Even if it’s no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is a place no traveler would want to miss. Traditional visual arts, astounding architecture, Sufi culture and the hospitality of Istanbulites attracts people from every corner of the world.
Even if it’s no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is a place no traveller would want to miss. Traditional visual arts, astounding architecture, Sufi culture and the hospitality of Istanbulites attracts people from every corner of the world. While the list of attractions and marvels can be next to endless in this charming city, here are some recommended popular places as well as lesser-known gems to visit:
Standing with its unique design of 6 minarets, the Blue Mosque also known as Sultanahmet Mosque is an architectural and spiritual treat for visitors. It manages to be one of Istanbul’s most visited sights. This marvelous and exquisite beauty is something you wouldn’t want to miss.
This grand grey stone palace has been standing for hundreds of years. Having housed powerful sultans and containing the lost echoes of the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire, the palace offers gems like the Topaki sword among other weapons and antique jewels. A little ahead is the Bosphorus Sea, another breathtaking view to behold.
It is not merely a tourist attraction but a form of worshipping and joining the soul with the divine as done in Sufism by the followers of Mevlana. Watching dervish dancing in a trance is truly a mystic experience and one not to be missed when in Turkey.
A vestige of a church and a mosque this museum is an architectural splendor to behold. Gaze at the historically laden etchings and designs on the pillars and walls and behold classical antiques.
The sarcophagus of Alexander the great is the reason why this museum is a top attraction along with a great many classical antiquities. Visitors find it a little spooky but beautiful with its carved blue pavilions and of course the famous Karaman Mihrab.
This is an underground exquisite cistern revealing Byzantium art and architecture. The soothing, as well as a little unnerving sound of the dripping water, makes one wonder in this place far removed from the hubbub of everyday life. You can also watch small fish swim below your feet.
The luxuriously red carpeted floor and the bright lights inside this mosque would leave you in awe and enthralled. Less visited than the famous blue mosque, this is the place to go to when wanting to lose yourself in the house of worship to a greater power.
The Galata Tower
Climb above the city to get a panoramic view of the world below. The conical top reminds one of an ancient castle with a damsel captured inside or one from a magical and fantastical era. Another great experience recommended.
Ortokay and Bebek
These two villages lining the Bosphorus river are ideal places to take an evening stroll, munch on indigenous goodies or sip a drink from the abounding cafes, and watch the setting sun bidding adieu. While Bebek offers greenery and peace Ortokay is crisscrossed by stone bridges and pathways giving it a sense of ruggedness and charm.
Istanbul’s nightlife offers a number of penthouses, mansions, pubs, restaurants, performance centers, nightclubs, and bars. Listen to multiple genres of music, watch breathtaking performances and enjoy a night of pure entertainment.
Enjoy masterpieces of Turkish cuisines which are quite impossible to be listed due to their variety. Istanbul may be famous for its kebabs but restaurants here have much more. Taste mouth-watering dishes like Pides (Turkish pizza), fish, dry beans (kuru fasulye) cheese and most importantly Turkey’s most famous baklava dessert.
Considered as Istanbul’s busiest street, Istiklal Avenue allows you to examine a variety of products in local shops. The numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants with live music will add a soothing touch of Turkish life to your trip. Enjoy this long stretch of colors and fragrances to go through the core of Turkish life.
Istanbul’s most famous pastime is smoking this unique water pipe popularly known as Hookah or Shisha. Walk through the mind soothing Hookah lounges and sit with the locals while talking about Istanbul’s history and culture.
The Grand Bazaar
Bazaars contain the marvels which you may have missed in popular tourist attractions. The age-old grand bazaar is sprawling and offers an endless walk through the tradition, culture, and cuisine of Istanbul. Buy haggle bargain for souvenirs, local products, ceramics, handicrafts, jewelry and leather here.
Any trip to a city waded by waters is incomplete without a cruise. Glide through the clear waters of Istanbul to view ancient mansions, palaces and the scenic outline of the whole city flowing past.