Places to visit in ISTANBUL - The City that connects Asia and Europe
Istanbul has a long and fascinating history. It was first was ruled by Mycenae (1400 BC), then followed by the Frigians and Chalcedons. These societies left Many precious relics in the city that you must see when you come here.
Let’s start with the Hagia Sophia Museum
The Hagia Sophia was originally built as a church by Constantinus the 1st. It was later rebuilt by Emperor Theodosius and again by Emperor Justinianus (527-565). It was later converted into a mosque and is currently a museum. You will be able to observe within it's heritage of both Church and Mosque. Is located in old city part of Istanbul.
This palace is also located in the Old City part of Istanbul. Many Ottoman Sultans lived within these palace walls. You will see the Harem Section, the Treasure Room, the weapon collection, the kitchen and Porcelain Collection, the Sultan’s Clothes, the Sacred Custodies, and many other fascinating rooms.
The Blue mosque is located in the Old City peninsula. It is one of the most famous mosques in Istanbul. It is known for the beautiful blue tiles which adorn the interior of the mosque. It was built by Mimar Mehmet Aga between 1606 and 1616. It was the first mosque to have six Minarets.
Hippodrome –At Meydany
The area that was once home to the massive Hippodrome is next to Blue Mosque. It was used during the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires as a place of Politics and athletic entertainment. It was the scene of many games and riots. It was known as the "At Meydani" (Horse Grounds) during the Ottoman Empire period. Here you can see the German Fountain, the Theodosius Obelisk, The Serpent Column, and Masony Obelisk.
The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
The museum is located next to Hippodrome area. It is the First Turkish Museum to exhibit Turkish and Islamic works of art. IThe building was first was built as a palace for Ibrahim Pasha in the 16th century and now is open to visitors.
Basilica Cistern and Binbirdirek Cistern
These two cisterns are the largest water cisterns in the city. The Basilica Cistern is much more popular and more gorgeous than the Binbirdirek Cistern. You can visit the Basilica Cistern everyday. It is located in the Sultanahmet area next to Hagia Sophia. Binbirdirek Cistern is located near the Hippodrome, behind the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
Spice Bazaar-Egyptian Bazaar
This Bazaar is the second largest bazaar in Istanbul. It is located in Eminonu. Due to the fabulous array of spices within it, tourists refer to it as the Spice Bazaar.
The best way to see the Bosphorus is to take a boat cruise. You will have a unique view of the city as you cruise between the two bridges connecting the European and Asian sides of the city. Cruises run during both the day and night, both offering charming views of the city.
Golden Horn -Haliç
The Golden Horn received it's name because the Bosphorus inlet created a land mass that resembled the shape of a horn. It is said to be golden because of the way the light reflects off of the water as the sun sets.
This Church is located in the Golden Horn area and is famous for its marvellous frescos.
The Eyup Mosque is located near the Golden Horn Area, outside the City Walls. Many Muslims come here to pray because some of the belongings of Prophet Mohammed rest here.
The City Walls
These walls were built by Constantine the Great to protect the city against attacks from the land and sea.
Rahmi Koc Museum
This museum is located on the shore of Golden Horn. It is a nice place for children to visit. Here you can see many antique Cars, Motorbikes, Trams, Communication Tools, Ships, etc.
Fener Greek Ortodox Patriarchy
This church is located at Balat, near the Golden Horn, and is the main Orthodox Christian church in Istanbul.
If you would like to see an array of famous Turkish sites all in one day, this is a good place to visit. It is at the end of Golden Horn area and features the many monuments of Turkey in miniature form. It is a favourite place for children.
Beyoglu and Taksim
Beyoglu and Taksim are known as the new parts of the city. You can find many opportunities for shopping in modern boutiques, malls, and unique stores on Istiklal Street, as well as the chance to use the Nostalgic Tram. Along this street you can also see St. Antuan Church, the Ataturk Cultural Centre, the Flower Passage, the Galatasaray School Gate, and the Galatasaray Turkish Bath, as well as much more. You can also visit the Galata Tower which is located in Beyoglu.
This Palace is located in the Besiktas Area. The palace complex has 16 sections and was finished in 1856. Here you will see a great deal of gold and Crystal as well as the prosperous Ottoman style.
This palace is located on the Asian Side under the Bosphorus Bridge and was built by Sultan Abdulaziz between 1830 and 1876 as a summer mansion. Beylerbeyi palace hosted many Foreign dignitaries as well as foreign royalty. From the Bosphorus, you can see the gorgeous architecture of the palace.
This Palace is between Besiktas and Ortakoy. It can be seen from the Bosphorus and was built in 1871. Now it is used as a Luxury Hotel and is one of the most expensive hotels in Turkey. The rooms are adorned with handmade, unique carpets, gilt furniture, and crystal lustres.
There are 5 Islands of the coast of Istanbul. These are Kinali Island, Burgaz Island, Heybeli Island, Big Island (the Prince’s Island), and Sedef Island. All of the islands can be visited. The most popular is the Big Island – Prince’s Island. You can travel the islands by walking, cycling, or by Horse-drawn Carriage. You cannot travel by car because cars are forbidden on the islands. On the Big Island you will see many examples of Yali ( Ottoman Houses). You can reach the islands by ferry, sea taxi, or private boats.
Asian Side and Kadikoy area
As you know, Istanbul is a unique city that functions as a bridge between Asia and Europe. You can travel from side to side via the Bosphorus Bridge or Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in a car, taxi, or bus, or use a ferry. It is generally quicker to travel by boat because it allows you to avoid the traffic that can build up on the bridges.
The Kadikoy area is a famous for its shopping, restaurants, bars, cinemas, cafes, and bookshops. It is also known as the oldest section on the Asian Side and dates from 5500-3500 BC.
Leander’s- Maiden's Tower
This tower is located on an islet in front of the Uskudar area. It was first used as a Watchtower during the Byzantine era and then was used as a lighthouse. It is now home to a lovely restaurant and is frequented by tourists.
You can see this fortress very well from the Bosphorus. It is a popular destination for tourists. It is located on the narrowest part of the Bosphorus and was built by Sultan Mehmet II to control the circulation on the Bosphorus before he conquered Constantinople. The most interesting fact about the huge fortress is that it was built in just 4 Months and 16 Days.
The most popular part of Istanbul is the Old city Peninsula, which is surrounded by the Golden Horn, Bosphorus River, and the Marmara Sea. For thousands of years this area of the city was occupied by many famous conquerors. This is the first stop for tourists who come to the city to understand the history of this marvelous part of the world. This is the heart of Istanbul, and you will see the remains of many civilizations.