Istanbul is known one of the world’s great metropolises which has retained its glory as the heart of empire. It is the most populous city in Turkey and ranks the largest European city. There are lots of tourist attractions located near the old city district of Sultanahmet. Tourists also explore the sights like Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya, Grand Bazaar and Topkap Palace in Istanbul. It experiences humid subtropical climate with warm, dry and humid summer and cold winters. Istanbul’s local public transportation system have a complex network which is managed by metro lines, buses, ferries, trams etc.

HAGIA SOPHIA

Known as a great architectural beauty, Hagia Sophia is a monument with galleries and great marble piers. Initially the monument was used as a Church for 916 years but, later it was converted into mosque for 482 years. Afterwards, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935. Book Hagia Sophia hotel and get the passes that are available at the box office in the museum. Hagia Sophia is open for visit every day.

BLUE MOSQUE

Built between 1609-1616, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is also known as Blue Mosque which has become a popular tourist site in Istanbul. Here, you can see painted blue tiles, adorning the mosque’s interior walls. The Mosque comprises of three gates and a rectangular prayer hall. It also has the unusual feature of having six minarets. Reveal hotels near Blue Mosque Istanbul and organize your visit to the Mosque. It is recommended to remain quiet and not to use flash photography.

SULTANAHMET DISTRICT

Sultanahmet District is the old section of Istanbul, comprising of many attractions including Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. Take a wander around Old Istanbul which keeps you enthralled for days with enough magical atmosphere. It also comprises of number of serviceable restaurants and dozens of good stores in all price ranges. Having history of about 2500 years, Sultanahmet District is one of the most prominent squares of the world.

BASILICA CISTERN

The Basilica Cistern, the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns beneath the city which provides a water filtration system for the nearby buildings. The ceiling is supported by 336 marble columns. Its symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite breathtaking and now become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It remains open every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm. Explore Basilica Cistern and have an experience that should not be missed.

SULTANAHMET SQUARE

Recognized as an old historic quarter of Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Square is something where you will find some of the most significant historic monuments of Istanbul. No doubt, it is an ideal location to start any sightseeing tour of Istanbul. Sultanahmet Square is the best place in Istanbul to shop anything from vendors and hawkers. The site is also used to organize various ceremonies.

TOPKAPI PALACE

Topkapi Palace is a large museum in Istanbul which also served as a main residence of Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years. “Topkapi” means “Gate of Cannons” because of huge cannons displayed outside of its gates. Explore Topkapi Palace hotel and visit exhibition halls that doesn’t contain any furniture. There are surroundings like gardens and squares around the Palace. Here, it always remain security measures were put in place at the Palace entrance.

ORTAKOY

Known as one of the most popular, lively and attractive tourist site, Ortakoy is a renovated old building that is home to many cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, boutiques, shops, baked potato & souvenir shops and artist galleries. Ortakoy is also a popular nightlife and entertainment centers of Istanbul, gathering locals and tourists likewise. Explore the hotels in Ortakoy Istanbul and make your visit a worth see. Buy variety of souvenirs, handicrafts, second hand books, and more items as well.

AYA SOFYA

Source: Flickr Михал Орела

Also known as Hagia Sofya, Aya Sofya is a museum that portrays a great history of architecture of Istanbul. It was converted into a mosque in the 15th century and later into a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is known as one of the world’s prettiest places. Hagia Sophia has a long history. It is now one of the world’s best-known (oldest) historic houses, and visiting Hagia Sofia is undoubtedly one of Istanbul’s most popular things! Its large, transcendent cathedral is breathtaking and can be seen for hours. Considered even today to be an architectural wonder, its walls are decorated with Byzantine mosaics with portraits of the past emperors and depictions of Christ.

HIPPODROME

Source: Flickr Ben

Septimius Severus designed the Hippodrome Square or Constantinople 2000 years ago. Through constitutional and religious conflicts to car races and protests, the ancient Rhine was the core of Byzantine city life.  It is projected that up to 100,000 people could live in the arena of Hippodrome Square. There could be at least eight different games that can be played all day long and it was also used as a prestige emblem for the country. The city centre, including the Serpent Column, was adorned with statues from across the country.

GRAND BAZAAR

Source: Flickr Viaggio nel Mondo

The Grand Bazaar lives up to its name. It is home to more than 4,000 shops spread over 60 streets. Starting with a small vaulted warehouse constructed by the conqueror Mehmet in 1461, the area grew as the lanes between the Bedesten, neighbouring shops and caravanserais had been covered. You can consider Grand Bazaar, if you are searching for a Turkish lantern, candies, cups of tea, clothes, watches, clothing, luggage, or anything else. The bazaar’s carpets, leather, ceramics and jewellery are very famous. In this mess, it is hard to get lost, just try to remember when you came amid.

