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Famous places in Istanbul (Part 1)

Updated: Nov 2, 2019


22 Place in Istanbul you should visit

Istanbul is a famous city in Turkey and is said to be a bridge between Europe and Asia,

If you are planning your trip to Istanbul, or if you are curious how it looks like there, Just scroll down to see these Most Beautiful Places in Istanbul.


İstanbul

Aya Sophia (Hagia Sophia)

It is known as one of the most valuable and fascinating structures in the world of art and architecture.

It is located in Sultan ahmet area, nearby of Topkapi palace in Istanbul Turkey.

The Byzantine Emperor Justinian has finished his church for the first time in AD 536.

After the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople it was converted to a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, then its further conversion into a museum in 1934.

UNESCO listed Aya Sophia as a World Heritage Site.

Opening Hours Summer Visiting Hours: 09:00 - 19:00

Winter Visiting Hours: 09:00- 17:00.

Closed on Mondays.

Entrance Fee: 30.00 Turkish Lira

Blue Mosque - Sultan Ahmet Cami

The Blue Mosque is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul.

It was built by Sedefkar Mehmet Agha between 1609 and 1616 and like many other mosques it contains the tomb of the founder.

It is called "Blue" because of its interior blue decoration tiles "İznik tiles" which was used more than 20.000 pieces. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets.

Blue Mosque include madrasa (School), Sultan Resting Mansion, Turkish bath, fountain, hospital.

There are tombs in the mosque for Sultan Ahmet, his wife Kosem, and their sons Murat and Osman.

Opening Hours: Open Every Day, Avoid visiting a Mosque at pray times

Entrance Fee: Free of Charge

Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı)

Topkapı is a large museum in Istanbul, Turkey.

It is surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

It was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans and their wives and children from 15th century to mid-19th century.

The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings.

The first courtyard is the only part open to the citizens.It is entered through the called Imperial Gate.

The second courtyard is the main entrance of the palace, known as the Gate of Salutation. The second yard was well known as an administrative center of the state and the government,

The third courtyard was the private place of the sultan and it was entered only by special permission.It consists of "harem" and salutation, the Sultan spent time with his family there,

The fourth yard composed of a terrace popularly known as Sofa-I Humayun and Tulip Garden.

To fully see Topkapı Palace you'll need at least half a day.

Topkapı Palace is part the Historic Areas of Istanbul, a group of sites in Istanbul that were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Opening hours: Summer Between 09:00 - 18:45 Hours

Winter Between 09:00 - 16:45 Hours.

Entrance Fee: 30.00 Turkish Lira / Additional Harem is 15.00 Turkish Lira Closed Days: Every Tuesday

Gülhane Park

The park is situated near the Topkapi Palace.

It is one of the oldest and the most expansive public parks in Istanbul

Gülhane Park was once part of the outer garden of Topkapı Palace,

Gülhane means "Flower House".

Opening hour: 6 AM–10:30 PM

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace is a magnificent palace, the main center of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It is situated at the shores of the Bosporus Strait, only about 500 meters from Taksim Square.

Built by famous architect Armenian Garbert Amira Balya by Sultan Abdülmecid I request between (1848-1856), because he preferred a more modern place, so it replaced Topkapı Palace.

It was the imperial place of all following Ottoman Sultans, with the exception of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) who preferred not to stay in it. Opening Hours: Summer / Winter 09:00 - 16:00.

Closed Days: Every Monday & Thursday.

Entrance Fee: 30.00 Turkish Lira

İstiklal street and Taksim square

İstiklal Caddesi (Independence street) is the most famous street and entertainment area in Istanbul.

It is a long colorful pedestrian street full of all kind of shops, restaurants, cafes, street shows and it is located by the Taksim Square.

The most important monument in Taksim Square is the Independence Monument, standing at the beginning of Istiklal street.

There is an old-fashioned tramway that runs along its length right up to Taksim Square at the top of the hill.

The area around İstiklal Caddesi is home to many churches and old consulate buildings.

Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi)

Galata Tower is an old tower built in the 14th century.

It is one of the popular tourist attraction with restaurant and café on its upper floors which command a Panoramic view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus

This nine-story tower is 66.90 meters tall and was the tallest building when it was built in 1348 during an expansion of the Genoese colony in Constantinople

Opening Hours: Daily from 09:00 - 20:30.

Entrance Fee: 18.50 Turkish Lira.

Üsküdar

Istanbul's Asian shore is easily reached by ferry from Eminönü dock across the Bosphorus.

