Istanbul Travel Guide
Guide Istanbul, About Istanbul City
What can be said about Istanbul?
Istanbul, Charming, Stunning, Dazzling; It is the capital of three great civilizations. You will fall in love with Istanbul.
Istanbul is not only the most important city in terms of cultural and historical riches in Turkey. It is also the most important cultural and historical city in the world. Because it is a city that has been the capital of all religions and 3 empires (Rome, Byzantum, Ottoman). Geographically, being a bridge between Asia and Europe brings together East and West culture.
As you stroll through the streets of Istanbul, you will see the traces of a different civilization in every corner. You will see Rome, Byzantium and Ottoman traces.
Historical Places in Istanbul
There are too many historical places in Istanbul. Many historical places dating back to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods have been preserved today. Most popular historical places in Istanbul:
- Hagia Sophia
- Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
- Topkapi palace
- Grand Bazaar (Grand Covered Bazaar)
- Galata tower
- Basilica Cistern
- Dolmabahce Palace
- Rumeli Fortress
- Maiden’s Tower
- The Beylerbeyi Palace
1. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is one of the most important monuments in the historical peninsula of Istanbul. Built in the Byzantine period as a church and then as a cathedral, the Hagia Sophia is one of the masterpieces of the architectural world with its magnificent design. The building was converted into a mosque in the Ottoman period and has been serving as a museum since 1934.
2. Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
One of Istanbul’s most remarkable buildings, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque is known as the Blue Mosque in the world due to the Iznik tiles. Located near Hagia Sophia, the mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed I in the 17th century. Sultan Ahmet Mosque, designed by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, student of Mimar Sinan, is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world with its colorful tiles, magnificent dome and magnificent structure.
3. Topkapi palace
Topkapi Palace, one of the most important buildings dating from the Ottoman Empire, is located in the Sarayburnu district of Istanbul. The palace, which was used as administrative center for 400 years in the Ottoman Empire, was built in 1478 by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. In the palace where the personal belongings of the sultans who spent time in the palace were displayed during the Ottoman Period. Muhammed’s cardigan, beard, footprints, Hz. Abraham’s pot, Hz. Moses’ wand, the Prophet. David’s sword, Hz. The Holy Relics Department, where important relics such as Yusuf’s robes, were found, attracted great attention.
4. Grand Bazaar (Grand Covered Bazaar)
The Grand Bazaar, one of the most touristic places in Istanbul, is one of the first shopping centers in the world. The first section of the bazaar, which is located between Beyazıt Mosque and Nuru Osmaniye Mosque, was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmed in 1460. Later, the Grand Bazaar, which was gradually expanded, reached almost 4 thousand stores on 65 streets. The market is still one of the most visited places in the world, with a wide variety of products from handmade goods to clothes, food, goods.
5. Galata Tower
The Galata Tower, one of the oldest towers in the world, was built in 528 by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius. The building, which was originally designed as a lighthouse, was used as a shelter in the Ottoman Period and as a fire observation tower. The Bosphorus and the Golden Horn are included in the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in 2013.
6. Basilica Cistern
The most famous cistern in Istanbul, the Basilica Cistern, is located in the southwest of Hagia Sophia. The cistern, built by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I to meet the water needs of the palace in the Byzantine period, spans an area of 9,800 square meters. Yerebatan Cistern, which has a very impressive structure with 100 thousand tons of water storage volume, has been used as a museum since 1987.
7. Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace, one of the most eye-catching buildings of the Bosphorus, is one of the buildings dating from the Ottoman Empire. The palace, which was built by Sultan Abdülmecid in 1839 by the Balyan family, looks at each other with beautiful decorations, unique paintings and unique works. Dolmabahçe Palace, which was used by Atatürk in 1927-1938, has been used as a museum-palace since 1984.
8. Rumeli Fortress
Rumeli Fortress, also known as Bogazkesen Hisari, is located in Sarıyer district of İstanbul. The fortress built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prevent attacks from the north of the Bosphorus, covers an area of 30 acres. Rumeli Fortress, which has reached its present state in its unspoilt state, is now being used as a museum and as an open-air theater.
9. Maiden’s Tower
The Maiden’s Tower, one of Istanbul’s oldest buildings, is located off the coast of Salacak Coast of Üsküdar. The building which was built in the ancient Roman period as the first building defense area was used for different purposes in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. With its 360 degree panoramic Istanbul view and its architecture that defies its years, the Maiden’s Tower has been serving as a museum-restaurant since 1995.
10. The Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace, located in the Beylerbeyi district of Üsküdar, was built by Sultan Abdülaziz into a grove in the Byzantine period, known as the Istavroz Gardens. The structure, designed by Balyan Family in 1861-1865, consists of six large halls, 24 rooms, 1 bath and 1 bathroom. Beylerbeyi Palace, which has an impressive structure with its wooden carving and gold embroidery workmanship, is one of the most spectacular buildings in Istanbul.
Things to do in Istanbul, Top Attractions in Istanbul
There are so many places to see in Istanbul, there is a lot to do. It’s not posiable to exploring Istanbul for a few days, a few weeks or months. This is list of the possible and essential places for tourists who come to visit Istanbul in a short time.