DOLMABAHCE PALACE

Source: Flickr Isriya Paireepairit

Dolmabahce Palace is one of the world’s most glamorous buildings located in Istanbul.  It was designed between 1842 and 1853. All the Sultans had been staying in Topkapı Palace since Mehmet, who was the Conqueror. In 1984, Dolmabahçe Palace was turned into a museum. This beautiful building is toured every year by thousands of local and foreign tourists. It opens daily, except Mondays on 1 January between 09:00 AM to 16:00 PM. The ticket bureau can be closed If the daily quota of visitors exceeds 3,000 in Dolmabahçe Palace and they reach the quota quickly especially in the tourist season.

CHORA CHURCH

Source: Flickr Planet Korriban

This 1000-year-old church is now a beautiful museum showcasing the decoration of the Greek Orthodox Byzantine-era Church. During the Latin invasion, the Chora church also known as Chora Kirke was destroyed and later it was repaired by Palace Treasury Minister Theodore Metochites in 1313 during Andronicos II’s reign (1282-1328). The Chora’s mosaics and frescoes are the finest examples of Byzantine art from the 14th century. Rotation and plastic principles of figure and their elongation are the signature trendy features of these mosaics and frescoes.

MUSEUM OF TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ARTS

Source: Flickr Patrick

This palace was designed in 1524 by Süleyman for his childhood friend, his brother-in-law and grand vizier. The museum located right next to the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet area. Turkish tapestries, illuminated Qurans, calligraphy, wood sculpted and inlaid, glass, porcelain and stone are shown here. The mixed Turkish and Muslim history can be seen in the Museum of Turkish and Islamic arts as important works from both Islam and Turkish history are preserved. The museum opens for visitors from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM in the summer season from 1 April to 1 October. It’s closed on Mondays.

WHIRLING DERVISHES

Source: Flickr Sudhamshu Hebbar

Everybody knows the image of the whirling dervish, completely covered in white and expertly rotating as if in a transition. Witness Mevlevi’s magical performance, whose whirling dance was deemed a UNESCO world heritage. The Sema ceremony is a journey to the spiritual ascent of men through mind and love to “fulfillment,” truly incredible and amazing experience of music and movements. Dervish, dating back more than 700 years as a member of the Sufism and Mevlevi Order and is more than a visual spectacle.

ISTANBUL MODERN

Source: Flickr Moody Man

The first privately held gallery in Turkey, which holds modern and contemporary art exhibitions, is Istanbul Modern, also named the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art of Istanbul was established in 2004 by Karakoy, which is the first museum of Turkish Modern and contemporary art on the banks of the Bosphorus River. The Istanbul Modern promotes a global vision in which works of contemporary art, portraits, fashion, architecture, new media, films and arts will be gathered, stored, exhibited and registered. This supports the artists to establish foreign collaborations. Istanbul Modern presents art lovers of all ages education programs in order to make art conveniently accessible to the masses.

FATIH MOSQUE

Source: Flickr Francisco Anzola

Situated on the ancient peninsular near Fatih, in 1463, ten years after the Ottoman invasion of Constantinople in 1453, Fatih Mosque is a mosque of Fatih Mosque Complex. The meaning of Fatih Mosque is “Mosque of the Conqueror”. In an earthquake in 1766 CE, the original mosque was virtually destroyed. Later in 1771 CE it was rebuilt by the architect Mimar Mehmet Tahir. Presently, the mosque has a central dome of 26 meters and four semi-Domes support four large marble columns on each axis. On either foot, there are two minarets. It is a 550-year-old monument, which attracts a huge number of people from all around the world.

USKUDAR

Source: Flickr Oz

Üsküdar is on the Asian shores of the Bosphorus, from Besiktas. Üsküdar is renowned because of its stunning coastline, Maiden’s Castle, Camlica Hill, Fethi Pasha Garden, architectural settings like the Mosques of the 16th century, the fountains, etc. The real Istanbulites are generally those living in Üksüdar among all people living in Istanbul. The best things to do in Uskudar are to visit Fethi Pasha’s Grove and the Camlica Hill to enjoy the beautiful, panoramic views of the Bosphorus.

Whenever you visit Istanbul, you must visit these places and make your trip to Istanbul worthy. These places are surely going to make your trip amazing. From knowing the history toshopping, you can do everything when you visit Istanbul.