On an islet just off the Asiatic shore stands the 30-meter-high Kiz Kulesi, (Maiden's Tower).

Üsküdar was traditionally known as Scutari and has some beautiful old mosques, winding lanes, and weathered brown timber houses (particularly between the ferry dock and the large cemetery).

Maiden's Tower (Kız Kulesi)

It is also known as Leander's Tower.

The Maiden's Tower is the most popular landmark and monuments of the city of Istanbul.

Built on a small rocky island in the middle of the sea near Üsküdar, where the Marmara Sea meets the Bosphorus, it has been used for a variety of purposes since its first construction. It is Mentioned that this tower have witnessed the all history of Istanbul.

Opening Hours : Daily from 09:15 - 18:30.

Entrance Fee: 20.00 Turkish Lira (This is the price of ring boat service).

Ortaköy Mosque

Located in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, It is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus.

The mosque was built by Mahmut Ağa, the son-in law of Ibrahim Pasha by Sultan Abdulmecid I order to built it, It was built in Neo-Baroque style in 18th century in 1853.

Ortaköy is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul and is full of shops, boutiques, restaurants and pubs or art galleries.

Opening Hours: From 9am to 6pm, but closed to visitors during prayer times.

Entry Fees: Free

Süleymaniye Mosque

Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most recognised landmarks of Istanbul and the second largest mosque in the city.

It was built for "Süleyman the Magnificent" by the famed Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan between 1550 and 1557. The four minarets with their 10 beautiful şerefes (balconies) are said to represent the fact that Süleyman was the fourth of the Osmanlı sultans to rule the city and the 10th sultan after the establishment of the empire.

The interior, dominated by its 53-meter-high dome is notable for its harmonious proportions and unity of design.

Outside there is a garden behind the mosque offering lovely views of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus.

Also this mosque was built as a complex including a hospital, library, madrasa (school), kitchen and hospice for the poor, hamam, and shops.

It's one of the best examples of Ottoman Islamic architecture in Istanbul.

Open daily except prayer times.

Entrance Fee : Free.

Grand Bazar (Kapalı Çarşı)

This massive covered market is basically the world's first shopping mall is located in Beyazit.

Entrance to the bazaar is through one of 11 gates, lined by shops and stalls selling every Turkish souvenir and handicraft you could imagine.

You can find anything here from boots and slippers to gold and silver jewellery.

Opening Hours: Daily except Sunday from 08:30 - 19:00.

Entrance Fee: Free

Spice Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı)

It is also known as The Egyptian Bazaar.

It is one of the largest bazaars in the city, it was built in 1664.

Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.

The Spice Bazaar is the place to get spices, nuts, herbal teas, dried fruits, flower seeds, scarce plant roots/peels and traditional Turkish foods such as Turkish delight, Turkish coffee and it functioned as a natural pharmacy.

It has 86 shops which can be accessed by way of 6 different entrances.

It came to be known as Egyptian Bazaar because the majority of the products especially the spices used to be imported from Egypt.

Opening Hours: Daily From Summer From 08:00 - 19:30

Winter From 08:00 - 19:00.

Entrance Fee: Free.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum The museum is a group of three archaeological museums located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey, near Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace.

It consists of three museums:

Archaeological Museum: It was completed in 1908 and was built by Alexander Vallaury.

The exterior section of the structure was completed by inspiring from the İskender Tomb and Crying Women tombs reflecting a beautiful example of neo-classical constructions in Istanbul.

It consists of pots, small stone works and pans, small terracotta statues, and approximately 800.000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations, medals and Non-Muslim and Muslim Coin Cabinets, and a Library including approximately 70.000 books.

Old Eastern Works Museum: Built in 1883, consists of Anatolian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Arabic works of art are exhibited.

Museum of Islamic Art Built in 1472, consists of Turkish and Islamic works .

Opening Hours: Summer 09:00 - 19:00

Winter 09:00 - 18:00.

Entrance Fee: 15.00 Turkish Lira Closed : Every Tuesday.

Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

(Türk ve İslam Eserleri Müzesi)

It was built in the 16th century and donated to Grand Ibrahim Pasha by the great sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1983.

It was completed in 1913.

In Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum you will find a lot of giant carpets and a lot of things that have been restored such as tents and many more in order to be shared to the public.

Opening Hours : 09:00-19:00 daily.

Entrance fee: 25 Turkish Lira.

Bosphorus bridge

It is known officially as the 15 July Martyrs Bridge.

