One of the most beautiful things I’ve found about traveling, you’re not sure what tomorrow will bring. No matter where the journey take’s me, I’m bringing you along with me! Happy Traveling!
Istanbul City Guide – Pack and Go!
September 22, 2022
Istanbul, the most popular, largest, and major city in Turkey, is home to over fifteen million residents. Linking both continents, Europe and Asia, Istanbul serves as the country’s historical, cultural, and economic hub. It’s the 15th largest city in the world and the most populous European city too!
It houses four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Süleymaniye Conservation Area, Sultanahmet Archaeological Park, Land Walls Conservation Area, and Zeyrek Conservation Area. The top tourist attractions of this alluring city are Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, The Topkapi Palace Museum, Galata Tower, etc.
This article is all about the 8th most visited city in the world. It includes everything from how you can get there, the best time to go there, and the best places you must visit!
Let’s dive into a city guide of the best things in Istanbul!
Istanbul City Guide
How to Get to Istanbul?
Most tourists fly to Istanbul at Istanbul Airport, as it’s the city’s main international airport. Major airlines offering services at this airport include British Airways, Air Serbia, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, etc. You can book direct flights from several European cities to reach this dream destination.
The best time to visitIstanbul is from March to May and September from October. These are the spans when the tourist crowd in the city is manageable, and the room rates are not that much inflated as in the peak months from June to August. The minimum time you must dedicate to this city is three days; however, five days is an ideal span for exploring most of Istanbul.
Best Places to Visit in Istanbul
Istanbul is famous as a city full of striking landmarks. Wondering what to do on your visit to this charming city? How to explore most of this city? This article got you covered! Below we have explained some of the best places you can visit in Istanbul. Let’s get to know more about them!
Hagia Sophia primarily served as Eastern Orthodox Church, then as a mosque, then as a museum, and recently it has been given the status of mosque again. The main attraction of the building is its grand interior dome featuring the Byzantine elements of Hagia Sophia. The splendid architecture of this mosque will surely leave you stunned!
Spend two hours exploring this beautiful landmark and going through all it has to offer; it will be a fascinating visit. It’s open to the public, and guided tours are also available for booking.
Sultanahmet Mosque – Blue Mosque
One of the utterly famous mosques of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque, is well known for the 20000 painted blue tiles embellishing its interior. It won’t be wrong to say; that these are the charm of this top tourist attraction. As evident by the name, this mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I between 1609-1617.
The natural light filtering from over 200 windows of this mosque creates a picturesque view inside the mosque. Though it’s open to the public, entry is not allowed during prayer time. Moreover, you have to follow particular rules for entering this mosque.
It features a royal Harem, four courtyards, and a plethora of ornaments, artifacts, books, and other valuable articles from Ottoman history, symbolizing the lavish life Ottoman royals lived. Wander from room to room to explore the stunning tile work. When in Spring, the outer gardens of the Topkapi Palace get showcases beauty of hyacinths and tulips.
Spread over an area of 700,000 square meters, this site has so much to offer its visitors. It’s one of the sites involved in the area recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Another top tourist attraction, Grand Bazar, features 4000 shops covering 61 streets. It’s one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Surprisingly, it’s often considered the world’s first shopping mall! How can a tourist miss skip shopping from there?
It’s within walking distance of the Sultanahmet Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, and the Topkapi Palace. Wander around and get lost in the rush of tourists and locals exploring and shopping simultaneously!
The largest building built during the Ottoman Empire, Süleymaniye Mosque remained the city’s largest mosque until 2019. The construction of this mosque continued from 1550 to 1557. It’s of great religious significance and is located on Third Hill. From this location, visitors can witness spectacular views of the city around the Golden Horn.
You can book a tour to explore the most of Süleymaniye Mosque and get to know in detail about its construction and history.
The largest ancient cistern situated beneath Istanbul, Basilica Cistern, was built back in Byzantine time. This historic cistern covers an area of 9,800 square meters and has the capacity to hold 100,000 tons of water. According to the sources, 7000 slaves participated in the construction of Basilica Cistern.
Galata Tower, also named Galata Kulesi Museum, is named after the Galata quarter in which it’s located. The exterior of this tower is a stone mesh, while the interior is the embodiment of exquisite architecture. From the top of Galata Tower, you can witness worth capturing picturesque panoramic views of Istanbul from the height of 220 feet.
It served as watch tower for city fires until the 1960s, but now it’s open to visitors letting them roam around its balcony. It remains open from 9 AM to 7 PM, and the entry costs just 35 TL.
Istanbul, the charm of Turkey, is the dream destination for almost all tourists because of the worth admirable historical and striking landmarks it holds. Whether you are a tourist who likes to capture the beauty of top tourist attractions of the travel destination or the ones who likes to wander around in the streets to explore the local life, you will surely have a great time in this fascinating city! So, pack your bag and get ready to go!
This article is all about what you should not miss out on when visiting the beautiful city of Istanbul. Give it a quick read to get to know in detail about them.