Istanbul is one of the most popular touristic destinations in the world that offers numerous attractions to its visitors. Among Istanbul’s many attractions that take more than a week to explore, there are some free attractions that you can visit and spend a great time with your fellow travelers.
Istanbul is a collection of various attractions in which you will see all kinds of attractions. Some of these attractions are very expensive and some of them are free for everyone.
Top 20 free Istanbul free attractions
In this article, we’ve listed down some of Istanbul’s top free attractions that you have to explore on your visit to this charming city.
- Walk across the Galata Bridge
- Gulhane Park– a green space within the city’s bustle
- Suleymaniye Mosque– an extraordinary attraction
- Stroll around Istanbul Grand Bazaar – the world’s largest covered market
- Camilica Hill – Istanbul’s best viewpoint
- Emirgan Park– A historical and natural attraction
- Explore Istanbul’s Art museums on free days
- Go to Taksim Square for experiencing a dreamy nightlife
- Explore Istanbul’s Spice bazaar for a piece of Turkish cuisine
- Hagia Sophia – A historical and religious attraction
- See the charm of Byzantine architecture at Sultanahmet Square
- Blue Mosque – Istanbul’s most gorgeous mosque
- Istiklal Avenue – Istanbul’s most famous avenue
- Balat and Fener – oldest neighborhoods of Istanbul
- Bosphorus Strait – an internationally known waterway
- Karakoy streets umbrella – a street with Hollywood features
- Zeyrek Mosque with an overview of Golden Horn
- Salt Galata – watch modern art pieces from Turk artists
- Yildiz park – a verdant place inside the city
- Watch free concerts with live music on the streets of Istanbul
Walk across the Galata Bridge
Galata bridge is one of the most glamorous attractions of Istanbul city which was built in 1994. Galata bridge tops the list of Istanbul’s free attractions that span the Golden Horn in this city.
If you are familiar with Turkish literature, poem, theatre, and novels then you must have heard Galata Bridge’s name in your studies. This bridge has been the spot for lovers to meet and greet ever since. There are several eateries on this bridge where you can dine or drink while enjoying the view.
Gulhane Park – a green space within the city’s bustle
Gulhane park is one of the most glamorous attractions in Istanbul city which is open to the public. Gulhane is the Turkish term for greenhouse. The name was chosen due to the number of flowers that are planted in this park. Gulhane park is filled with various kinds of flowers that create a unique place to stroll or sit on its evergreen grass.
Gulhane park is designed with roses, flower gardens, and water features. Istanbul archeological museums are situated inside this magnificent park which adds to the charm of this picturesque park.
Suleymaniye Mosque – an extraordinary attraction
Suleymaniye Mosque is another gorgeous attraction in Istanbul city that requires no reentrance fee and it is free to visit. This Ottoman imperial mosque dates back to 1558 and it is considered one of the most fascinating attractions of Istanbul with historical and cultural features.
Suleymaniye is believed to be the house of god in Islam and it is the place where everyone can visit and pray without having to pay anything. Although the option of donation is always available. Make sure you visit this charming place to get a glance at the importance of Islam in Turkish culture.
Stroll around Istanbul Grand Bazaar – the world’s largest covered market
Grand bazaar is one of the must-visit attractions in Istanbul which requires zero entrance fee. You can visit this traditional shopping center every day from 10 am to 6 pm. Istanbul grand bazaar is a major shopping center that dates back to 1461 that has more than 30 thousand square meters of land area.
More than 60 streets and 4000 shops are located in this traditional shopping center that offers all kinds of traditional handicrafts and modern products. Istanbul grand bazaar is the perfect place for shopping for souvenirs in this city. Strolling in Istanbul grand bazaar feels like you are walking in a gallery that exhibits all kinds of handicrafts from Turkish culture.
Camilica Hill – Istanbul’s best viewpoint
Camilica hill is another popular attraction in Istanbul city that requires no entrance fee. This picturesque place is famous for its panoramic view over the southern part of Bosphorus strait. Camilica hill is a landscape that despite its beauty and cityscape, offers all kinds of attractions and recreations to its visitors.
There’s a glamorous mosque, a hotel, a TRT television tower, and several more attractions on this charming natural sight that some of which are free like the mosque. Make sure you visit this extraordinary attraction on your travel to Istanbul city to get a glance at Istanbul’s charm.
Emirgan Park – A historical and natural attraction
Another option of Istanbul’s top free attractions is Emirgan Park which is an urban park with a long history. Emirgan park is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul that covers more than 47 hectares of Istanbul’s land with green space.
Emirgan park is at its most charming in springtime when the tulips are in bloom. Istanbul’s annual tulip festival takes place in this park mostly in Aprils. This park delights every visitor with its beauty and charm. Walk under the lush trees and relax in this verdant park while you are surrounded by gorgeous plants.
Explore Istanbul’s Art museums on free days
Some of Istanbul’s most striking art museums and galleries offer a free visit on special occasions. Some of these museums are “Istanbul Museum of modern art”, “museum of painting and sculpture”, and ‘Dogancay museum. You can see Istanbul’s richness in contemporary arts as well as its rich heritage and history.
Istiklal avenue is full of art galleries that two of its most popular galleries named “Arter” and “New Gallery” are the ones that top the list of Istanbul’s free museums and attractions. These amazing museums require free admission and you can explore them without having to pay an entrance fee.
Go to Taksim Square for experiencing a dreamy nightlife
Taksim square is one of the main parts of Istanbul city that played an important role in Istanbul’s main events like protests. This place was built in 1928 and has been a politically and culturally important place in the city ever since.
Taksim square is one of the most famous places in Istanbul city which is very crowded 24/7. Taksim square is filled with shops, eateries, bars, accommodations, etc. It is highly recommended that you go to Taksim square at night and have the experience of lovely nightlife in this magical place that never rests.
Explore Istanbul’s Spice bazaar for a piece of Turkish cuisine
Spice bazaar is one of the most interesting places in Istanbul that requires no entrance fee. This traditional shopping center is another covered market in Istanbul city that was built in Ottoman style architecture and dates back to the second half of the 16th century.
You will see all kinds of ingredients that are used in Turkish cuisine including spices, nuts, seeds, etc. You won’t find any other product despite foodstuffs in Istanbul spice bazaar. Spice bazaar is also known as the Egyptian market or bazaar.
Hagia Sophia – A historical and religious attraction
Hagia Sophia is an old museum that has changed a lot through the centuries and it is considered one of the main historical sites of the city. Hagia Sophia was built in 360 AD and was used as a Greek Orthodox church. After the dominance of Ottoman empire over Constantine in 1453, Hagia Sophia was then changed and used as a mosque until 1935.
Nowadays this place is served as a museum where you can see Istanbul and Turkey’s changes over centuries in various civilizations. Hagia Sophia is open to the public 24/7.
Final words about top Istanbul free attractions
As we already mentioned Istanbul is full of attractions from modern recreation centers to historic sites and cultural centers. Istanbul as a tourist city with a rich heritage offers numerous attractions to its visitors that some of which are free to visit.