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    Top 5...Free things to do in Istanbul

    Need to have a short break but don't want to spend a fortune? With low cost airlines now flying to Istanbul, cheap car hire and help from our city guide of free activities you can make your way through the streets of Istanbul!Admire the Blue MosqueThe Sultanahmet Mosque, more famously known as the 'Blue' Mosque for its interior blue tiles was accredited by Sultan Ahmet I and built in the early 17th century. It is one of the last of Istanbul's Mosques created in the classical Ottoman style. It provoked controversy for possessing six minarets—a visual of wealth and power previously arranged for the Prophet's mosque—but today the site presents a great insight of Istanbul's history. Walk the city wallsCreated during the reign of Theodosius II (408-450), the walls of Constantinople are the largest Byzantine structure that remains in modern Istanbul. The walls encircle the old city in a great arc, expanding 7 kms (4miles) from the Golden Horn to the Sea of Marmara. The walls contain inner and outer ramparts with a terrace in between. Enjoy the park lifeTheYildiz Park is one the largest park in Istanbul, once reserved for palace residents in the time of Abdulhamid II. It offers great views of the Bosporus and outdoor fitness areas with exercise machines to use free of charge. The vegetation of the park includes magnolia, bay leaves, Judas trees and horse-chestnuts.There are two man-made lakes. Explore a free museumThe Museum of Painting and Sculpture supports works of 19th- and 20th-century Turkish artists. It was built by the order of Ataturk in 1937, the museum displays art work from several famous Turkish artists as Osman Hamdi Bey, Bedri Rahmi, and Seker Ahmet Pasa alongside works from international artists like Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on Sundays and Mondays when it is closed.Window shop at Istanbul's BazaarsThe Grand Bazzar has more than 4,000 shops of items at Istanbul's. It is considered one of the world's largest and oldest covered markets. The Egyptian Spice Bazaar, located near the banks of the Golden Horn, has a huge varieaty of exotic herbs, nuts and, of course, spices on offer. For those who prefer a less touristy experience, go to the Asian side of this continent-straddling city to the daily market at Kadiköy. There is also second-hand bookstores at nearby Bahariye Caddesi. If you have time you can pick up a cheap car hire in Istanbul and take day trips to the attractions of the surrounding areas. For instance, you can visit Kilyos a small town that has a dozen beautiful beaches!We hope our ideas help you on your trip to Istanbul. Please let us know your experiences when you are back!

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