Napoleon’s statement, “If the world was a single country, the capital would be Istanbul” is enough to tell us how special Istanbul is. In addition, Gyllius’s words “All cities are mortal, except Istanbul” is again a reflection of the greatness of Istanbul.
Istanbul is a very special city conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet on behalf of the Ottoman State. It is really impossible to describe this city in a single article. Pages of reading can be edited for each neighborhood. However, we’re making it short by adding only the places that should be seen for the first time travelers. Coming articles in the blog will introduce Istanbul to you in a much more detailed way.
Places to Visit in Istanbul
Istanbul boasts magnificent natural beauties, minarets to the sky, gilded domes, palaces, mansions, museums, parks and gardens, monuments, towers, culture and much more. Places to visit in Istanbul are unlimited. At first glance, the most impressive places of Istanbul are the Historical Peninsula and the Bosphorus.
Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Yerebatan Cistern, and cosmopolitan and lively places such as Taksim, Besiktas, Ortakoy, and Kadıkoy are the most important sightseeing places to visit in Istanbul.
The Maiden’s Tower is one of the places you should definitely see when you go to Istanbul. The Maiden’s Towers stands on the connecting waters of Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. Being the symbol of Uskudar as well, the tower is the only structure that remains from the Byzantine era in Uskudar.
You can reach to the Maiden’s Tower by boats from Uskudar and Kabatas. If you would like to make your visit crowned, why not eating a dinner in this magical building?
Tearful Love Story of the Maiden’s Tower
The most impressive story of the Maiden’s Tower is the immortal and tearful love story of two lovers “Hero and Leandros“.
According to some rumors, this myth emerged at the narrowest crossing of the Dardanelles. But today, perhaps because of the romantic texture that it has, it is the story that comes to mind most when called the Maiden’s Tower.
According to the legend, there is a temple constructed in the name of the goddess Aphrodite on the back of Uskudar at one time. Hero, named in the story, is the priestess of the temple where the young girls serve. Hero serves by feeding doves in the tower. Every year in the spring, ceremonies are held around the temple in the name of the awakening of nature. Those who can not find love call on Aphrodite to get their loved ones they dream of. Read More…
Yerebatan Cistern (Basilica Cistern)
Yerebatan Cistern is a place where the visitors are truly enchanted. It offers a definitely unique visual feast with its magnificent lights and moist atmosphere. Even if you are in Istanbul for a few days, you should give precedence to view the Basilica Cistern. As a matter of fact, the cistern was built to meet the water needs of the surrounding palaces at one time.
Dolmabahce Palace, one of the most important museums of Istanbul, is a wonderful palace that reflects Turkish history and is filled with wonderful works. In the palace, you can see many important and precious things about Ataturk. Dolmabahce Palace in Besiktas, Istanbul can be visited between 09.00-16.00 hours. We also want to remind you that the museum is not valid here.
Hagia Sophia Museum
You should unquestionably see Hagia Sophia, which has become one of the symbols of Istanbul and even of Turkey. This magnificent structure will be one of the most important stops of your Istanbul trip. This building, dating from the Byzantine period, also served as a mosque where the first Friday prayer was held after Istanbul was conquered. However, worship is not practiced at this moment because it is only used as a museum. You can visit the Hagia Sophia Museum between 09.00 am and 16.00 pm.
This tower, which appears almost everywhere from Historic Peninsula, will amaze you. If you wish to see Istanbul from Galata Tower, you can go up to the observation terrace for a certain fee and enjoy the magnificent view of Istanbul.
Historically, Galata Tower is a structure that has witnessed many important civilizations such as Genoese, Byzantine, and Ottoman. According to one legend, with whomever you are climbing the Galata Tower for the first time you will get married to him/her. This legend stems from the love of Galata Tower and Maiden’s Tower. 😛
Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)
Sultanahmet Mosque was built in the 17th century by Sultan Ahmet (I). With its magnificent architecture and 6 minarets, it’s one of the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul and of the world.
It is seen from every side of Sultanahmet plaza and historical peninsula. Adorned with flamboyant Iznik tiles, Sultanahmet Mosque is also called “Blue Mosque” because of its blue tiles.
Being the only 6 minaret mosque in the world makes it distinctive. The Sultanahmet Mosque rises on its 23.5-meter main dome and its feet about 5 meters in diameter. The mosque of the Blue Mosque was also spread over a very large area.
Hunkar Pavillion, located within the complex, is used as a carpet and kilim museum. In addition, the Mosaic Museum, where Byzantine palace ruins are located, is an extraordinary structure.
Topkapi Palace is located on the historical peninsula and is one of the most visited places of Istanbul. Ottoman Sultans lived from the 15th to the 19th century in Topkapi Palace. With its magnificent architecture and historical value, it’s definitely a must-see in Istanbul
Istiklal Street is one of the biggest and crowded streets of the world. You should definitely spend time at Istiklal Street on your visit to Istanbul. With historical inns, nightlife spots and mystical shopping places, Istiklal Street will give you more than you expect. That’s why it hosts thousands of people every day. Istiklal square is also where the tourists are concentrated.
Suleymaniye Mosque, which Mimar Sinan calls “my internship masterpiece”, is known to be the highest domed artifact of the master. The mosque has many fine intelligence and architectural ideas in it. For instance, ostrich eggs placed by Mimar Sinan in various places of the mosque prevent spiders from making a network. Another example of genius is the sloping architecture, which is designed to receive pressurized water without the need for a pump in the fountain. It is possible to see many similar details in the mosque.
The historical bazaar is the most famous mystical shopping center of Istanbul. On your visit to Istanbul, you can shop at the bazaar and find out the rarest examples of handicrafts and many other special items.
One of the most special destinations in Istanbul is the Prince Islands. Although Buyukada is the most famous one, other islands are worth visiting. It would be great to rent a bike after a beautiful ferry trip to the Islands where you can witness the magnificent combination of the green and the blue. Pince islands attract both local visitors and foreigners. You can make a fun ride around the island with a phaeton.
Built during the conquest of Istanbul to stretch ropes from Anatolia Fortress, the historical importance of Rumeli Fortress is enormous. The citadel protected fortress adds a different atmosphere to the Bosphorus. Nowadays you can come to breakfast here.
Because of its location, Ciragan, also known as Besiktas Palace, has a magnificent and luxurious architecture. Parties, weddings, balloons and various organizations are held in the palace which attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists.
Cagaloglu Hammam (Turkish Bath)
Cagaloglu Bath was built during the reign of Mahmut I, where the Ottoman architecture and baroque design coexist. The cold and warm lines of the Baroque architecture have been successfully integrated with the classical Ottoman lines.
Haydarpasa Terminal was built in 1908 as the starting point of the Baghdad-Istanbul Railway Line. Due to its historical importance and unique structure, the terminal has become one of the symbols of Kadıkoy.
Istanbul is a city where everybody falls in love. For us, every day you do not see this city will be a huge loss. Hurry up !!!