Best Tourist places to visit in Istanbul

Istanbul, the Turkey, is a city of history, culture, and beauty. The city is located on both sides of the Bosporus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is the country’s largest city and the economic and cultural centre of Turkey.

The city has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. It was home to the Roman and Byzantine empires, and in the 15th century, it became the capital of the Ottoman Empire. The city’s architecture reflects its past, and today, it is home to some of the most impressive Islamic and Byzantine monuments in the world.

Istanbul is a vibrant city that is alive with culture. There are many museums and galleries, as well as numerous restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The city is also known for its shopping, with numerous markets and bazaars. The city has a lot to offer tourists. It is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and stunning views of the Bosporus. Visitors can take a cruise down the river, or explore the city’s many historical sites.

There is also a vibrant nightlife, with many clubs and bars playing music until the early hours. Istanbul is an exciting city with something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, or just a good time, Istanbul has it all.

Here are the 10 best tourist places to visit in Istanbul Turkey.

1. Hagia Sophia

Best tourist places to visit in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia is one of the most iconic monuments in the entire world and is a testament to the grandeur of the Byzantine Empire. Built in 537 AD by Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora, it was the largest cathedral in the world and stood as the seat of the Eastern Orthodox Church for centuries.

The church was destroyed in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade and later rebuilt in its current form as a mosque. It then served as a mosque until 1934 when it was converted into a museum and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The exterior of the building is an impressive example of Byzantine architecture, with five large domes, four minarets, and walls covered in intricate mosaics and beautiful marble. Inside, the building is adorned with a variety of Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, as well as Ottoman-era Islamic art.

Visitors can also view the galleries and upper level, which house various artefacts from history. The interior of Hagia Sophia is awe-inspiring and its vast size, intricate mosaics, and incredible architecture make it a must-see for any visitor to Istanbul. It is a place that is steeped in history and culture, and its importance to the past and present of Istanbul cannot be overstated. For more details click here.

The best time to visit Hagia Sophia is from May to October when the days are longer and the sun is out. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, with the last admission at 6:30 pm. The peak season for visiting the museum is from June to August.

2. Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is an iconic Ottoman-era mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque was designed by the Ottoman architect and engineer Mimar Sinan and features a unique architectural design with a massive central dome and six towering minarets.

The mosque is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Istanbul, and its beautiful blue Iznik tiles, which give the mosque its popular name, make it a distinct and popular tourist attraction. The Blue Mosque is an important religious site for Muslims, as it is one of the few mosques in the world that can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers at one time.

The mosque is also known for its elaborate interior design, which includes a large, central dome surrounded by four semi-domes and 260 windows that are covered in intricate stained glass. The walls of the mosque are also decorated with beautiful Iznik tiles, and the floors are covered in intricate carpets. The mosque also features a large courtyard, which is surrounded by four minarets that are each over 50 meters tall.

The Blue Mosque is a popular tourist destination, and visitors often come to admire the mosque’s stunning architecture and admire the views of the Bosphorus from the courtyard. Inside the mosque, visitors are also able to learn more about the history and culture of the Ottoman Empire through the many exhibits and artefacts on display.

The Blue Mosque is truly a unique and beautiful example of Ottoman architecture, and it is a must-see for anyone visiting Istanbul. For more details click here.

The Blue Mosque is open to visitors from April-October from 9 am-7 pm and from November-March from 9 am-5 pm. The best time to visit is before noon, as the mosque is less crowded and the light is perfect for taking pictures.

3. Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern, located in the historic centre of Istanbul, Turkey, is a fascinating, subterranean wonder of the world. Built-in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, the cistern was designed to supply water to the city’s great palace and other buildings in the area.

Constructed of brick and stone, the cistern is a massive underground chamber measuring 140 by 70 meters. Inside, the cistern is supported by 336 columns arranged in 12 rows, each of which is 9 meters high and 3 meters wide. The columns are made from various materials such as granite, marble, and porphyry, and are decorated with reliefs and inscriptions.

The cistern is filled with a total of 2.8 million cubic feet of water, which is supplied by the nearby Valens Aqueduct. The water, which is filtered and purified, is then delivered to the city via underground pipes. The Basilica Cistern is a popular tourist attraction and has been featured in many movies, including the James Bond film From Russia with Love.

Visitors can explore the cistern via two walkways that offer a unique perspective of the underground chamber. The Basilica Cistern is a truly unique and awe-inspiring example of engineering from the ancient world.

