Every visitor to Istanbul wants to and should take a Bosphorus cruise on the 32 km (20-mile)-long strait which joins the Sea of Marmara to the south with the Black Sea to the north of Istanbul .Numerous tour companies operate their own Bosphorus cruise vessels offering half-day, full-day, evening, dinner, moonlight, or Istanbul-by-night cruises, usually with a meal and sightseeing commentary included.
Every week in Istanbul more than 200 markets (pazar) are set. This is an old tradition that comes from the Ottoman times. Markets in Turkey offer more than fruit and vegetables. You can find almost anything in the markets mentioned in this article. Textiles have a great hand in the popularity of Istanbul's markets. Even celebrities and high-society members are spotted while shopping at markets. The grand markets like Spice Baazar and Grand Baazar will offer you good taste, smell and sight as well.
The Turkish water pipe or nargile (sometimes also called a hookah or hubble-bubble) has been around for centuries. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an instrument to smoke hashish or any other drug. The only products used are different flavors of (Turkish) tobacco. Coals are kept above to supply heat to the pipe. You can enjoy smoking in group or in person as well. Pipes are available in different wonderful sizes across the city. Its a 500 year smoking tradition. It's just a great way to slow life down and relax.
You can witness a wonderful Sufi dance performance here. Being quite spiritual in nature and symbolic in meaning, the dance is divided into parts. Dancers keep their right hand raised upwards symbolizing prayer to God and left hand downwards to establish link with the world. Twelve dancers along with twelve musicians start the performance. Dancers wear white gowns with full skirts, black cloaks and long brown caps symbolizing different spiritual and religious concerns. The best place to witness the Whirling Dervishes is of course in Konya, where the Mevlevi order (tarikat) was founded in the 13th century. But also in Istanbul, you have plenty of opportunities to see the Dervishes whirl. And because of the many choices, visitors often ask me: "What is the best place to watch a Whirling Dervishes performance, and what is it really all about?"
This royal bathing place of Turkey is something very uncommon by its nature. It is a symbol of traditional Turkish culture. It is a combination of Arab and Roman culture. Central Asian concepts of steam bathing, cleansing and rituals were reflected in this special bathing system. In recent years, historic Istanbul hamams have been restored and their infrastructure modernized to provide a superb hamam experience, to visitors.