Must-see sightseeing in Istanbul

Here are some of the top locations for tourists in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Turkey's largest city, Istanbul sits on the Bosporus Strait and is bordered by both Europe and Asia. It's a cultural hub, a melting pot of history and tradition. And it's got some must-see sights!

  • Hagia Sophia - Ayasofya is arguably the most famous building in Istanbul. Built as a church by Emperor Justinian in 537 A.D., It was a Greek Orthodox patriarchal cathedral for nearly 1000 years. In 1453, it was converted into a mosque under Mehmet II (conqueror of Istanbul) and renamed Ayasofya Cami. The building was secularized and opened to the public as a museum in 1935 and finally was turned back into a mosque again in 2020 and became free to visit anytime, 24/7 but only with modest clothes like visiting any mosque in Turkey.

  • Blue Mosque - The Blue Mosque is also one of the most famous places to visit in Istanbul, and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful. It’s stunning turquoise dome is one of the most photographed sights in the world. Make sure you visit in the afternoon when the mosque is open and the light is perfect for taking pictures.

  • Grand Bazaar - The Grand Bazaar is one of the best places to visit in Istanbul. It’s a massive covered shopping area that has been around since the 15th century. There are hundreds of small shops selling all sorts of things, from ornate Turkish carpets to a wide selection of Turkish delight. The Grand Bazaar is open daily and is a great place to shop for authentic Turkish souvenirs. Sunday is the best day to go since it’s the busiest day of the week and shops are open longer.

  • Topkapi Palace Museum: The Topkapi Palace Museum is a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. It was a former palace and prison of the Ottoman Sultans and one of the largest museums in the world. built during the reign of Murad III in 1550, which was originally used as a residence for women by the Ottoman sultans. It was converted into a museum in 1924. The building contains numerous examples of Ottoman architecture and is situated on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn.

  • Dolmabahçe Palace: Dolmabahçe Palace is a palace overlooking the Bosphorus strait in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey. It consists of two main parts: Sultan's Quarters (Enderun), used by the sultans as their main residence before they moved to Yıldız Palace; and Reception Hall (Harem), which is used for official receptions and banquets today.

What's your favorite sightseeing spot?