Must-Visit Places in Istanbul

Tue, Feb 1, 2022 12:00 AM

Without a doubt, Istanbul is the most appealing Turkish city, and it offers numerous destinations to visit. If this is your first time visiting Istanbul, then it is quite natural to make the most out of it. Although there are hundreds of must-visit destinations in Istanbul, we wanted to compile the best 10 for you in this guide.

If you may find enough time, we recommend visiting all these ten destinations during your stay. However, if you cannot visit them all, do not worry. We are pretty sure that you would like to visit Istanbul again soon.

So, let’s keep our introduction short and discuss our 10 best picks to visit while you are in Istanbul.

10 Must-Visit Places in Istanbul

In the following section, you are going to find our ten best picks for foreigners. We highly recommend visiting all of them. We also would like to note that we listed them without any particular order. It is worth noting that we did not include any restaurants, but you should not miss your chance to enjoy Turkish food during your stay too.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is one of the iconic destinations in Istanbul and you should not miss your chance to visit this mosque. It is older than the conquest of Istanbul and recently, it was turned into a mosque again. However, you can witness the remains of many cultures and religions in it.

It is worth noting that you may want to avoid visiting Hagia Sophia on Friday at noon. It will be quite crowded since thousands of Muslims will visit the mosque to pray.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace is one of the most important complexes in Istanbul. For more than 400 years, Ottoman Sultans ruled their lands from here. The palace is serving as a museum, and you can witness the glory of the Ottoman Empire by simply visiting this awesome palace.

Needless to say, it is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in Istanbul too. We recommend visiting the palace with a guide. In this way, you can learn more about the palace itself as well as the daily lives of Ottoman Sultans.

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar is about 550 years old, and you can find all kinds of authentic goods here. There are more than 500 stores in this amazing complex, and it is one of the most preferred destinations by foreigners. In addition to this, you can find some of the best Turkish delights in Grand Bazaar.

We recommend sparing at least a day to visit this beautiful and historical complex. You can also find some traditional restaurants, where you can enjoy Turkish food on your breaks. Needless to say, it is a great location to buy souvenirs for your friends and family waiting for you at home.

Basilica Cistern

The history of Basilica Cistern dates back to the Byzantine period. This amazing complex used to serve as the main clean water reservoir for Istanbul for centuries. Today, it serves as a museum, and fish are living in it.

Without a doubt, Basilica Cistern can easily amaze every visitor. It has a great atmosphere and acoustics. You should not forget to check the Medusa statue located at the end of the deck. If you are lucky, you can also find a concert or art event in it during your visit.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower is one of the iconic towers in Istanbul. You can enjoy one of the best Istanbul views from the top of this tower. In addition to this, you can find numerous boutique stores and amazing restaurants around the tower.

It used to be used as a lighthouse for centuries and today, it is serving as an iconic tourist attraction. We highly recommend visiting this great tower, where you can enjoy a great day around it. The famous Taksim Square is only 15 minutes away by foot as well.

Ahrida Synagogue

Ahrida Synagogue is the only synagogue that was built before the conquest of Istanbul and it is one of the iconic structures in the Balat district. The synagogue was built by Jews who migrated from the Ohri city of Macedonia.

It is worth noting that Ahrida Synagogue is the biggest synagogue in Istanbul too. The prayer platform called Teva, which means Noah's Ark, attracts the great attention of the visitors because it resembles the bow of a boat.

Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress was built only in 90 days upon the order of Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conquer. It was built to prevent any possible aid that could be sent to the Byzantine Empire. Today, it is one of the most beautiful man-made structures available in the Bosphorus.

It is located on the narrowest part of the Bosphorus, and you may want to rent a yacht to enjoy its amazing view. We highly recommend visiting this great structure before you live.

Yoros Castle

Yoros Castle is located in the Beykoz district, which is covered with forest. The castle is one of the most important historical monuments left by Eastern Romans. It was conquered by Ottoman Sultan Yildirim Bayezid in 1391.

Since then, it has been a Turkish castle, but it does not accept any visitors due to the excavations. You can rent a yacht to enjoy its beauty.

Yedikule Dungeons

Yedikule Dungeons was the last stop of many criminals in Istanbul for centuries. Today, it is one of the most popular destinations in the city as well. Originally, it was built by the Byzantine Empire to host their guests. However, Fatih the Conqueror added three towers and a fortress to turn it into a castle.

You can visit one of the largest open-air museums in Turkey by simply visiting Yedikule Dungeons.

Haydarpasa Train Station

Haydarpasa Train Station was built in 1908 as the first station of Turkey’s railroad. Since then, many people have had amazing memories in this amazing complex. You can also see it while you are on the yacht trip in the Bosphorus.

You can find plenty of art events that take place in Haydarpasa Train Station these days. In addition to this, you can enjoy delicious Turkish food in the restaurants in the station.

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