HomeFam TripsHow to Spend a Vibrant 3 Days in Istanbul

How to Spend a Vibrant 3 Days in Istanbul

Maria Uchoa from ITTN sister website Travel2Ireland recently spent a long weekend in Istanbul, Türkiye, as a guest of the Turkish Tourism Board, UK. Over three days, she immersed herself with fellow guests in exploring the city, savouring Michelin-starred meals, and indulging in an array of shopping opportunities.

Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul stands as a testament to the intertwining of civilizations throughout history. From its ancient roots as the capital of empires to its modern-day vibrancy, this city offers a blend of tradition and contemporary culture.


Turkish cuisine, with its diverse flavours and influences, reflects the country’s multicultural history. From hearty kebabs to delicate vegetarian dishes cooked in olive oil, Istanbul has gained international acclaim for its culinary offerings, earning its place among prestigious Michelin Guide destinations.

Arts, Design, and Culture:

Istanbul is a thriving centre of arts and culture. From contemporary galleries to historic landmarks, the city offers a diverse range of artistic experiences. Neighbourhoods like Nişantaşı and Karaköy buzz with creative energy, showcasing the works of both local and international artists.

The city presents endless opportunities for retail therapy. From bustling bazaars to upscale boutiques, Istanbul caters to every taste and preference. Whether hunting for unique souvenirs or high-end fashion, the city’s shopping scene is sure to impress.

Exploring Istanbul: Maria’s Itinerary


Turkish Breakfast at Kale Cafe and Restaurant:

The group started their day with a traditional Turkish breakfast, enjoying an array of savoury and sweet delights. Among the pastries, yogurts, and Turkish coffee, Maria particularly enjoyed trying “sucuk” (spicy Turkish sausage) and “pastırma” (cured beef) as part of the spread.

Design Boutiques in Bebek, Arnavutköy, and Nişantaşı:

After the hearty breakfast, the group explored the charming neighbourhoods of Bebek, Arnavutköy, and Nişantaşı – home to gorgeous boutique stores. Locally-produced jewellery and pottery stores are sprinkled between gourmet shops offering artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. These towns offer a vibrant shopping experience with a blend of sophistication and creativity.

Maria’s Top Pick: Touline Ceramics:

This unique pottery, inspired by Turkish heritage and created by Tulin Bozuyuk, offers striking one-of-a-kind pieces crafted through a slow process. Bozuyuk creates “pavlova” plates, named after Anna Pavlova, the famous ballerina, whom Tulin admires.


The group enjoyed dinner at Murver Restaurant. Known for a fire burning year-round in its kitchen, the chefs at Murver use seasonal ingredients and regional recipes, with many of their creations becoming classics since it opened its doors in 2017.

Day Trip: Bağdat Caddesi Bazaar Tour

Starting at Ecevit Charcuterie for yummy Turkish cheese and olives, then heading to Cafer Erol Candy Shop for local fish and sweets, the group took a break at Kurukahveci Mehmet Efendi Turkish Coffee Shop for a taste of rich Turkish coffee. Lastly, they enjoyed a delicious lunch at Çiya Kebap, where they ate authentic Turkish dishes in a laid-back atmosphere.

Hotel: The Galata Istanbul Hotel – MGallery

Located in the heart of the city, this boutique hotel has been reconstructed from the historic Baltazzi Han, one of Galata’s most magnificent and rare buildings, dating back to 1836.

Turkish Airlines fly direct from Dublin to Istanbul Flight Deals and Discount Airline Ticket Offers | Turkish Airlines ®

Emer Roche
Emer Roche
Emer has over 10 years experience working for Irish magazines, supplements, websites and creative agencies. She’s written features for U Magazine, Image Magazine and theheyday.ie, across a range of subjects such as women’s interest, travel, culture, news and interviews. She also has a portfolio of commercial writing for creative agencies, such as RTE.ie and Originate Creative. Emer is a Dublin native with part of her heart in Ardmore, County Waterford. She lives in Dublin 7 with her husband, two kids, dog and cat.

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