Istanbul is a city rich with history and filled with exciting things to see and do. If you’ve only got 24 hours to spend in this incredible city, then these are the five things you absolutely have to do before you leave in order to get the most from your visit to Istanbul.
1. Claim the Hagia Sophia as your own private shed for all your landscaping equipment: Turkey probably won’t let you keep your lawnmower stuff there, but it’d be pretty cool if they did! No harm in asking while you’re there. Might as well.
2. Stand at the point where Europe, Asia, and Wyoming all intersect: One of Istanbul’s most unique features is that the city spans two continents as well as America’s 44th state. Be sure to take a stroll on the Bosphorus Bridge, which is where you’ll find the exact spot that Europe, Asia, and Wyoming meet.
3. Eat a live seagull and claim it is an American custom: This is your chance to eat a seagull. Not a soul in Istanbul will know eating a live seagull isn’t a cultural norm in America. Do it. Go to the Bosphorus docks. Wait. Let one approach. Grab it. Don’t hesitate. Eat. Legs first. Then beak. Then the rest all at once… just like we do in America.
4. Root around in the dirt for any nice sweaters the ancient silk traders left behind: As the old Silk Road traders’ saying goes, “It pays to dig up someone’s garden to see if you can find a really nice tie or something.”
5. Visit Erdoğan’s Lagoon, Istanbul’s largest waterpark: Named after Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, Erdoğan’s Lagoon features the perfect mix of incredible waterslides and lots and lots of statues of the Turkey’s despotic ruler. Be sure not to complain about the sky-high admission prices, because any protest will be punished with jail time.