Hagia Sophia is a unique architectural monument being a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque and now a museum. For nearly thousand years, it is the largest enclosed space in the world and has been a place of attraction by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art.
The palace was a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments and is a major tourist attraction today, containing the most holy relics of the Muslim world such as the prophet Muhammed's cloak and sword. A UNESCO World Heritage Site as "the best example[s] of ensembles of palaces of the Ottoman period."
The cistern was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in A.D. 542 on the other side of the Hippodrome to meet the Great Palace water requirements. Nowadays, it is a museum and an exhibition hall, as well as hosting concerts and poetry readings.
Hagia Eirene ranks as the first church built in İstanbul. It reputedly stands on the site of a pre-Christian temple. As for today, it is a concert hall located in the outer courtyard of Topkapı Palace. It is open as a museum every day except Monday but requires special permission for admission.
The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in İstanbul.
Built in the 15th century, the huge bazaar is located in the middle of İstanbul's historical center with its streets lying beneath high domes. This is the marketplace of the tale of a thousand and one nights, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 covered streets and over 1,200 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.
The palace, built by Sultan Abdul-Aziz, between 1863 and 1867. This was a period in which all Ottoman sultans used to build their own palaces rather than using those of their ancestors. Nowadays, used as one of the most popular social events venues of İstanbul.
The Ottoman imperial palace during the 19th century. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, resided there late in his life. The 45,000sqm palace cost a mere five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tones of gold— 14 tones of which went into the decoration alone.
At the heart of İstanbul, İstiklal Street is a 24-hours live zone in İstanbul. During daytime, you will meet thousands of persons, doing their business, shopping or just walking around. When the day turns into night, you will again meet thousands of people walking around the street, going to restaurants and night clubs along the street. To experience daily life in İstanbul, İstiklal Street should be visited.
Artists gather every Sunday to exhibit their works in a street gallery. The variety of people creates a lively scene. Sample a tasty morsel from one of the street vendors. There is a church, a mosque and a synagogue that have existed side by side for hundreds of years – a tribute to Turkish tolerance at the grass roots.
Rumelihisarı (Rumelian Castle) is a fortress located in the Sarıyer district of İstanbul, Turkey, on a hill at the European side of the Bosphorus. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452, before he conquered Constantinople. a museum and an open-air theater for various concerts at festivals during the summer months.
Yıldız Park is a beautiful garden complex with set in a very large park of flowers, plants and trees, gathered from every part of the world dating from the Ottoman era. Park grounds offer panoramic views of the Bosphorus. Two beautiful old pavilions, namely Çadır and Malta pavilions are used to rest...
Pierre Loti Café on Eyüp hillside is a significant residential area with its natural beauties, religious facilities, excellent view of Haliç (Golden Horn). Its calm and relaxed atmosphere makes Pierre Loti Café one of the attractive places in İstanbul. Author Pierre Loti, who admires the Ottoman culture and life style used to visit this café when he was in İstanbul.
İstanbul Archeological Museum
The site of the museums actually belonged to the Topkapı Palace outer gardens. Since the imperial decree protecting cultural goods in the Ottoman Empire was enforced, many governors from the different provinces would send in found artifacts to the capital city. In that way the museum was able to amass a great collection. Upon its 100th anniversary in 1991, the Museum received the European Council Museum Award.
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) Museum
Ayasofya was built, for nearly a thousand years ago, is the largest enclosed space in the world, and still seen as one of the world’s most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey’s most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art.
Caria (Kariye) Museum
This is actually Kariye Mosque, once the 11th century church of St. Saviour in Chora, is considered to be the most important Byzantine monument in İstanbul, after Hagia Sophia.
İstanbul Toy Museum
The museum was founded by the Turkish poet and novelist, Sunay Akın, in 2005. The museum opened on April 23, a national holiday in Turkey, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day. Currently, the museum has 4,000 toys and miniatures on display, from Turkey and abroad; many of the exhibits are antiques, some of which date back nearly 200 years. The first floor of the museum is actually the site of the Eyüp Toy Shop, a famous toy shop that had closed down in the 1950s.
İstanbul Mosaic Museum
İstanbul Mosaic Museum was built on the northern section of the peristyle courtyard of the Great Palace of the Byzantine Empire, where mosaics used to decorate the pavement had been discovered partially in good condition. The Great Palace mosaics, reflecting a matchless master ship, are dated by specialists to 450-550 AD.
Topkapı Palace Museum
One of the most astounding and popular places to visit in İstanbul is Topkapı Palace, the symbolic and political centre of the Ottoman Empire in between the 15th and 19th centuries.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
The Museum of Turkish and İslamic Arts contains Turkish and İslamic Arts all together and is known as the last museum to open in the Ottoman Period. The Museum was opened to public as “The Museum of Muslim Endowments” (Evkaf-ı İslâmiye Müzesi) in imaret building within the complex of Süleymaniye Mosque, one of the masterworks of Mimar Sinan, the Chief Architect.
İstanbul Modern Art Museum
The museum offers a wide array of services in a multifaceted İstanbul, including permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, photography gallery, library, cinema center, cafe and a design store. In addition, the Museum also offers video educational and social programmes.
This picturesque park in Beşiktaş is one of the largest urban parks in İstanbul. Yıldız Park was once part of the Yıldız Palace complex and enjoys spectacular views of the Bosphorus.
This historic park is situated right beside the Bosphorus in the pretty suburb of Emirgan. The Park is especially well known for its vibrant collection of tulips, which appear on mass every April.
Photographers congregate at Maçka Park to admire the diverse flora and fauna and beautiful views. The Park has children’s playgrounds, cafes and restaurants, an artificial island and artificial pools.
This extensive woodland area, located about 20km from İstanbul, makes for a pleasant city escape. It has around 5,500 hectares of forest and many bird and animal species.