If you are looking for romantic places in Istanbul, then this list of the most romantic Istanbul sights is for you. We’ve made a list for lovers & honeymooners.
If you’re looking for romance, Istanbul might not be the first place that springs to mind, but this is a city that is not only drenched in history and stunning views but has some of the most romantic experiences around.
Give it a chance and see for yourself!
There is nothing better than an Istanbul sunset. As the sun goes down over the Golden Horn, the mosques and old bridges are illuminated in a golden hue that is hard to match. It’s undoubtedly something so special even your camera won’t be able to capture it correctly.
But where else can you go to get a major dose of romance with a capital R?
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Romantic Places In Istanbul
Here is our list of some of the most romantic Istanbul sights for lovers & honeymooners.
1. Maiden’s Tower
Maiden’s Tower is located just off the shore of the Asian side and can be seen from the whole Bosphorus waterfront. This is a very historic spot, not least for the legend behind it. Head inside and enjoy the views while learning about the history and enjoying a delicious meal. Dating back to the 14th century, this is a small yet mighty place for your romance list.
2. Dolmabahce Palace
Few places on the planet will leave you astounded by their beauty, but Dolmabahce is one of them. You can’t take photographs inside, so you’re left to soak it up with your actual eyes – what a novelty! The views outside are also beautiful, and you can take plenty of romantic photographs.
3. Horse-Drawn Carriages, Saint George’s Church And Ecumenical Patriarchate
This is also one of the Turkish islands without any cars. Visiting it is almost like going back in time, seeing the horse-drawn carriages and the huge villas that line the hillside.
The Prince’s Islands are a stunning spot in themselves, but if you trek to the top of Buyukada (Big Island), you’ll find this beautiful church, also known as Aya Yorgi Church. Make a wish at the top, as is a local tradition, and check out the fantastic view in front of you. What could possibly be more romantic than that?
4. Bosphorus Sunset Cruise
A Bosphorus cruise in itself is something you should do, but a sunset cruise is something else entirely! We’ve already mentioned that sunsets in Istanbul are like nowhere else. However, cruising down the mighty Bosphorus with the golden glow touching everything it can reach is a unique and very romantic experience.
5. Cycle Around The Princes Islands
Buyukada is the largest of the Princes Islands, a short ferry ride from Istanbul. It’s a stunning place and somewhere that is dripping in romance.
After a few days in Istanbul, you’ll probably need some peace and quiet, and you’ll find it here, as no cars are allowed. The only way to get around is by horse-drawn carriage or bicycle. So why not hire a bike and explore together?
The island is hilly but shouldn’t pose a problem for most people, and the views are amazing. You’ll also find many small restaurants where you can have a quiet, romantic meal.
6. Eat Seafood In Nevizade
Nevizade is a long street in the middle of Taksim, which is filled with seafood restaurants, and it’s the single best place to experience raki ve balik, or raki and fish.
Fill your table with delicious meze and try this local experience together. Musicians can also serenade you as they move up and down the street – it will cost you a few lira, but it’s a fun and romantic thing to do.
7. Take A Turkish Bath Together
Not all hamams allow mixed-sex groups, but some do, namely Suleymaniye Hamam and Aga Hamam. This is a very relaxing experience, and by doing it together, you’re bonding through history – this is something that dates back centuries, and by the end, you’ll feel super clean and highly chilled out!
8. Camlica Hill
Istanbul is known as the City on The Seven Hills, and from Camlica Hill, you can see them in the distance while gazing out over the Golden Horn. The panoramic view is super-romantic, and you can enjoy a drink and a meal at one of the many restaurants before exploring the gardens, fountains, and parks.
9. Topkapi Palace Museum
The opulent former home of the Ottoman Sultans is a stunning place to visit, and the fantastic architecture and whispers of the past make it a romantic spot, too.
There are many gardens to explore, and you’ll find that the palace is quite large, so while it’s bustling, it never really feels crowded. You can also gaze out over a stunning view of the Bosphorus from the palace gardens.
10. Galata Tower
Dominating the skyline on the European side of the city, you’ll find the Galata Tower, an iconic structure dating back to the 5th century.
A former lookout point and prison, it is now a top tourist attraction and houses a restaurant right at the top. The views are stunning, and you can walk around a full 360 degrees and take as many photos together as you please.
11. Gulhane Park
Just behind Topkapi Palace, you’ll find a place that always reminds me of Narnia – Gulhane Park.
The high trees and open green spaces aren’t something you would expect to find in the middle of such a huge city, but here, you can roam together, sit on one of the many benches, grab a warm drink, and check out the fantastic Bosphorus views from the top. It’s a peaceful spot and highly romantic, especially in the winter when the snow has fallen.
12. Basilica Cistern
Deep under the streets of Sultanahmet, you’ll find Basilica Cistern, often called the Sunken City. Dating back to the 6th century, you’ll walk around arm in arm with your mouths gaping at the sheer beauty.
Colossal marble columns soar above you, with lights installed to make the water glisten. You can almost hear and feel the ghosts of the past all around you, and of course, the Medusa statues are spine-tingling.
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Romantic Hotels In Istanbul
Here are a few of the most romantic hotels in Istanbul to get you fired up.
Pera Palace Hotel
One of the oldest and fanciest hotels in the city, the Pera Palace manages to balance style and elegance with modern-day amenities to a tee. This building has seven floors with neo-classical facades that make you feel like royalty. As a fun fact, Agatha Christie stayed in this hostel in the 1920s!
Once a palace of the Ottoman sultans, you can now stay in this 5-star hotel and feel like a real sultan yourself! With an infinity pool, spa, wellness center, and stunning views over the Bosphorus, a night here doesn’t come cheap, but it’s an authentic experience.
Romance Istanbul Hotel
Well, it’s got romance in the name, so it must be a top spot! Here, you can stay in elegant, old-fashioned comfort, reveling in the beauty of your choice. This hotel has plenty of Ottoman history, and if you check out room 105, you’ll find a replica of the shirt worn by none other than Suleyman the Magnificent himself.
Located on the Asian side of the city, you’ll find this extremely luxurious hotel. It may be small, but it will pamper you like nowhere else! The hotel has a private ferry that takes you over to Kabatas on the European side, so you won’t have to worry about battling the crowds when you want to venture out for the day.
This extremely sophisticated hotel is located close to the Grand Bazaar, and despite the historic surroundings, this place is modern and stylish to the core. It’s the ideal place to rest your head (and feet) at the end of a long day of sightseeing and offers everything you could possibly need for total romance.
Hotel Empress Zoe
Imagine waking up, opening the curtains, and being able to see the beautiful Blue Mosque. That’s what you get at Hotel Empress Zoe. This is one of the most stylish hotels in the city, and the Penthouse Suite is a must-do if you have the cash and want to splurge on your loved one. If not, several smaller suites offer just as much luxury.
Rixos Pera Istanbul
With amazing views of Galata Tower, this hotel is the ideal spot for a honeymoon or simply a romantic break for two. Choose from standard rooms or suites, all dripping in sophistication and amenities. There is also a fantastic restaurant on-site if you don’t want to leave the hotel or wish for room service instead!
Four Seasons Bosphorus
Located between Besiktas and Ortakoy, this hotel is ideal for couples who want to walk and explore arm-in-arm. The Bosphorus views are amazing, and when the hotel is all decorated with Christmas/New Year lights, it sparkles from the roadside.
Now you can see just how romantic Istanbul can be, but don’t forget to try plenty of local food to fill your bellies for extra romance to come!