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How can you enjoy the sights in Istanbul while avoiding the crowds?

Anonymous, Unknown location

26 days ago

Get up early. Most museums open at 9 AM. Crowds are already gathering before opening. If you go later than 10 AM to Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, Basilica Cistern - you're gonna have a bad time. Queues are hundreds of meters long, going slow. The rest of the monuments have reasonable queues, and can be visited later in the day. Don't go to Taksim Square, or on the road that leads from Taksim to Galata Tower if you don't like large crowds. There are millions of people on that main street. Might help getting a museum pass. At the time of our visit, it would've made up for its cost, and we wouldn't have to wait in long queues because we'd get an express pass.
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    The Best of Asia and Europe

    The city of Istanbul offers a trip unlike any other, encompassing Asian and European cultures to create a heady mix of art, music and food. The amazing Old Town and the Sultanahmet are home to iconic Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. More history is hidden in the Topkapi Palace, where you can glimpse the splendor and opulence of Turkey’s Ottoman heritage.

    Take a stroll through the historic center or the busy Taksim Square before watching the sun set behind countless mosques and minarets. Local fish markets and numerous restaurants lining the bridge to Galata offer the Golden Horn’s daily catch.

    If you prefer the fine art of bargaining to fine art, lose yourself in the Grand Bazar and maybe you’ll emerge with a hookah, some Turkish coffee, or even a carpet. The Spice Bazar further immerses you in the sights, smells, and tastes of Turkish culture.

    Getting to Istanbul is an easy trip from Ataturk International Airport or Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Whether you want a luxury hotel on the Asian side or a budget hostel in Taksim Square, Booking.com has over 1,000 great accommodations for a vacation in Istanbul.

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