Top destinations in Istanbul? Hagia Sophia is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was once a church and a mosque but is now one of the most visited museums in the world. For 916 years it was a church and then following the conquest of the Sultan Mehmed, it was converted into a mosque and remained so for 482 years. In 1935 it was converted into a museum and visitors can enter daily to see the mosaics, calligraphy, tiles and Sultan’s lodge.
Home to the iconic Galata Tower and Dolmabahce Palace as well as the city’s most fashionable boulevard in Istiklal Caddesi, the neighborhoods across Galata Bridge provide an interesting mix of old and new that’s different in feel to the time-honored charm of Sultanahmet. If you enjoy shopping, good food, and perhaps a taste of Istanbul’s nightlife, then this is where you need to be. You can check my post on Galata Bridge, Beyoglu, and Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul for more pictures and information, but here’s a quick rundown of what you a can find there: As described, you can visit all these sites on your own, but you may want to consider a guided tour as well, especially if you want to learn more about each place.
Officially called Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul’s most famous sights. Built in the early 1600s, the grand mosque was built as a show of pride and defiance and a way to reaffirm Ottoman power in Istanbul after losing a battle with the Persians. Standing on the site of an earlier Byzantine palace, the beautiful building has six minarets, five large domes, a number of smaller domes, ornate stained glass, and stunning tilework. With a blend of Islamic and Byzantine Christian features, it is often thought of as the last great mosque to come from the classical period. Still an active place of Islamic worship, the mosque is also open to tourists. Be sure to dress respectfully to visit the Blue Mosque and women should don the head covering and gowns provided. Marvel at the striking facades that dominate the skyline and be awed by the size of the main hall. See the magnificent stained glass windows, handmade ceramic tiles with various designs, opulent chandeliers, calligraphy, and fine carpets. Find a few more info at Free walking tour Istanbul.
Istanbul is the capital of Turkey and one of the popular tourist destinations worldwide. The rich culture and glorious history attracts many to visit this one of the largest cities in Europe. Beautiful city Istanbul is a complete historic city where the main attractions are many years old mosques and churches. Some topmost must-see landmarks are Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque. The traditional Grand Bazaar became an iconic must-visit popular market for tourists in Istanbul. And this market is also one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. Another popular and historical activity in Istanbul is Turkish Baths. There are many hamams or Turkish bathhouses you might like to try for the first time during your trip.
We believe all travelers, regardless of their budget is, should have an opportunity to feel and embrace what Istanbul offers and we also believe that the fee a trip should relate with your budget and how much you loved it. For this reason, all our free Istanbul Walking Tours are operated with a “Pay-What-You-Feel” base, hence everybody can book it and still prefer to contribute what they believed it was worth at the end of the walking tour if they wish to. Our guided walking tours of Istanbul feature something for everyone’s needs. Find even more details at here.