Its remarkable design and complex infrastructure have withstood the test of time and continue to serve as a reminder of the ingenuity of the Byzantines. For more details click here.

The Basilica Cistern is open every day from 9 am to 6:30 pm, with the last admission at 6 pm. It is advised to plan your visit early in the day to avoid peak times, as the attraction is quite popular.

4. Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is a large palace complex located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, from 1465 to 1856. The palace is a sprawling complex of structures, built mainly in the 15th and 16th centuries, that include four main courtyards, many smaller buildings, and a large park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The palace was originally built for Mehmed II, the conqueror of Constantinople, in 1459. The palace was expanded and modified by many sultans who followed, such as Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III, who added extensive gardens and pavilions to the complex.

The palace houses many artefacts, including the Topkapi Dagger, which was the sultan’s personal weapon, and the 85-carat Spoonmaker’s Diamond, the fourth-largest diamond in the world. It also houses the Imperial Treasury, which contains priceless artefacts such as the Kaaba Key, a key that unlocks the door to the Kaaba in Mecca, and the Topkapi Scroll, which is an illuminated manuscript of the Quran.

The palace is also home to an array of mosques, libraries, and other buildings, as well as a large collection of Ottoman-era art, including tiles, carpets, and manuscripts. Today, Topkapi Palace is one of Istanbul’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting over 3 million visitors each year.

It is also an important symbol of the Ottoman Empire and a reminder of the grandeur and splendour of the Ottoman era. For more details click here.

The Topkapi Palace is open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. However, it may be closed on certain days, so it is best to check the Palace’s website for exact opening times.

5. Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is one of the oldest and largest bazaars in the world. It is estimated to have been built in the 15th century and has since become one of the largest and most visited tourist attractions in Turkey.

The Grand Bazaar is home to more than 4,000 shops, 64 streets, and 18 gates, including the iconic Gate of Felicity. The Grand Bazaar is known for its beautiful architecture and its vast array of items for sale. Visitors will find a variety of items from clothing and jewellery to carpets and spices. The bazaar is also known for its vibrant atmosphere and is known for its haggling and bargaining.

There are also several historic landmarks within the Grand Bazaar, including the Kizlar Agha Mosque and the 16th-century Cevahir Bedesten. The Grand Bazaar is also home to many restaurants, cafes, and traditional Turkish tea houses.

The Grand Bazaar is a must-see for anyone visiting Istanbul. It is an iconic symbol of the city and provides visitors with an opportunity to experience traditional Turkish culture and customs. For more details click here.

The Grand Bazaar is open daily from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, so anytime during this time frame is the best time to visit.

6. Galata Tower

Galata Tower is a medieval stone tower located in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 1348 during the Genoese occupation of the city, the tower was originally known as Christea Turris or Tower of Christ. It stands at a height of 66.90 meters (219.9 feet) and is one of the city’s most famous landmarks.

The tower was used as a watchtower to monitor ships entering and leaving the Golden Horn, the body of water separating the old city of Constantinople from the new city of Galata. It served as a jail during the Ottoman period and was also used as a fire-spotting tower. Today, the tower is a popular tourist attraction, offering visitors stunning views of the city from its terrace.

The tower has been damaged and restored several times throughout its history, and its current design was completed in 1875. The tower is now home to a restaurant and cafe, as well as an observation deck at the top. Visitors to the tower can also enjoy a small museum featuring artefacts from its past.

Galata Tower is an important symbol of Istanbul’s rich history and is a must-see for any visitor to the city. Its unique architecture and spectacular views make it one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. For more details click here.

The best time to visit Galata Tower is in the late afternoon or early evening, as the tower is open until 10 pm. This is a great time to come enjoy the view and take in the city lights.

7. Chora Church

The Chora Church is a Byzantine-era Greek Orthodox church located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the most important surviving examples of Byzantine architecture and art in Istanbul and is considered to be one of the most beautiful churches in the world.

The church was originally built in the 11th century as a monastery church and later underwent major renovations in the mid-14th century. The church is renowned for its beautiful frescoes and mosaics, which are some of the most well-preserved Byzantine art in existence.

The Chora Church is located in the Edirnekapı neighbourhood of Istanbul and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exterior of the church is relatively plain, compared to its interior. The interior of the church is decorated with vivid frescoes and mosaics, which cover the walls and ceilings. The frescoes and mosaics depict scenes from the life of Jesus, as well as other biblical stories.

The church also includes a large apse and a beautiful dome, which is decorated with a mosaic of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. The Chora Church is open to the public, and visitors can take guided tours of the church.

