Balat Istanbul Instagrammable Places Sarah Latham

Visiting Istanbul? Discover the most Instagrammable places in Istanbul. Sprawling across two continents, Europe and Asia, this city is a mix of beautiful buildings, eclectic neighbourhoods, and beautiful photo spots. Read on to find the best Istanbul Instagrammable places.

Suggested read: Cappadocia photo diary

1. Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world and is well worth an afternoon wandering through the carpet, Turkish lamps and spice and sweet shops. Fair warning although it is over 560 years old, the Grand Bazaar is now very touristy and overpriced, but is still very enjoyable if you are interested in this. In terms of getting the perfect Istanbul Instagrammable picture while here, it can be quite difficult to get a photo with the lamps as many shops have no photo signs. However, I just walked around until I found two different stores that didn’t mind at all. I ended up buying a ring from one of the stores so worked out well for them letting people get photos in their store! You can find the Grand Bazaar here.

Grand Bazaar Istanbul Instagrammable Places Sarah Latham

2. The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)

One of the most well-known landmarks in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque is a must see sight when exploring the city. You can visit the Blue Mosque between 9am and 7pm. However, when I visited mid-2022 there was a lot of restoration construction work going on, meaning there wasn’t much to see inside. However, due to its size you can see this iconic landmark from many different spots in Istanbul. Read on to discover where this picture below was snapped.

Blue Mosque Istanbul Instagrammable Places Sarah Latham

3. Topkapi Palace

If you look at any Istanbul Instagrammable guide and you’ll see Topkapi Palace firmly on there. The Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman Sultan; however, it has now been turned into a museum. Personally, depending on your interest, I didn’t find you needed more than an hour here but the buildings were beautiful, as you can see below. Find this spot in the tourist centre of Istanbul here.

Topkapi Palace Istanbul Sarah Latham

4. Hagia Sophia Mosque

Why let the Blue Mosque get all the attention? Sitting across as a neighbour to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia is another (slightly lesser known) but iconic landmark of Istanbul. Be sure to include a visit to this impressive Istanbul Instagrammable spot when exploring the city.

Hagia Sophia Mosque Sarah Latham Istanbul Turkey

5. Ortaköy Mosque and Bosphorus Bridge

While smaller than the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia mosques, the Ortaköy Mosque is a waterside picturesque landmark that’s well worth a visit. Not only does this mosque sit next to the water, it is also on the very edge of Europe. Istanbul is situated across both Europe and Asia, so while you’re here you’ll also look out over Bosphorus Bridge and the edge of Asia across the water. This is a great one for your instagrammable Istanbul list and you can find it here.

6. Galata Tower

Galata Tower isn’t just a beautiful tower and tourist spot, it also served the city in many important ways throughout history – from providing surveillance, fire detection and even acting as a prison. With many roads leading up to the tower, you have multiple opportunities for the perfect Instagrammable Istanbul picture. Arrive early to snap a pic without the crowds, but head to the area in the afternoon and evening for a vibey and relaxing atmosphere. Find this Istanbul Instagrammable spot here.

7. Restaurant with the ideal Istanbul Instagrammable Blue Mosque View

For one of the best views of The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, head to Seven Hills Restaurant. This rooftop restaurant is found only a five minute walk from the Blue Mosque. I’m not sure if you need a booking, I just walked in and tried my luck and no one seemed bothered at all. They even have a dedicated part of the restaurant to take photos away from the diners. If you fancy lunch, browse the menu here.

Blue Mosque Istanbul Instagrammable Places Sarah Latham

8. Balat Neighbourhood

If you’ve done any research into Instagrammable places in Istanbul (and obviously you have if you’ve gotten this far into this blog) you’ll probably have come across this vibrantly coloured street. When I first saw this street on social media, I thought it was somewhere in the centre of Istanbul but it is in fact a little bit further away in the Balat neighbourhood. I got here by an Uber (yes, Ubers work in Istanbul – they’re connected to the yellow taxis, meaning there are a lot of cars available with the convenience of paying through an app) and enjoyed snapping pictures at this iconic Instagrammable Istanbul spot. Was it busy? For me, absolutely not. I was there at 8am on a Saturday and although I’ve seen influencers online complaining this area is busy – I had the place to myself while I was here and also found the neighbourhood very quiet in the morning as I walked through.

The Istanbul colourful houses in the Balat neighbourhood can be found on the corner of Kiremit Street and Usturumca Street. The exact street is on Google Maps here.

Balat Istanbul Instagrammable Places Sarah Latham

9. Istanbul’s Instagrammable street food & fruit stalls

There are photo opportunities around every corner in Istanbul with food carts selling barbecued corn and fruit stalls dotted around.

10. The Instagrammable 2D Cafe in Istanbul

Stop by for a bite to eat at one of the cutest and Instagrammable cafes in Istanbul. Designed to look 2D, you can find this cafe on the corner of Ibni Kemal and Hoca Pasa streets in the touristy section of Istanbul.

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