The Museum of Painting and Sculpture
One of the first fine art museums in Turkey, the Museum of Painting and Sculpture was founded by Atatürk in 1937, and exhibits the works of 19th and 20th century Turkish artists such as Osman Hamdi Bey and Bedri Rahmi. The museum is free daily between 10am and 4:30pm (except Sunday and Monday).
Blue (Sultanahmet) Mosque
More than five centuries old, the Sultanahmet Camii, or the Blue Mosque, is a local place of worship, which is also open to tourists. With over 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles and 200 stained glass windows, the Blue Mosque is a veritable visual treat that has been pulled out of a page in history. Something that sets the Blue Mosque apart from all the other mosques in the country is its six distinctive minarets, compared to the usual two or four of the others. This mosque continues to attract tourists from all over the world who come to admire its magnificent architecture and larger than life structure.
This lovely park is located in the heart of Istanbul. Ferries from the Asian side of the city arrive here. With old Ottoman houses, scenic paths, flowers, duck ponds and tree-covered hills, it is a picturesque place for a relaxing picnic. Locals love to picnic here, so arrive early to get a good spot.
One of Istanbul’s most important hubs for contemporary art from both local and international artists, Istanbul Modern is an essential experience for art aficionados. It is also handy to know that admission is free every Thursday, so you can spend a whole day gazing at beautiful art without paying a dime.
Spend a day rummaging through interesting curios and other bits and bobs at the Bomonti Flea Market. Admission is absolutely free and promises a unique shopping experience. Over 200 steps are surrounded by stalls selling Turkish cuisine, clothing and accessories, old cameras, vintage records and so much more. Spend your time hunting for that weird and wonderful antique, or tuck into some delicious street food. Either way, you will get your fill!
Stunning both for its architecture as well as its library and exhibition spaces, Salt Galata is a cultural institution located in a former Ottoman bank. Inside you will find a beautiful research library, restaurant, café, bookstore, art gallery, and the Ottoman Bank Museum. You could easily spend the whole day here.
Bomonti Flea Market
While most tourist attractions in Istanbul are shut on a Sunday, the Bomonti flea market, a favourite among the locals, and remains open this day. You will find almost everything, from vintage cameras to timepieces, vinyl and more here. You can even sample some delicious local sweets for free at the shops before picking some for home.