05-11-2022 - Tips & Guides

Top Lebanese Things to Do in Istanbul: What to do, where you eat, what to see

Istanbul is magnificent with its deep history and cosmopolitan culture. The city has a colourful and vibrant identity which is composed of various cultures of the world. Lebanese culture is one of them. A rising number of Lebanese restaurants and cafes shows the common points between the two cuisines; the popularity of Turkish TV shows in Lebanon is proof of a common culture. 

Turkish-Lebanese relations are firm with many agreements including visa-free entry for citizens of the two countries. So you have every reason to come and see beautiful Istanbul. 

If you are in Istanbul from Lebanon, then this article is especially for you. But first, check out İstanbul Tourist Pass which gives you access to the best 75+ attractions, guided tours, and local services for FREE. With more than 20 years of experience in tourism, we designed this pass for your needs and wishes: an easy-to-use entirely digital pass, informative guides, reliable company and great customer service. 

Let’s have a look at the best places to go, top restaurants to eat and amazing things to buy! 

 

Astonishingly Beautiful and Mysterious 

 

Visit historical places

Spare a day to see amazing historical places; museums, mosques and landmarks in Istanbul. Here are the top must-see places: Hagia Sophia Mosque, Blue Mosque, Byzantine Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace. You are lucky because they are all in the same neighbourhood, Sultanahmet, so you can get to all these places on foot. 

Plan your day and start early, there are many things to see. Istanbul Tourist Pass has great tour guides for you to experience history. Here see the timetables of guided tours. You’ll be amazed by the beauty of these places, don’t miss it. Especially don’t miss the Harem of Topkapi Palace Museum, you can ask our guides to direct you. 

 

Have a Royal Afternoon Tea Experience

 

Çırağan Palace Kempinski Gazebo Lounge

We know the Lebanese people tend to luxury, comfort and beauty. They love elegance, charming nature and the quality of high-end and peaceful life. So this is a perfect Suggestion for you. 

The Cıragan Palace is now a five-star luxury hotel in the Kempinski group. It has various restaurants in it, but tea time always has a special place. Iconic Çırağan Palace Kempinski Istanbul's famous Afternoon Tea is served every day from 15.00 to 17.00 on a special stand, featuring classic finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jams, a wide variety of pastries, along with tea, coffee options or a glass of prosecco; best enjoyed while taking in the stunning view. By November 2022, the Afternoon tea is served at 780 TL per person.

 

A Dreamy Shopping Experience

 

The Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar has a living history with over 4000 shops; still open and still amazingly beautiful. The Grand Bazaar is a must-see in Istanbul where you will not only witness its history but also buy amazing souvenirs to take home. Here we have a list of the most popular souvenirs we picked for you. 

Authentic carpets, amazing diamonds, handmade gold and silver jewellery, silk scarves, and many more… The Grand Bazaar was built between the years of 1455 and 1560, is Istanbul’s oldest covered market and has been fully operational ever since. While walking and shopping around Grand Bazaar you may miss a lot unless you are with a knowledgeable guide with you.

For that reason, we have the best tourist guides with us!  Check out our Guided Tours Timetable and plan your trip. Don’t forget to take photos and share them with us! Here is our Instagram

 

Enjoy a Dinner at a 2 Michelin Starred Restaurant

 

TURK Fatih Tutak 

Chef Fatih Tutak's TURK Fatih Tutak restaurant is located in the Şişli district, on the European side of Istanbul. The venue offers traditional Turkish recipes cleverly reinterpreted into a fine-dining experience.

As the first two-starred Michelin Guide Restaurant in Istanbul, in TURK, there is careful attention to detail in the food preparations. These culinary preparations are genuine and precise, and more importantly, they express the chef's passion for his region and his roots. Chef carefully chooses fresh ingredients from local farms by himself.

Try their famous mantı when you get there. This plate is a tribute to the chef’s mother. Every day the menu is changed and announced on their website. So check the menu and make a reservation before you go. If you can’t find a table there, check out other Michelin Starred restaurants in Istanbul here

 

Taste famous foods of Instagram: CZN Burak and Nusr-et

 

Nusr-et

Let the feast begin! Nusr-Et is an internationally acclaimed destination, serving celebrity clientele. Its globally praised unique concept combines an innovative menu with impeccable service and great fun.

World-famous Turkish chef, aka the Salt Bea, Nusret has opened many restaurants in Istanbul with various concepts but you should visit the very first Nusr-et Etiler. If you are a meat-lover then you will love the place. They serve various meat plates, hamburgers and selected drinks. Don't forget to make a reservation beforehand and take some photos while putting some salt onto your plate! Use the #loveistanbul hashtag so we can also share your experience! 

 

CZN Burak

The famous Chef CZN Burak is known for his massively huge dishes like gigantic hamburgers. In a very short time; CZN Burak’s restaurants like Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrasi have become irrevocable flavour stops for statesmen, politicians, famous artists, actors and famous athletes who come to Istanbul. For this reason, CZN's name started to be referred to as the ‘Restaurant of Celebrities” in the media. 