1. The first thing you should do is to join Istanbul Bosphorus cruise tour.
The Bosphorus, which is considered to be one of the natural boundaries between Europe and Asia, is also an international waterway. The shores of the Bosphorus have been home to many civilizations throughout history.
During the Istanbul Bosphorus cruise tour; you will have opportunity see Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Savarona Yacht, Rumeli Fortress, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Anatolian Fortress, Kuleli Military High School, Beylerbeyi Palace, Maiden Tower are all with their beauties.
Top Landmarks in Istanbul Bosphorus are Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Ortakoy, Bosphorus Bridge, Beylerbeyi Palace, Anatolian Fortress and Rumeli Fortress. You can reach more detailed information with the interactive map of Istanbul Bosphorus Strait.
2. Join guided tour of Istanbul Ottoman and Byzantine Historical places.
You will follow the traces of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires in Istanbul. Have opportunity to visit all the historic sites of Byzantine and Ottoman Empire.
Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Little Hagia Sophia Mosque are the most popular historical places.
Top Landmarks around Sultanahmet, Istanbul are The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Istanbul Archaeology Museums, Basilica Cistern, Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, Spice Market and Suleymaniye Mosque. You can reach more detailed information with the interactive map of Istanbul, Sultanahmet.
3. Join Bosphorus Cruise Istanbul and Dolmabahce Palace Tour
See the Dolmabahce Palace, the last residence of the Ottoman emperors. Take a cruise of the Istanbul Bosphorus and watch magnificent historical artifacts and lodges along the Asian and European coasts.
Also enjoy the excellent ambience of the Istanbul Bosphorus Europe and Asia costs while having lunch or dinner on the boat.
4. Join Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show
The Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise with Turkish Night Show is a very popular journey where you can enjoy an unforgettable dinner, wine and entertainment. Make the best of a night in Istanbul with a sparkling dinner on the Bosphorus Strait. During the tour you will have the chance to see the Turkish culture. Belly dance, Anatolian traditional folk dance, unique tastes of Turkish cuisine is some of them.
5. Historical monuments in Sultanahmet (Hippodrome)
All domestic and foreign visitors who come to visit Istanbul start their journey to Sultanahmet first. Historical sites such as Hagia Sophia Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace are located in this region.
Historical places are so close to each other that you will not need any vehicles while walking in Sultanahmet. Sultanahmet offers exquisite frames for those who want to take pictures in Istanbul.
6. Shopping at the Covered Bazaar (Grand Bazaar)
The Grand Bazaar, with its 67 streets and more than 3000 shops, is the last representative of traditional shopping style.
You can buy Carpets, Leather, Turkish Textiles and Goods, Antiques, Ceramics, Evil Eye, Souvenirs in Grand bazaar.
7. Visiting the Egyptian Bazaar in Eminönü
The Egyptian Bazaar (Spice Bazaar), is also one of the most popular covered bazaars in Istanbul where visitors may find variety of quality spices.
Although the New mosque is the most remarkable historical monument with its magnificence and location, a jewel is hidden in the side streets. Do not leave this region without seeing the small but very precious Rustem Pasha Mosque, which is decorated with the finest examples of Iznik Tiles.
Must do in Istanbul, discover the best top things to do in Istanbul
These are all the things to do in Istanbul to make the most of your travel. If there is one city that can truly claim the title of being the gateway to both Europe and Asia, it’s Istanbul.
So you’re travelling to Istanbul and you have no idea where to begin. That’s understandable, it has so much to offer in terms of mosques, markets, museums and foreign culinary delights!
Here are things must do in Istanbul to get your travel planning started.
1. Take tour to historical places of Istanbul, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, Sultanahmet (Hippodrome), Hagia Sophia and Archeology Museum are the must-see places in Istanbul.
2. Visit the Maiden’s Tower in the middle of the sea and drink coffee with the perfect view of Istanbul.
3. Take a boat cruise to Prince Islands; Buyukada, Heybeli, Burgaz and Kinaliada these islands known as the Prince Islands.
4. Drink a tea at the top of Pierre Loti hill, climb to hill by cable car and watch the fantastic view of Golden Horn.
5. Visit Galata Tower; Exploring Istanbul is a great experience but to see it from up high is something completely different.
6. Take a Istanbul Bosphorus cruise tour you will have opportunity see Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Ciragan Palace, Bosphorus Bridge, Savarona Yacht, Rumeli Fortress, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, Anatolian Fortress, Kuleli Military High School, Beylerbeyi Palace, Maiden Tower.
7. Don’t miss to join Turkish Night Show Istanbul Bosphorus Dinner Cruise, Bosphorus cruise with dinner, unlimitted drinks and a great Turkish night show performed by a professional dance team including belly dance and much more.
8. Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise Open Buffet Lunch on the Boat, lunch on the Istanbul bosphorus by the boat and sightseeing cruise in between Asia and Europe. To have opportunities taste Turkish cuisine.
9. Go to a whirling dervish show, Turkey is home to the Mevlevi Order of Sufi whirling dervishes.
10. Listen to the call of prayer between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
11. Visit the Chora Church. The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora may not be the largest of the Byzantine churches, but it’s certainly known for being one of the most beautiful.