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The Best Tourist Attractions in Istanbul

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The Best Tourist Attractions in Istanbul

Istanbul one of the major cities in Turkey, a beautiful link between Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.

Istanbul has everything to offer you, from historic sites, cultural centers and areas, modern shopping malls, vibrant nightlife, and delicious local food trucks and restaurants, as well as high end cafes, Istanbul really has something for everyone.

The Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled there. Which makes Istanbul one of the world's great metropolises. 

There is an endless list of things to do in Istanbul, but to make it easier on you we chose some of the top tourist attractions for you to add on your list:

Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofia):

The story behind this historic site is that Hagia Sophia is the Byzantine Emperor Justinian's statement to the world of the wealth and technical ability of his empire. 

It was then converted to a mosque, after the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople, to its further conversion into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sofya has remained one of Istanbul's most cherished landmarks.

aya_sofia

Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı):

Topkapi Palace is one of the must-see attractions in Istanbul. It represents the history of the Ottoman Empire, the Topkapi Palace is surrounded by five kilometers of stone wall with 27 towers. The palace dates back to the 15th century, is situated on a hill overlooking the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It is now a museum that is considered the largest and oldest palace in the world.

topkapi_palace

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii):

The mosque was nicknamed the Blue Mosque due to its interior decoration of thousands of İznik tiles. The entire spatial and color effect of the interior make the mosque one of the finest achievements of Ottoman architecture.

The mosque is also known as Sultan Ahmet Camii, as it is Sultan Ahmet I's grand architectural gift to his capital was this beautiful mosque.

blue_mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque:

Located on the hill above Sultanahmet district, the Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most recognised landmarks of Istanbul. It was built for Süleyman the Magnificent by the famed Ottoman architect Sinan between 1549 and 75. 

suleymaniye_mosque

Basilica Cistern:

The Basilica Cistern has been providing Istanbul residents with water since the sixth century when it was ordered built by the Roman Emperor Justinian I.

the-basilica-cistern

Chora Church (Kariye Müzesi):

Magnificent mosaics and frescoes depict the life of Jesus and his mother, Mary. Known as the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora, it has been described as one of the most beautiful surviving works of Byzantine architecture. 

chora_church

The Spice Bazaar:

For the foodies who love to experience delicious flavors, indulge yourself in sweet Lokum (Turkish Delight), dried fruits, herbs and spices.

spice_bazaar

Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı):

The Grand Bazaar is a huge covered market, it is said to be the world's first market, shops and stalls there sell every Turkish souvenir and handicraft you could imagine.

grand_bazaar

Dolmabahce Palace:

The luxurious Dolmabahce Palace was built in the 19th century using 14 tons of gold leaf, it blends traditional Ottoman architecture with the European styles of Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo. Home to six sultans from 1856 to 1924, it also is home to the world’s largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria.

medium_istanbul_dolmabahce