Istanbul is known as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, the city that is bound between two continents will give you a glimpse of the past and the future at the same time. Set around the Bosporus, the city that was previously known as Constantinople and Byzantium is known a cultural, financial, social and educational hub of Turkey. The cost of living and traveling in Istanbul has been hiking up on an annual basis and yet people still want to visit the iconic city. Things and tourism is expensive but there are a number of things that you can do for FREE and still get the taste of the culturally rich city.
The galleries of Istanbul
Istanbul is home to a number of galleries that depict historical to contemporary art. Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art was opened to promote contemporary and modern art in turkey and allows new and emerging artists to display their work. Visiting the Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art is a one of a kind experience (for free). Apart from this, the galleries at Arter, Salt, and Borusan Music House exhibit their exhibitions free for 7 days a week.
The spice bazaar is a heaven for foodies! It is one of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul and roaming around the bazaar is like being in an exotic kitchen. Every spice that you ever wish to see is available here, the locals are friendly and let you taste their spiced delicacies for free.
Sing with the performers
Istanbul is home to many street performers with each being more talented and unique than the first. Be it the Taksim square or the ortokoy, you’ll be seeing many lively performers. Even the local indulge in with the performers and there is a high chance they’ll force you in with them! You can sing and be merry with them and enjoy your heart out.
The Ortaköy Coast
It is always recommended that if you’re in Istanbul, visiting the Ortaköy Coast is a must! You can walk along the coast, sit on the benches and pat the many friendly street dogs roaming around, enjoy the locals having their picnics and even have a look at the weekend stalls that the locals put up.
The Grand Bazaar
Built in the 15th century, the grand bazaar is a must see site in turkey. Truly grand, you’ll be horded by persistent shopkeepers to come in and visit. You’ll mainly be fascinated by the Turkish lamps, jewellery and leather goods that are handmade. Just make sure you have a whole day allotted for the grand bazaar. Without spending a penny you’ll soak up the culture and the locals.
Watch a film
If you’re a film aficionado you will be able to watch free screenings of movies (with English subtitles) at the Mountain Film Festival that occurs in spring, the Istanbul International Short Film Festival that takes place in November along with periodic events which are hosted by Documentarists.
The Tulip city
If you’re visiting Istanbul in April, then you’ll be seeing 3 million tulips bloom across Istanbul’s parks and public spaces. Designs and colors don these parks. It is known that the tulip is historically important to Turkey since people call the entire reign of Sultan Ahmed III as the “Tulip Era.”