7 Must-See Locations When You Are Visiting Istanbul

Istanbul is the largest city in Europe and one of the top-most visited destinations alongside Dubai. Istanbul is a city rich in history and culture and wears it with pride. Perhaps one of the reasons why most tourists visit it is because of the exciting learning opportunities it has to offer. Present-day Istanbul is a modern city full of art, craft, culture, and religious heritage. Here are a few places you should visit during your trip to Istanbul.

  1. Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmet, a ruler of the Ottoman Empire, left the beautiful Blue Mosque as a gift to Istanbul. The construction of this mosque lasted for seven years (1609-1616) and caused quite an uproar in the Muslim world because of its architectural beauty. The interior of this breathtaking mosque is decorated with tens of thousands of Iznik tiles, blue in color, hence the name ‘Blue Mosque. With a total of six minarets, the Blue Mosque is a heavenly sight, especially during dusk. Tucked safely behind the blue mosque is the Arasta Bazaar, where you can purchase handicrafts and specimens as souvenirs for your loved ones.

  1. Galata Tower

The Galata Tower overlooks the Golden Horn and was constructed during the 14th century by the Genoese. With a total length of 52 meters, the Galata Tower is one of the tallest architectural structures in Istanbul. Climbing up the Tower will allow you to observe the deck from the very top and its restaurant and feast on the aesthetic and iconic views of the city. However, it should be known that this tower is a popular tourist destination, so come early or come prepared to wait.

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  1. Hippodrome

You can take a stroll around the Hippodrome when you’re in Istanbul. The construction process for Istanbul started in CE 203, with the architectural process completed in CE 330. The entirety of Byzantine life revolved around the Hippodrome, with many chariot races and games being held here. In the present day, you can view the art gallery on the walls of Hippodrome, as well as the park which is home to several prized monuments. 

  1. Grand Bazaar

Most tourists go to Istanbul for the shopping experience. The Grand Bazaar of Istanbul is spacious and covers around a quarter of the entire city, situated between the Beyazit and Nuruosmaniye mosques. This grand bazaar has eleven entrances, with each entrance being by small stalls and shops selling art pieces, pottery, and various other Turkish handicrafts as souvenirs. The stalls have been divided and partitioned based on different trades, making it easier for shoppers to browse and shop through the sections. If you’re looking to buy a gift for your loved one that encapsulates the beauty of Turkey, be sure to have a look around the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul.

  1. Istanbul Spice Bazaar

If you’re looking to get your hands on exotic spices, herbs, fruits, and nuts, then the Istanbul Spice Bazaar should be on your checklist. The Spice Bazaar was introduced during the Ottoman Empire. This area is quite a popular tourist attraction, and its crows can be seen on the docks of cruise ships; we recommend going at 11 am or during the evening after 4 pm if you’re looking to avoid the crowds.

  1. Museum of Islamic and Turkish Arts

This museum is a must-see attraction for all Islamic and ottoman art history. There is an extension of stylish Turkish and Iranian carpets on display that can help beautify your home for you. The museum also has an extensive collection of calligraphy, wood carving pieces, and exquisite-looking ceramics handcrafted during the 9th-19th century.

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  1. Bosphorus Strait

A visit to Istanbul is incomplete without hopping on a Bosphorus excursion ferry and cruising along the waterway. You can see the most iconic and breathtaking views during these cruises, allowing you to relax and take in all of the scenic beauties. Along the cruise, you’ll be able to spot fortresses, mansions, and palaces that were constructed during the infamous Ottoman Empire. You can either opt for the long Bosphorus trip, which takes you up to the black sea, or the short tour, which has two-hour cruises every day.

It can be nerve-wracking and stressful to plan a vacation; what places do you need to visit? Do you need to book beforehand? If you’re looking to take a trip to Istanbul, we’ve got you covered. These seven places are rich in artistic, religious, and cultural history, allowing you to grasp and understand the culture and heritage of the Turkish. Istanbul has a lot to offer, from scenic views to beautifully constructed mosques and bazaars where you can get items for cheap. Don’t miss out on any of the fun, and make sure to check all these places out.

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