A lot of people are fleeing the city during Ramadan for week-long getaways to the beach, to exotic locations, or for visits to friends and family in faraway or not-so-faraway lands. For those of you who are staying in Istanbul, there are still lots of things to do during your time off. Here are a few suggestions:
Saturday, August 18: Go to Kapalı Çarşı (the Grand Bazaar) and Mısır Çarşısı (the Egyptian or Spice Bazaar) for a day-long shopping spree. Make sure you check out our shopping guides for both bazaars. End the day with a delicious dinner at Hamdi (only about 100 meters away from the entrance of the Egyptian Bazaar). Keep in mind that both bazaars will be closed from Sunday through Wednesday; so if you can’t make it there on Saturday, wait until Thursday.
Sunday, August 19: Head to Büyükada to relax and unwind. This is also a great option for families with kids. You can ride donkeys, tour the island on a horse-drawn carriage, climb up to the monastery of Aya Yorgi, or rent a bike. For more detailed info on Büyükada, click here.
Monday, August 20: Just because you’re not at a beach town doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sun and the sea (or the pool). Grab your iPod, a picnic bag, and your favorite beach read, and take your pick from our article on Istanbul’s Best Beaches and Pools. (Note: All beaches and pools in the article confirmed that they are open during Ramadan.)
Tuesday, August 21: Head to the Black Sea Region, where the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea merge, for fantastic views that you can’t see anywhere else in the city. Have some fresh fish and enjoy the sea breeze. For detailed information on how to get there and where to eat, click here.
This article was updated on 17 August, 2012.