Istanbul is a region rich in history and culture. Great empires rose and fell here leaving behind many historic treasures in Istanbul, each representing a different culture.
Here are the 10 best Istanbul landmarks:
1. Hagia Sophia Museum
Hagia Sophia, formerly known as the Byzantine church, was built between 532 – 537. Its large dome structure gives it an attractive and imposing appearance, whilst the interior architecture provides a unique and interesting visual feast at certain hours of the day due to the angles of the sunlight. Built as a patriarchal cathedral with a basilica plan, it’s been used as a mosque since 1453.
Open Hours: 09:00 – 17:00, Mondays 09:00 – 19:00
Location: Sultan Ahmet, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
Phone Number: (0212) 522 17 50
Related Post: Top Places of Worship in Istanbul
2. Sultan Ahmet Mosque
There are many religious structures in Istanbul due to the importance of religion in the history of the city. This mosque, built between 1609 – 1617, is one of the most important architectural works of the Ottoman period. Anyone interested in the history of religion or architecture will find a visit here fascinating. Built by architect Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, this is one of the most visited historic buildings in Istanbul today.
Open Hours: 24/7
Location: Sultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
Phone Number: (0212) 458 44 68
3. Galata Tower
Located in the centre of the city, this tower will provide you with an excellent panoramic view of Istanbul. It’s very popular with photographers who come to Istanbul for the Bosphorus view, and its ancient streets and buildings. This tower was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Temporary List in 2013.
4. Taksim Square
To get to know a city, you must experience its streets and squares. Taksim Square, where you can witness the exotic and the modern styles of Istanbul at the same time, is at the top of many tourists lists of places to see here. It’s also very popular with locals and has been the scene of many historic events in the city. There are various activities, workshops and shopping days held in the square.
5. Istiklal Street
When you look at photos of Istanbul online, you’ll often be looking at Istiklal Street. This historic 1.4km street is the entertainment centre of the region. Crammed with shops and nightclubs, and with lots of side streets leading to other points of interest, it literally has something for everyone. There’s even a ‘nostalgic tram’ on Istiklal Street which has a gorgeous romantic atmosphere – especially in winter.
6. Beylerbeyi Palace
This highly aesthetic work of art, built by Sultan Abdulaziz during the Ottoman period, is one of Istanbul’s treasures. Built between 1861-1865, it’s one of the most important examples of Western-style Gothic architecture in Istanbul. Its location by the sea fascinates many people, and if you join the Bosphorus Tour you’ll have the chance to view it from the water.
Open Hours: 09:00 – 17:00 Closed on Mondays
Location: Beylerbeyi, Abdullahağa Cd., 34676 Üsküdar/İstanbul
Phone Number: (0216) 321 93 20
Related Post: Palaces in Istanbul
Miniatürk is one of the most interesting places to visit in Istanbul. Surrounded by miniature versions of Turkey’s top monuments and buildings, you’ll feel as if you are in a fairy tale. Built on a total area of 60,000 square metres, it’s the largest miniature park in the world.
Open Hours: 09:00 – 19:00
Location: Örnektepe, İmrahor Cd. 7/1, 34445 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Phone Number: (0212) 222 28 82
8. Büyükada (Prince Islands)
The Adalar region is a great place to find some peace and catch your breath. The Prince Islands area is a great place to swim and there are some truly elegant places to dine out too. The Prince Islands, spread over a total area of 5.4 square kilometres, are also known as Prinkipos. Although the island is frequently visited by tourists there are also residents living there permanently.
9. Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace is one of the largest palaces in Istanbul. Spread over an area of 250,000 square metres, it was built for important meetings during the Ottoman period. In addition, there are points that are very close to the seashore. Dolmabahçe Palace witnessed important moments in the history of the republic.
10. The Grand Bazaar
How about visiting an impressive area that will allow you to experience the exotic ambience of Istanbul? The best in Istanbul to buy gifts for your loved ones, the Grand Bazaar has over 4000 shops and there are around 25,000 artisans working here. It’s the best place to find regional products, jewellery, exotic clothing, sweets and coffee.
Open Hours: 08:00 – 19:00
Location: Beyazıt, Kalpakçılar Cd. No:22, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul
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