The church is a popular tourist destination in Istanbul, and it is a great place to learn about Byzantine art and architecture. For more details click here.

Chora Church is open daily from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, so any time during these hours is an ideal time to visit. The church is especially beautiful during the late afternoon, right before sunset, when the light is soft and the colours of the frescoes and mosaics are more vivid.

8. Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar, or Egyptian Bazaar, is one of the oldest and most famous bazaars in Istanbul, Turkey. Located in the Eminönü district of the city, the Spice Bazaar has been a prominent market since the Ottoman era. Built in 1660, the Spice Bazaar is home to hundreds of shops, stalls, and vendors selling a variety of spices, herbs, nuts, and dried fruits. The bazaar is also well known for its teahouses, restaurants, and coffeehouses.

The Spice Bazaar is especially renowned for its selection of spices, which range from cumin and cinnamon to saffron and sumac. The bazaar is also a great place to get regional specialities such as Turkish Delight and Lokum. Other popular items for sale in the Spice Bazaar include a variety of nuts and dried fruits, as well as food items such as jams and preserves.

The Spice Bazaar is a great place to experience the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. Visitors to the bazaar will find vendors hawking their wares, bargaining with customers, and trying to get the best deal. The bazaar is an exciting place to explore and sample the local flavours, with its vibrant atmosphere and tantalizing scents.

The Spice Bazaar is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts. Visitors can find handcrafted items such as jewellery, textiles, and ceramics. The bazaar is also a great place to pick up spices and ingredients to take home.

Whether you’re looking for spices, souvenirs, or a unique experience, the Spice Bazaar is a great place to visit. With its colourful atmosphere and wide selection of goods, the Spice Bazaar is sure to delight. For more details click here.

The Spice Bazaar is usually open from 9 am to 6 pm daily. However, it is best to visit the Spice Bazaar during the morning hours as the crowd starts to build up in the afternoon and the prices tend to go up.

9. Suleymaniye Mosque

The Suleymaniye Mosque is a grand Ottoman mosque located in the heart of Istanbul. Built by the famous Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century, the Suleymaniye Mosque is considered one of the most important and impressive religious and architectural monuments in the world.

The mosque is considered a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture and is known for its large dome, four minarets, and intricate Islamic tilework. The Suleymaniye Mosque was designed by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan and took seven years to build. The mosque stands out from the other mosques in Istanbul due to its large size and its magnificent dome, which is one of the largest in the world.

The mosque is also known for its four minarets, which stand at the four corners of the mosque. Inside the mosque, visitors can admire the intricate Islamic tile work, as well as the marble columns, arches and painted ceilings.

The Suleymaniye Mosque is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul, with many visitors coming to admire its grandeur and beauty. In addition to being a religious monument, the mosque is also a reminder of the great Ottoman Empire and its legacy.

The Suleymaniye Mosque is a testament to the masterful architectural and engineering skills of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his architect Mimar Sinan. For more details click here.

The Suleymaniye Mosque is open at all times. However, the best time to visit the mosque is between 8 am and 7 pm, when the mosque is open to the public.

10. Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace is a magnificent example of Ottoman-era architecture and was the home of the Ottoman sultans and their families. Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the palace is a luxurious and opulent residence, with a total of 285 rooms and 43 halls. It was commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I in 1843 and designed by the architect Garabet Amira Balyan and his son Nigoğayos Balyan.

The palace was built with a combination of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, along with traditional Ottoman elements. The palace was a symbol of great wealth and power, and its opulence was unmatched. Inside, visitors can find extravagant furnishings, including silk carpets, velvet wall coverings, and exquisite paintings.

The palace also features a variety of extravagant rooms, such as the Imperial Hall, Hall of Ceremonies, and Hall of Mirrors. The Imperial Hall, in particular, is one of the most stunning rooms in the palace, decorated with a grand chandelier and gold-plated walls. The palace grounds are also impressive, with a large park, gardens, and a large fountain.

The gardens are filled with colourful blooms and exotic plants, and the fountain is a magnificent centrepiece. There is also a small zoo located on the palace grounds, which features a variety of animals, including tigers, lions, and elephants.

Visitors to the palace can take in the grandeur and beauty of the palace, and experience the rich history and culture of the Ottoman Empire. It is a must-see destination for any traveller to Istanbul. For more details click here.

The Dolmabahce Palace is open to visitors from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily, except on Mondays and Thursdays when it is closed. It is recommended to arrive early in the day to ensure enough time to explore the palace, as the visit typically takes 2-3 hours.

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