how to spend the best 24 hours in istanbul?9 must do


Istanbul’s 9 must do. A complete guide for your next 2022 vacation

Have you thought of your summer holiday yet?

If you haven’t.

Our travel category will recommend beautiful vacay-destinations in the coming few episodes.

We are starting with Istanbul/Turkey.


Because if you are on a budget and still need to get out of the country-wherever you are. Istanbul is one of the best destinations this summer.

Turkey combines the best of the two worlds, the east and the west.

Istanbul, Turkey. 9 things must do while in Istanbul/emyssuitcase.com
Istanbul skyline

The weather, the tourist attractions, the food and so many cities you can visit for different activities.

Today, we are going to spend a day in Istanbul. Even if you are on a business trip, on transit, or on a short layover, solo traveler, with family, or a couple, you can do a lot in one day.

But FIRST let us give you a brief about Turkey in general and Istanbul in particular.

Is it Turkey or Turkiye?

turkey, bird. Turkey country
Turkey or turkey?

The Turkish president expressed a desire in late 2021, to change the spelling of Turkey to Turkiye. Because whenever he uses search engines it always gave a mix of turkey the delicious Christmas meal and Turkey his beloved country.

Search engines get confused if you are not specific.

It sounds funny but we cannot blame him. Turkey is one of those countries that are being mistaken -in a DELICIOUS way- by search engines. You get distracted by the lovely bird when googling Turkey, unless you followed it by turkey the country. Not just that, using a word file, turkey is not being highlighted to be corrected to an upper case letter.

Try it!

Therefore, the spelling will be Turkiye. Very soon.

However, that would require a bit of work to optimize the new spelling, especially for non-Turkish speakers.

History of Turkey. What was turkey before?

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Turkey in history

In brief, Turkey has varied and rich history. It’s quite impossible to wrap it up in a sentence or two. Yet we will try our best to lay the very basics of the origins of the beautiful country.

Turkey goes back to 6500 BC. Years ago to what was once a town called Catal Huyuk. Moving forward to the middle ages, Turkey was part of the Roman empire, which split into 2 halves, eastern and western.

Sultanahmet square, istanbul, turkey,

Eastern empire was called the Byzantine Empire and its capital was Constantinople, which is Istanbul now.

In 1453, the Byzantine Empire collapsed and soon arose the Ottoman Empire. It controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries.

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Byzantine coat of arms

Peak of Ottoman empire was in the 1700 and the decline of it started on the 1800 when they lost Egypt.

The loss of Egypt caused great damage to the Ottomans to lose their dominance over the trade routes.

Fast forward to the modern age, in 1918 after surrendering in World War 2. That was a new birth of the new Turkey under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Accompanied the new country new laws, and new style of the new Turkey. The written language changed from using Arabic to Latin alphabets. Moreover, the vision was to make Turkey cope up with Europe with many reformations.

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Touristic ship/hotel in the Bosporus

Istanbul is not the capital, but still is the most important city in Turkey. With a history of 2700 years, Istanbul is one of the most visited cities in the world.

Istanbul had been the capital of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires throughout its history.

As well as, Istanbul airport is one of the busiest airports around the world. With 328 destinations in 128 countries as of end-2021. Making Turkish airlines, the largest flight network of an airline in the world.

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Turkey has a new mission to put herself on the world map as a modern, touristic and the connection of the east and the west.

Turkey depends on tourism as a national income along with agriculture and many other resources.

Istanbul is a destination preferred by the Europeans and the Middle Eastern, thanks to the invasion of the Turkish drama for the last 10 years. That has played a very important rule in Turkish economy and made thousands of Arabs choose turkey every year.

multi layered bridge on the Bosphorus.restaurants,istanbul,turkey

Turkey is preferred by Europeans as well. Especially for those who are looking for a destination that is near, affordable, and everyone can have fun while visiting.

What is Istanbul?

Istanbul, the link between Europe and Asia. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the country’s economic, cultural and historic hub.

Istanbul, city, sea.jpg
Istanbul the city, the link between Asia and Europe

The city straddles the Bosporus strait, and lies in both Europe and Asia, with a population of over 15 million residents.

The city’s location is unique, not many cities around the world lays between two continents that is why it has a special charm and value in Turkey.

How to get to Istanbul?

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Turkish airways stops in almost every city in the world and they have a very flexible time table.


Some passport holders require a visa. Yet some nationalities are exempted and if you are having a Schengen visa -European one- is accepted even though they are not in the EU.


The currency is Turkish lira, yet Euros is accepted everywhere. Although, not so many Turkish people speak English, they will do their best to communicate with you.

What to do in Istanbul in a day? The Complete guide.

emy, istanbul, turkey,tourism,vacation
Emy in Istanbul
  1. Historical Places in Sultanahmet

a.Sultan Ahmet mosque with its 6 minarets. Also called the blue mosque for the 20,000 blue tile.

b.  Hagia Sofia formerly an orthodox church  and now is a unique piece of art that is a spiritual shrine for believers around the world.

Hagia sofia,istanbul ,turkey
Exist of Hagia Sofia

c. The ancient Egyptian obelisk in Sultanahmet Square since the times of the Byzantine Hippodrome. It was installed there in 390 at the behest of Emperor Theodosius the Great.

Obelisk at Sultanahmet,istanbul

d. The fountain was made in Germany, and transported to Istanbul later, in parts. Collected exactly where it stands now. The grand opening of the fountain was timed to coincide with the birthday of Wilhelm II – January 27, 1901.

2. Shopping in the Grand Bazaar

Grand bazar istanbul turkey,

It is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops

3. Visiting Spice Bazaar

spice bazar,istanbul

 Also known as the Egyptian bazar is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.

4. Walking from Ortakoy to Bebek

 Is a neighborhood, formerly a small village, within the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul, Turkey, located in the middle of the European bank of the Bosporus.

5. Taking Bosporus Cruise,

Boporus cruise,istanbul,turkey

Public ferry cruises also known as the gypsy boat.  Istanbul’s ferries all serve the purpose of connecting the European side to the Asian side. so your DIY tour route will crisscross the Bosphorus several times.

6. Taking Photos on Galata Tower

Galata tower,istanbul,turkey

Also known as Galata watch fire tower, a museum now. Built as a watchtower as a part of the Walls of Galata, the tower is currently being used as an exhibition place and a museum. It’s one of the symbols of Beyoğlu and Istanbul.

7. Exploring Istiklal Avenue

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 Or Independence Avenue or the Grand Avenue of Pera is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul, Turkey, visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day

8. Eating shawarma

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Turkish cuisine is so famous for grills and dolmas. However prices are over rated in any place else in the world other than turkey. As shawarma and food is the cheapest thing in turkey in general. A whole plate of fresh shawarma is 1 dollar and a half in many restaurant that combines, a piece of baklava at the very end as a compliment.

9. Turkish delights

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Turkish delight is one of Turkey’s signatures. If you want to gift anyone after coming from turkey then a small box of Turkish delight is the best thing. It’s like bringing a box of Swiss chocolates or some Belgian waffles or even some duct cheese from the Netherlands. Turkish delights are a must in turkey. Those people love their sugar.

Last notes budget for a day, 100 usd is more than enough to have fun during your tourist attraction

About souvenirs I would say, turkey is so famous for a lot of cool stuff from food to clothes. However, I do recommend some mosaic lambs, some Turkish rugs, or some small magnets. Even some cherries since turkey is the largest cherry producer in the world.

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I hope you enjoyed this trip with us, till our next trip ciao for now.

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