What to do when you have no plans in Istanbul

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Istanbul:  Where east meets west, and religions and cultures seem to all converge in one giant melting pot.

The city has a million things to do, so do you want to know what we planned on doing during our two days there?


photo 1

Okay, not that we weren’t going to do anything, but we had nothing specific on our agenda, which for us is pretty uncommon (we are the type who have 100 things we want to check out every day).  Yes, we wanted to hit the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, but other than that, we were winging it.  And it was awesome.

In a city as alive as Istanbul, when you go with no specific agenda, you can have true freedom.  The freedom to explore down the quirky streets, chat with the locals, and in this case, eat a whole lot of Turkish ice cream (which trust me folks, it’s amazing…like taffy and ice cream combined…mmmmm).

photo 2

We cruised the Bosphorus.  Sampled gourmet Turkish delight at the Spice Bazaar.  Bargained prices like pros at the Grand Bazaar.  Dressed the kids up like Turkish royalty.  Bought some shoes from a local cobbler.  Posed for selfies with endless strangers (okay, this was mostly the kids – everyone here simply has to have pictures with these red headed kids and I’m sure in some foreign land, the kids are social media superstars).

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”4″ gal_title=”ISTANBUL”]

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

6 thoughts on “What to do when you have no plans in Istanbul”

  1. We also winged it on a trip to Istanbul and had a great time. Moving to Skopje, Macedonia soon and there is little to nothing on the internets/guidebooks, so we plan to do nothing but wing it!

  2. I’ve been meaning to visit the middle east, such a beautiful place with so much culture to soak in. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog, it’s quite inspiring. How did the kids like it? Thank you for sharing your trips with us!

    • Marcus – the kids loved Turkey! I think that the most friendly Middle Eastern countries that we’ve visited have been Turkey and Jordan – they both are so sweet to children and LOVE families! You should totally head this way!

  3. Hi! I love your site and enjoyed the posts on Turkey. I’m 1/2 Turkish and in the process of planning a trip there for my cousin’s wedding in Bursa. Trying not to let the latest incidents stop us from going. If you have any additional tips or comments on safety in Turkey, I would love to hear from you.

    I wasn’t sure how to reach you directly so please let me know if there is a different address to email. You can also find my email at http://www.literacywithlisa.com. Thanks!


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