Bosphorus strait separates Europe from Asia but it is very important to say that Bosphorus bridge above the strait is what connects them back together.

Actually there are two bridges connecting Europe with Asia, but this was built as the first one.

The bridge extends between Ortaköy (in Europe) and Beylerbeyi (in Asia).

Eyup Sultan Mosque and Eyup Al-Ansari Tomb

The Eyup Sultan Mosque is built near the Golden Horn Bay in Eyup District of Istanbul.

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari who supported Prophet Muhammad after the hijra (migration) to Madina in 622, went his last military campaign to Constantinople.

However he was an old man and shortly after engaging in battle, he fell ill and had to withdraw from the Campaign, In his last words, he asked his soldiers to bury him under the walls of Constantinople, Then he died.

During the last Constantinople battle between Ottoman Turks and Eastern Romans, the place was discovered by the spiritual teacher of Sultan Mehmet’s.

Later on Fatih (Conqueror) Sultan Mehmet ordered to construct a Mosque in front of this important tomb. Some of the personal belongings of Prophet Muhammad are preserved in the building that houses the tomb.

Opening Hours : Avoid prayer times.

Entrance Fee: Free

Miniatürk

Miniatürk is a miniature park situated at the north-eastern shore of Golden Horn in Istanbul, Turkey.

It was opened in May 2, 2003. It is one of the world's largest miniature parks.

The park contains 122 models. It contains structures from in and around Turkey, as well as the historic structures.

Models of structures are mostly taken from Turkey, but also selected from the Old Ottoman Empire lands that stay's outside the borders of present day Turkey. Opening Hours: Daily Summer 9:00 - 19:00

Winter Between 09:00 - 17:30.

Entrance Fee: 10.00 Turkish Lira.

The Princes' Islands

The Princes’ Islands (Kızıl Adalar) are a chain of nine small islands in the Sea of Marmara.

Of those nine islands, only four of them are open to the public: Büyükada, the biggest and most popular, Burgazada, Heybeliada and Kınalıada

.The Princes' Islands is one of the best attractions and weekend breaks in Istanbul both for locals and tourists.

Soğuk Çeşme Street Soğuk çeşme Street is located in Fatih, district of Istanbul and neighbourhood of the Sultan ahmet.

It means the cold fountain in English.

Surrounded by famous Topkapı Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum and Gulhane Park, the little sweet cobblestone pavement street creates a dreamy atmosphere just like an environment in fairy tales.

In the street there are a few historical houses date back to the 19th to 20th century, 2 or 3 of them are Ottoman buildings.

Chora Church

It is also known as Chora mosque or Chora museum.

It is one of the most beautiful surviving icon of a Byzantine Art and Architecture.

It was built as a church by Saint Theodius by order of Byzantine Emperor Justinious in 534, then in 11th century it was rebuilt.

During Latin Invasion between (1204-1261),the church was repaired by creative architect Theodoros Metokhites in 14th century.

After Ottoman Sultan Fatih; Sultan Mehmet's conquest of Istanbul, turned the church into a mosque by the visier Ali Hadım Pasha like Hagia Sophia church.

At last it is used as a museum now.

Entrance Fee: 15.00 Turkish Lira Opening Hours : Summer 09:00 - 19:00

Winter 09:00 - 16:30 Closed Days: Every Wednesday

Emirgan Park

Situated in the Sariyer, district of Istanbul, Emirgan Park covers the area of 47.2 hectare.

It is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul.

The park has two decorative ponds are plants of more than 120 species and the most notable rare trees are found there.

There are 3 pavilions in the park they are Yellow, Pink and White Pavilions.

Yellow Pavilion: Established by the Khedive Ismail Pasha it is a large wooden mansion built as a guest home and hunting mansion between 1871 and 1878, the Yellow Pavilion is located in the center of the park.

Pink Pavilion:

The Pink Pavilion, one of the three mansions in the park built by Khedive Ismail Pasha, is a two-storey, typical Ottoman house.

Named after its exterior's original color of cranesbill flower pink, the pavilion reflects the glory of its history with fine ornaments.

Today the pavilion is used as a cafeteria on weekends, and organizes wedding ceremonies or other events.

White Pavilion:

The White Pavilion is the third mansion within the Emirgan Park built by Khedive Ismail Pasha.

It is only 150 m far from the Yellow Pavilion.

Now the mansion is used in the daytime as a cafeteria and in the evenings as a restaurant of Turkish-Ottoman cuisine.

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