Although there are different brands under CZN Burak’s name, we recommend you to go to Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrası which has branches in Aksaray, Etiler and Taxim. You will get full and have so much fun for sure. 

 

Shopping Day in a Huge Shopping Mall with Luxury Brands

 

Galataport

Istanbul is a great destination for shopping. Galataport İstanbul is a newcomer to this spirited atmosphere and it is highly welcomed by both locals and tourists. Aside from its shopping centre identity, İstanbul Galataport is also an awarded cruise port with various restaurants & bars. It is at the heart of Istanbul and very close to the historical peninsula, so you must visit this open-air shopping mall for sure. 

There are many stores of high-end luxury brands, great restaurants, designer shops and a great view. Don’t miss it. 

 

Amazing Trip to the First Capital of the Ottomans

 

Bursa Day Trip with Historic Market & Outlet Shopping

Take a break from the crowded streets of Istanbul with a day trip to the city of Bursa! After a convenient hotel pick-up, scenic drive and ferry trip, you'll arrive in Bursa. Our guide will take you to see all the main sights including the Grand Mosque, the Green Tomb and its famous Iznik tiles, a 600-year-old tree, and the Bursa Silk Market. There are many delicious treats you might like to buy too such as freshly made Turkish Delight, jams and honey. 

Next, take the chair lift up to the famous Uludağ Mountain and enjoy the view. Uludağ Mountain is 2,543 metres high and is a very popular place for winter sports in Turkey. If the cable car is closed due to bad weather, you'll be driven to our lunch spot in our tour vehicle. Lunch will be served at a restaurant 800 metres up the mountain! If the weather is fine, you'll have some free time to explore the beautiful National Park as well. In the late evening, you'll be returned to your hotel in Istanbul with many wonderful memories of Bursa!

This amazing trip is FREE with Istanbul Tourist Pass along with other 75+ FREE attractions. Don’t miss the chance to see the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, buy your Pass today

 

BONUS: the best Lebanese Restaurant in Istanbul

 

Arada Karakoy

Here is an amazing Lebanese restaurant with some Turkish flavour. Their rich and colourful breakfasts, delicious authentic Lebanese appetizers, tasty falafel, manakeesh and Lebanese grills in a family atmosphere. So if you feel homesick or you want to see a Lebanese restaurant in Istanbul, you must stop by Karakoy.


FAQ


Is Istanbul worth visiting?

Yes, Istanbul is worth visiting and when you visit you will be amazed by its rich culture, diversity and amazing beauty. Don’t be late, don’t delay; plan your trip today. We are here to help. 

Is Istanbul close to Lebanon?

Yes, it takes only a 1-and-a-half-hour flight by plane. There are many flights between Turkey and Lebanon.

Can Lebanese go to Turkey without a visa?

Yes, Lebanese can go to Turkey without a visa. Turkey and Lebanon have an agreement on visa-free entry of citizens of the two countries. 

Is 3 days enough to see Istanbul?

Yes and no. If you have only 3 days in Istanbul, you can have most of the tourist attractions with the Istanbul Tourist Pass. But otherwise, a lifetime is not enough to see every amazing part of İstanbul for sure.

What should we do in Istanbul?

Here are 75+ attractions, guided tours and services for you. All of them are FREE with one single digital pass. 

Is Lebanon cheaper than Turkey?

By 2022, Turkey is relatively cheaper than Lebanon so Lebanese people can enjoy most of Istanbul for less. If you are looking for extra deals, here is the Istanbul Tourist Pass 

Is there a ferry from Turkey to Lebanon?

Yes, from Tripoli Lebanon to Mersin Turkey there are ferry services. 

How far is Lebanon from Istanbul by plane?

The flight distance from Beirut to Istanbul (Beirut–Rafic Hariri International Airport – Istanbul Airport) is around 1018 kilometres.  The flight time is around 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Do I need a visa to Turkey from Lebanon?

No, you don't need a visa to go to Turkey if you are a Lebanese citizen.  Lebanese can go to Turkey without a visa. Turkey and Lebanon have an agreement on visa-free entry of citizens of the two countries.

Are Turkey and Lebanon friends?

Yes, more than friends. Turkey and Lebanon have a shared history and many common cultural points. 

How long is the flight from Lebanon to Turkey?

It is around 2 hours but to be exact it is 1 hour and 40 minutes in normal conditions. 

How far is Beirut from Istanbul by plane?

It is only a 1 hour and 40 minutes flight from Beirut to Istanbul. 

How much does it take from Lebanon to Turkey?

There are many flights between Lebanon and Turkey so you need to check the airline company websites to see the fares. But is generally cheaper to go somewhere in Europe. Without a visa, coming to Istanbul is the best decision. 

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