On the road to Istanbul you’ll probably find many fascinating places like Ottoman architectural churches, bridges, museums and palaces that will literally blow up your mind. Istanbul has been a popular province on the both sides of Asia and Europe by the kingdom all around the world, from many centuries. Istanbul is one of the world’s majestic metropolitan areas. There are many beautiful mosques, churches, forts, museums, monuments and its magnificent palaces are basically the spirit of their empire that attracts lots of tourists from all over the world.
10) Basilica Cistern
One of the most remarkable masterpieces in the history of architecture is Basilica Cistern. This Cistern was constructed in the 6th century in the sovereignty of Byzantine Emperor with the water capacity of 100,000 tons. There are around 336 columns and 12 rows that were constructed by approximately 7000 slaves, with ionic and corinthian artwork. One of the most famous columns have a medusa head carving known as medusa stones. An arrival here is full of character with the firm ooze of water around you. Once you are there don’t forget to see the upside down head of Medusa that usually can be seen from the bottom of one column. The art and structure of the Cistern will give you a feeling of a palace with crystal clear water.
9) Grand Bazaar
If you are looking to buy Turkish souvenirs or something traditional related to Turkish culture, don’t forget to visit the grand bazaar which is the world’s first shopping bazaar. This grand bazaar covers about 61 streets and above 4,000 shops which appeal about 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it was the world’s no. 1 most visited tourist attraction with 91.2 million visitors annually. Entry to the rectangular shape of grand bazaar is throughout one of 11 gates lined by stalls and shops. Grand bazaar has best handicrafts and chandelier with fascinating color combinations and style.
8) Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia is the most cherished landmark of the Istanbul and is also known as the church of holy wisdom. This remarkable piece of art is built as a church in 537, then reformed into mosque in 1453 and presently it is an astonishing museum. Every single corner and area in the Hagia Sophia have its own stories like early Ottoman Sultans and their slaughtered sons. According to the turkish culture and tourism ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey’s most visited site in 2015 by attracting about 3.3 million visitors.
7) Yedikule Fortress
Yedikule fortress is located in the neighbourhood of Fatih which is the capital district in Istanbul. It was built by the emperor Theodosius II in the 5th century. Yedikule fortress has defensive walls made up the southern section of constantinople’s. There is a massive arch known as porta aurea which means the golden gate, the doors which are plated in gold. The fortress was used for the defense when it was conquered by the ottomans and later as the executions of the prisoners. Yedikule has been recently renovated and you can climb up on the top of the battlements for marvelous sight across the sea of Marmara. There is a small mosque along with a fountain that are built in the middle section of the fort’s courtyard. For recent years there also has been an open-air theatre basically built to host many cultural events.
6) BURC Beach
There are about 20 plus beaches in Istanbul which makes it quite difficult to choose the best one for your tour. BURC beach must be on the top of your list because it gives you with some of the magnificent scenic views of the sea along with low waves, great facilities and most probably if you wish to fly a kite. The beach is basically located along the Black Sea coast and it belongs to Boğaziçi University. Being a great chill place for every person, you could either rest in the sun lounges or get some food with drinks at the nearby bar. If you’re wishing to fly a kite, there is a kite flying school with really friendly people that will help and explain everything about the spot. Sometimes, high waves of water does not allow you to swim so there are guards that might stop you from swimming.
5) Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı
Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı is one of the most attracted sights for the tourists nowadays. This 75m long bath-house was constructed in 1556 by an architect named Mimar Sinan and later renovated, with a cost of 11 million USD, in May 2011. The Hamam is divided into two separate symmetrical sections for males and females, built with tremendous sequences of one cut stone and two bricks. Each section consists of three basic rooms, i.e. a cooling room, a hot room and a changing room. Tourists enjoy the facilities of the steam bath, peeling and soap massage at Haseki Hürrem Sultan Hamamı in order to enhance their body energy.
4) Istanbul Archaeology Museum
During your stay at Istanbul, there is a three-in-one archeological museum known as Istanbul archaeology museum. This museum brings over 1 million astonishing artifacts of all the eras and civilizations in the world history. The museum was constructed in June 1891 by Sultan Abdulaziz after his visit and getting inspiration from archaeological museums of Paris, London, and Vienna. There are precious models such as Trojan horses, porticoes building housing, time of Alexander the great in vivid 3D. One of the city’s oldest Ottoman structures delightfully renovated to show off its finest ceramics. The museum restored the work of arts and heritage of the Turkey.
3) Galata Tower
One of the most outstanding landmarks of the city is Galata tower, also known as Tower of Christ in Latin. You can get a feeling of the bird’s eye to watch panoramic views of every royal thing in one sight. The nine- story tower of 66.90m long structure crowns the hill, reverses the Golden Horn. Galata Tower was constructed in 1348 A.D and was the tallest structure of the city at that time. This Roman style tower has a restaurant and café on the upper floor which commands a splendid view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.
2) Bosphorus Bridge
The 25th longest suspension bridge span in the world is in Istanbul called Bosphorus bridge also known as First bridge. It is 1,560m long with three lanes of motorway in each direction connecting Europe (From Ortakoy) and Asia (to Beylerbeyi). Bosphorus Bridge was constructed in June 1973 and opened for usage in October 1973. This suspension bridge is marvelously engineered with steel towers, inclined hangers and sleek decks are hanged on zigzag steel cables. About 200,000 vehicles pass through this 64m above sea level Bosphorus Bridge on daily basis.
1) Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)
The widespread color and spatial effect of the interior makes the Blue mosque one of the premium achievements of Ottoman architecture. The Blue mosque, which is also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque was completed in 1616 during the reign of Ahmed I. All the interior walls of the mosque are decorated by more than 20,000 hand painted blue tiles. A marvellous night view of the mosque displays the picture of a blue sea in the sky because of the blue frame lights that reveals its five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes, which is the reason for calling this stunning mosque as Blue mosque. Inside this mosque, about 10,000 persons can offer their prayers at one time. Remember that it is a sparkling religious site, so you must dress up conventionally.