing, oriental show, a henna ceremony, a Romany dance, folk dancing, a live DJ, etc. You’ll be able to see city’s historical sites, including Ottoman palaces, and stunning bridges illuminated by night.

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

Wanna learn more about Bosphorus Dinner Cruise?

9. Taksim & Istiklal Street in Beyoglu

Taksim Square

Strolling around the Taksim Square, watching the crowd and than passing to Istiklal Street and enjoying the lively atmosphere is one of the best things to do in Taksim. If you walk till the end of the long colorful pedestrian Istiklal Street, you may get very close to famous Galata Tower.

Taksim square, with its location leading to the monument, Gezi park, domed church of Aya Triada, nostalgic tram, Huseyin Aaa Mosque and famous Istiklal Avenue, is the most popular square in Istanbul as well as in Turkey. It is just like the famous ones in the European countries.

Istiklal Street (Avenue)

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 and street shows. You may visit the fantastic Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the amazing St. Anthony of Padua Church and Pera Museum there.

If you would like to have a dinner and night entertainment, you may spend the evening at the famous Asmalimescit dining and wining street. Read more about Istiklal Street

10. Day Trip to Princes’ Islands (Buyukada)

Once was the pleasure island of Byzantine Princes, and with its stunning pinewood scenery, the Princes’ Islands are one of the best preserved natural areas and sights in Istanbul. It is one of the best attractions and weekend breaks in Istanbul both for locals and tourists.

You can take a 1 hour cruise to the islands, have a great day out by full tour of the island on the horse-drawn carriage, rest in a cafe by the sea, a lunch at a local fish restaurant. Or you can have a romantic overnight stay in one of the pretty hotels on the island.

Wanna learn more about Princes’ Islands?

11. Yeni Mosque & Spice Market in Eminonu

The Yeni Mosque, which means “new”, is one of the popular landmarks on the Eminonu coast. The mosque is worth a see with its big courtyard and the turquoise, blue and white Iznik tiles.

The historical Egyptian Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) or so-called Spice Market, is a colorful and mystical covered spice market lined with spice stalls, situated just by the Eminonu sqaure.

It is also one of the most popular covered markets in the world, together with famous Grand Bazaar. Also called as Egyptian Spice Market, it is a popular points of interest and a perfect place with the tourists to end their Istanbul visit by shopping for some souvenirs for their beloved ones before leaving Istanbul. Continue reading…

12. Whirling Dervishes Show in Sirkeci

Whirling Dervishes Show is one of the most visited Istanbul attractions 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.

There are two popular venues that you can watch this show. Book your tickets online in advance as they are selling out quickly.

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

Wanna learn more about Whirling Dervishes Show?

13. Museum of Islamic Science and History of Technology

Located located in the Imperial Stables building in Gulhane Park, he Museum of Islamic Science and History of Technology displays samples of tools and devices, some of which are surviving original pieces and some prepared by the University of Frankfurt’s Institute of Arabic and Islamic Sciences according to drawings and descriptions in reference books. Continue reading…

14. Shopping at Istinye Park & Cevahir Shopping Malls

Istinye Park Shopping Mall

300 stores, 270.000 m2 construction area, 87.000 m2 store area, 3,600 units car-park and wide range of stores. Both indoor (giant glass dome and glass ceilings) and outdoor space. Superior stores, cinemas, fashion, entertainment, food and activity areas.

Istinye Park

Address: Katar Cad. , No: 73 Sarıyer
Tel: +90 212 345 55 55
Opening Hours: every day between 10:00-22:00
Access: – Public Bus (lines 29B FSM – 4. Levent Metro, 29P Poligon Mah. – 4. Levent Metro, 29Ş İstinye Dereiçi – Şişli, 40B Sarıyer – Beşiktaş, 42 Bahçeköy – 4. Levent Metro)
– Midibus (İstinye – Beşiktaş Tarabya – Beşiktaş)
– free Shuttle from the Auto Industry and ITU stop between 12:00 to 14:00.

Cevahir Shopping Mall

Over 200 stores across 6 floors, diverse range of shopping categories and a full range of brands. Wide variety of restaurants and cafes, movie theaters and the state theater. Superior stores, fashion, cinemas, entertainment, food and activity areas.

Address: Büyükdere Cad. No: 22, 34400, Şişli
Tel: +90 212 368 69 00
Opening Hours: every day between 10:00-22:00

15. Vialand Theme Park

Vialand is one of the best theme parks in Istanbul, as well as in Europe and offers great attractions for both kids and adults. What makes Vialand amazing is that it is not only a theme and amusement park, but also a huge complex that combines theme park, shopping, entertainment and exhibition centers in one place.

You can enjoy  the spectacular and magical world of Isfanbul Theme Park with your family and friends. Have fun on the world’s 4th biggest roller-coaster, as well variety of great rides and thrills. You can also have some leisure time to explore the shopping mall of the park.

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

Wanna learn more about Vialand Theme Park?

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