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Free things to do in Istanbul

10th May 2015

Istanbul is Turkey’s largest city and seaport and offers a massive range of attractions from museums dedicated to paintings and sculpture, jazz festivals and even windows into the past in the form of the Florence Nightingale Museum.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy the Istanbul nightlife or simply want to relax by the beach you’ll be sure to find something to make your stay in Istanbul truly magical. And what can make this even more special is that Istanbul offers a host of these various attractions and outlets for free.

So if you’re looking to save some coins or simply want to focus more Istanbul’s rich history and culture then here’s a list of some best places to visit in Istanbul free of charge.

The Istanbul Modern

Ok we’re cheating a little with this one but The Istanbul Modern does offer free admission for children under 12 and offers free admission every Thursday for residents of Turkey. The museum which celebrated its’ 10th Anniversary last year offers numerous ever changing exhibitions and even houses its own cinema.

The Florence Nightingale Museum

This may seem like quite the undertaking at first but the journey to the barracks the famous “lady of the lamp” worked in is truly worth the time it takes to arrange a visit. This is no ordinary museum to visit you must fax a letter stating the time you’d like to visit with a photocopy of your passport.

Make sure you include a contact number and make sure to request a time within 48 hours of sending your request. The barracks offer a true window into the past and even give you the opportunity to visit Nightingale’s study.

Sultanahmet Mosque

The Sultanahmet Mosque otherwise known as the Blue Mosque because of its interior blue tiles is one of the last mosques to be built using the classic ottoman style. The mosque will allow guests a  view of Istanbul’s history and culture.
Please note that the Sultanahmet Mosque despite being a popular tourist attraction is still an active mosque so for the best possible experience try to plan your visit around the calls to pray. These times change every day but real-time updates are available online. Head coverings for women to wear are available for free at the entrance and flash photography is prohibited.

Grand Bazaar

Ok I admit I lied this one isn’t exactly free but there are no fixed prices at the Grand Bazaar market so don’t be afraid to haggle (who knows some kind vendor may be charmed into giving you something for free) The Grand Bazaar is a home to more than 4000 shops selling authentic Turkish goods.
So if you want to track down the perfect memento of your trip to Istanbul or have your heart set on some handmade pottery then head down to famed Grand Bazaar market.

Kilyos Beach

Sometimes you simply can’t beat a trip to the beach, opened to the public as part of the “coasts will belong to the people” campaign the Kilyos Beach is 22 miles from the Galata Bridge. The beach as its own life guards so if you’re not the best swimmer they’ll be able to offer guidance and advice. Bathrooms, shower and changing rooms are also available.
The beach is very popular on summer weekends so expect crowds during these busy periods also be aware of the dangers of riptides and undertow.   

For Turkish Residence Permit Health Insurance, see below link


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