Something for nothing, or best of free things does not necessarily mean cheap things or things without quality. There are many ways to seize a moment and not pay ridiculous amounts for it.
Day 1 - Istanbul, Fatih
Below you will find a list of things that permit you to enjoy traditional scenes, local people, traditional tastes and smells for nothing in return.
Start with going to Club NuTeras at night. Make sure that you are there early enough to be let in, but not so early that there is no one else on the terrace but you. (If you are the only one on the terrace, there will be no freedom to it, since the waiters will be all around you asking for what you may want to drink. If there is crowd however, you may be able to enjoy the beautiful view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus from this rooftop). In a nutshell, as long as you can have fun without alcohol, the view from the terrace is for you and it will be free...
Next stroll down the Istiklal Avenue for a glimpse of the local people, teenagers, street sellers... As long as you just walk (in and out of back streets, all the way down to the Tunnel and also to Galatasaray, Cukurcuma and Cihangir) all of this is for free.
Once you have discovered the land on foot, discover the sea on foot and stroll along the coasts of Bosphorus.
At any time when you hear the call to prayer coming out of a mosque, take a moment to listen to the deepness of the imam's voice.
Now that you have seen the view, the land, the sea and a scene of the religion; it is now time to smell local tastes spices and also to observe the everyday occurrences in a market place. For this reason you go to the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar. Again as long as you don't buy, the sight and the smells are for free. In fact, at some shops, turkish delights are offered for sampling and tasting for free.
Bebek Kahve is not for free, but the Bebek Park right next to it, is. Go and sit on one of the benches to watch people, dogs, and the sea.
Finally, if you are in Istanbul for Christmas, entrance to St. Antoine is free and thus watching the Christmas parol is free as well.
Tepebaşı Mesrutiyet Caddesi 147-149
tel: 90 212 245 6070
Istiklal Cad., Beyoglu
34437 Istanbul, Turkey
Çırağan Caddesi, Yıldız, İstanbul 34349, Turkey
22 Kalpakçılar Caddesi
34975 Istanbul, Turkey
tel: 90 212 519 1248
Behind the New Mosque in Eminönü
13 Cevdet Pasa Caddesi
tel: +90 212 257 5402