Join David as he shows you round the top 15 locations to find in Istanbul! Istanbul is one of the only transcontinental cities around the planet, spreading across Europe and Asia Minor. As Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul is a heart of civilization, history and gastronomy — a cosmopolitan capital in every sense.
Have a Look at our article on Istanbul’s Historic Center: The Very Best of Sultanahmet, Galata and Beyo?lu Districts
David Starts in the oldest Portion of the city, the Sultanahmet District.
He starts in the Hippodrome (circus), that functioned as the center of public life to get its Greek, Roman, and Byzantine taxpayers. Present-day Sultan Ahmed Square includes a few of living remnants from ancient times.
Close Sultan Ahmed Square are just two of Turkey’s most visited attractions, steps out of one another — that the Ayia Sofia (Hagia Sophia) and Blue Mosque. The Ayia Sofia is now a museum, but was assembled within a Eastern Orthodox Basilica at 535 A.D.. It was a church for more than 900 years prior to it was employed by the Ottomans for another 481 years as a Mosque. It was the largest house of worship on the planet for years!
Around the square is the Blue Mosque.
Its name stems out of the tiles used to decorate the interior. Nearby sits the stunning 15th century Topkapi Palace that functioned as the home and governmental chair for its Ottoman sultans until the 1850s. A tour will reveal beautiful stonework and decorated staterooms, in addition to a crown stone and treasury display.
Following the palace, David takes us into the Archaeology Museum to show us some of that which was discovered in Istanbul. Perhaps the most striking thing on screen is that the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great with its detailed reliefs depicting Alexander’s life of effective conquering.
Not too far in the museum is the Basilica Cistern — a moist and dark underground cavern used to collect water to the city. The Medusa heads were stolen from a local Greco-Roman city to confirm the columns. Medusa’s face provided a warning against those who dared to tamper with the water supply.
The next day, David heads over to the 300-year-old Ca?alo?lu Hamam?
To get a Turkish bath. This Hammam provides spa therapies including steam baths scrubbing, and much more. Definitely a MUST adventure when.
Now time to get some shopping… First stop, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, a spice market that is mostly for tourists, but still an adventure to walk through and see all the spices, desserts, and souvenirs for sale. Later, some more serious shopping in the Grand Bazaar — among the absolute best places to store in the country! There are over 4,000 shops spanning a place of over 30,700 square feet! If you are intending to devote a good deal of time here, or searching for something we recommend you hire a guide. This area is gigantic!
David then heads to get a scenic boat ride along the strait to the beaches of the Bosphorus. In the water you’ll receive scenic vistas of the Istanbul skyline and get to delight in view of other regions of the city.
After coming back on property, David heads into the Beyo?lu District to beautiful pedestrian-friendly Istiklal Street, or”Independence Avenue” for a few lunch. It spans about 1.4 kilometers and is the perfect spot for dining and shopping. You are able to walk or enjoy the Nostalgic Tram in either direction. The end of Istiklal Street takes David to the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square. This bustling intersection is assembly point and a major transport hub. At the center of the square is the Monument of the Republic (1928) commemorating the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Onto the Galata District to see a Whirling Dervish show in the Galata Museum.
This practice of spinning is employed as a type of meditation. It is a beautiful and mysterious site to behold.
You can not go to the Galata District and not notice the Galata Tower. It looks over Istanbul and provides views of the city, the Bosphorus, Golden Horn and temples.
After all that sightseeing, David works up an appetite so he heads into the Karaköy Rewards to enjoy a cheap meal with a 5-star view. Nearby is your fish market. You can not get into the Karaköy or Galata without crossing the Galata Bridge. This bridge is comprised of two stories. Whereas the floor is filled with restaurants, the best is used for pedestrian and car transit. It’s a mix of smells sound, and vibrant life! In case you have the opportunity, walk it. From here you will find the skylines of Galata and Sultanahmet districts.
Finally, David goes out to a few of the most entertainment complexes in the world. Reina sits along the Bosphorus and offers world-class dining, nightclubs, and beautiful ambiance. Dress to impress and make dinner reservations so that you may stay after to party!
We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 15 locations to see in Istanbul! In case you have anything to add, please comment below or make us a question!