Istanbul Top Muslim Friendly Destination

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Istanbul is a Muslim-friendly destination with mosques to pray and halal food options. Istanbul is a city that increases in popularity for Muslim tourists all around the world. As a Muslim traveler you are pretty flexible about whether to pray in a mosque during your travel, I, however, like to visit different mosques because it is also a great way to meet and talk to the locals.

People who know me, know my love and passion for travel and explore new places. Every journey has enabled me to always look forward and never look back. This has ensured me to open new doors through my life journey.

Traveling is a life-changing experience; it changed my perspective and introduced me to a whole new world. A world of learning new things, new places, new people and most importantly learning about myself.

One of my favorite places that I love to visit is Istanbul.

It is an enormous city that straddles two continents, with a long and colorful history. Especially the historic buildings of Byzantine and Ottoman Empires are fascinating. Istanbul is also a melting pot of cultures and all these influences affect Turkish cuisine in a way that will satisfy your taste buds.

In this blog post, I have compiled a list of the top Istanbul landmarks you can’t miss and also added some tips on Halal food.

Here is some recommendation on Halal food you need to prioritize eating when visiting Istanbul.

Simit: Similar to a bagel or pretzel, round bread covered with sesame seeds is one of the most popular street food snacks. You can find it almost in every corner of the city.

Köfte: Turkish meatballs made from lamb, beef or combination of both types with spices.

Döner: Made of mostly lamb or chicken meat cooked in a vertical rotisserie.

Balik Ekmek: Fish sandwich, with grilled fish or filet and vegetables into a piece of bread. Under the Galata Bridge, you can find many fish boats to enjoy fish-bread (That what locals call it). Just sit and enjoy the view of the Galata Tower while biting on your fish-bread.

Kumpir: A baken potato, sliced in half and filled with mix toppings like olives, cheese, pickles, corn, and many other delicious stuff. You choose the fillings, so feel free to go crazy.

Manti: Dumpling stuffed with lamb or beef meat and topped with yogurt sauce and garlic, a true epic combination. Although it is already halal, there are also vegetarian options.


Also described as ‘Turkish pizza’, made up with a thin piece of dough, topped with minced meat, spices, and vegetables. Lahmacun is popular street food and is consumed by rolling it up (add some Italian parsley and lemon juice in the roll and let the magic happen).

Well, don’t forget the ubiquitous black tea, strong and tasty Turkish coffee and the savory yogurt-based salt drink called ayran.

The most famous dessert is baklava, very thin layers of dough stacked on top of each other and coated in sugar syrup. A treat for sweet lovers.

Another must-do in Istanbul is to have a Turkish breakfast on the coastline of the Bosphorus with a spectacular view. The basic elements of a Turkish breakfast are a well-prepared tea, white bread, white cheese, old cheese, black and/or green olives, butter, various types of jams, an omelet or boiled eggs, sliced tomatoes, and cucumbers. For the ones who like to spice it up, another Turkish breakfast favorite is sucuk cooked on a pan with eggs. Sucuk is a dried sausage made of ground beef with garlic and a variety of spices. It is spicy and fatty, but it is brilliantly delicious!

Now let’s talk about the top landmarks to visit in Istanbul.

Blue Mosque

With a blend of Islamic and Byzantine Christian features, this mosque has six minarets, five large domes and ornate staid glass with stunning tile work. This gorgeous mosque whit its spectacular architecture and interesting history is one of the must-sees in Istanbul. It is one of the most visited religious buildings in Turkey.

Topkapi Palace

Another must-see is the Topkapi Palace, the home of generations of sultans and their wives of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and 19th centuries. The palace is divided into four courtyards, a treasury and the Harem (living quarters). With traces of years of history and priceless treasures, it gives you a fascinating glimpse into the lives of Turkish royal history.

The Grand Bazaar

One of the oldest and largest covered markets around the globe is the Grand Bazaar. Colorful lanterns hang outside the stores, many beautiful garments are spread and also souvenirs, tea sets, jewelry, scented soaps, traditional sweets, aromatic spices, and much more stuff are available. A great place if you love to shop!

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia was originally built as an Orthodox Cathedral. It was later converted into a Catholic Cathedral and then an Ottoman mosque, serving as the city’s main mosque for many years. Each religion has left its mark in this amazing architecture. You can visit the Hagia Sophia today as a museum.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower was built in 1348 and is visible from far and wide, as it is a prominent feature on the Istanbul skyline. You can get a birds-eye view of everything from the balcony of the Galata Tower in Beyoglu, the modern part of old Istanbul.

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is the biggest ancient subterranean cistern beneath Istanbul’s teeming streets. It was constructed during the 6th century to provide water for the city’s palace and other important buildings. Follow the walkways around the underground complex and feel the slightly spooky atmosphere.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

This Ottoman palace was built in 1524 and is recently renovated. This museum has a magnificent collection of artifacts like calligraphy and impressive antique carpet collections.

And of course, there are many other landmarks to see in Istanbul that I have not mentioned here. Experience this mesmerizing city at your own pace. Don’t rush as there is a hidden gem in every corner.

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