Located on the Bosphorus Strait, along the Sea of Marmara, on the geographical border of Europe and Asia, Istanbul has been the center of one of the most developed empires globally, the Ottoman Empire, for centuries. Today, it is ‘only’ the largest city, economic and cultural center in Turkey, as Ankara holds the capital title. Following Top 13 ISTANBUL SIGHTS AND Tourist ATTRACTIONS, you will enjoy reading.
Istanbul sights Galata tower.
Also known as the ‘Gate of the East, Istanbul has a 3,000-year history with plenty of interesting sights. The colorful multitude of mosques, palaces, baths, museums makes the city unforgettable. The historic districts of Istanbul are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of Istanbul’s most famous buildings is the Topkapi Palace, which served as the residence of sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. The former harem and the imperial treasury stand out from the complex. Topkapi Hill offers majestic views of the Golden Horn Bay, which is bustling with boats.
The last sultans already lived in the huge 19th-century Dolmabahce Palace on the other side of the Golden Horn Bay.
In Istanbul, we can find perhaps the most beautiful mosques in the Eastern world; wherever we go, everywhere minarets of mosques fill the city’s silhouette. Of outstanding beauty is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, or the picturesque Ortaköy Mosque.
Another important symbol of Istanbul is the 6th-century Hagia Sophia Cathedral, which was later converted into a mosque.
The dominant building in Beyoğlu, on the other side of Golden Horn Bay, is the Galata Tower; Beyoğlu is an important shopping and entertainment district in Istanbul.
It is an unmissable experience to wander the miles of the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar; the Istanbul bazaar offers one of the richest selections of oriental merchandise.
Lovers of gastronomy can also find their calculations. Delicious specialties of Turkish cuisine await guests at almost every corner of the city.
Topkapi Palace – Topkapı Sarayı
The Topkapi Palace, the Cannon Gate Palace, one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks. The building that presently serves as a museum is rightly part of World Heritage. The palace, which has been the administrative center of the vast Ottoman Empire for nearly four hundred years, is impressive because of its monumental size. Still, there is a magnificent view of the Golden Horn Bay bustling from the ships from its hill. For visitors, the Harem of Topkapi Palace is one of the most-visited parts.
Dolmabache Palace – Dolmabahçe Sarayı
Dolmabache Palace is the largest palace in Turkey, located on the other side of the Golden Horn Bay in the European part. The last sultans moved their headquarters to a palace built in the French style from the 19th century. Today, it is one of the various popular tourist attractions for Istanbul, and the Turkish government accommodates high-ranking people in the palace.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet Camii
The construction of the Blue Mosque began in 1609 under the name of Sultan Ahmed I. Its well-known name comes from the tiles of its interior cladding, the famous blue Iznik tiles. In the huge building complex, next to the ruler’s tomb, is a shelter and a religious school building. It still functions as a church building of high importance today and is one of the most popular attractions for those coming from worldwide.
Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Suleymaniye Mosque – Süleymaniye camii
The Suleiman the Mosque was built by Sultan Suleiman in the 1550s and is the second-largest mosque in the city. It is located on one of the seven hills surrounding Istanbul, with magnificent views of the Golden Horn Bay. The mosque is located next to a huge garden, a cemetery, the resting place of the Sultan of Hürrem, the ruler and his favorite wife.
Hagia Sophia – Ayasofya
One of the several important attractions in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia. The former Orthodox basilica has been a World Heritage Site since 1985. Hagia Sophia is a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Unlike the Blue Mosque, the building now functions as a museum, which serves as an important place of worship for believers.
Hagia Sophia Istanbul
Ortaköy Mosque – Ortaköy camii
The Ortaköy Mosque is located on the European side of the Bosphorus. The beautiful neo-baroque style mosque was built in 1853 on the site of an earlier mosque. The graceful mosque with its two slender minarets, its single dome, richly decorated with mosaics inside, is considered perhaps the most beautiful mosque in Istanbul. The building was recently handed over after undergoing several years of renovation work.
Ortaköy Mosque in Istanbul
Galata Tower – Galata Kulesi
The Galata Tower is located on the European side of the fashionable Beyoğlu district today. The nearly 67-meter-high tower offers stunning views of the city and the Bosphorus. Crossing the nearby Galata Bridge, you can reach Sultanahmet, Istanbul’s historic district. Nowadays, a café at the top of the tower and a restaurant on one level welcome visitors.
Grand Bazaar, Covered Bazaar – Kapalı Çarşı
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is 1 of the world’s most visited tourist attractions in one of the largest covered markets, with more than 90 million people visit it each year. Also considered the world’s first shopping mall, Oriental handicrafts offer a dazzling abundance of fabrics, spices, leather, and gold goods.
The building’s approximately 60 covered alleys include thousands of shops but also include five mosques.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar
Egyptian Bazaar, Spice Bazaar – Mısır Çarşısı
The Egyptian Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, is located in the city’s port area, in the Eminönü district. It got its name from spices predominantly from Egypt. The Bazaar is a favorite tourist attraction. You can choose from special spices, teas, dried seeds, and other exotic delicacies and sweets in the pleasantly scented building.
Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul
Beyoglu district of Beyoğlu
One of the most popular emerging parts of Istanbul is the Beyoğlu district, bordered by the Golden Horn Bay and the Bosphorus. Nowadays, due to its vibrant nightlife, visitors can drop by the entertainment center of Istanbul.
Boat trips on the Bosphorus
One of the main attractions of Istanbul is the Bosphorus, a 30 km long strait that separates Europe from Asia. One of the most popular sightseeing tours among visitors to Istanbul is a boat trip on the Bosphorus. Military forts and beautiful palaces can be seen on its two banks. Many companies (Şehir Hatları and Turvol) organize shorter and longer tours between Europe and Asia.
Bosphorus Istanbul boat trips
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Tips for getting around Istanbul
Most of the sights in the city’s historic center (in the Sultanahmet district, Fatih district) can be seen close to each other, even on foot.
The crowded city with several million people has good public transport, and trams are best recommended for tourists. Tram stops also touch the main sights: the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Egyptian Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace.
At the same time, with boats and ferries departing every 15 minutes. It is possible to transfer comfortably and quickly from the Golden Horn Bay. To the Asian part of Üsküdarba or Kadikoy.
A convenient solution for local transport from moving company is the yellow AC taxi.