Istanbul or known in the medieval era as Constantinople should be on everyone’s travel list. As the crossroads of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is a very unique place. Here are places that you should visit in Istanbul:
- Blue Mosque: Blue Mosque is a very popular attraction in Istanbul and also considered as the national mosque of Turkey. It’s named after many blue tiles that adorn the interior. It’s a wonderful historical structure with six minarets.
- Hagia Sophia: Higia Sophia was once a major Byzantine Church, which was converted into an Ottoman Mosque and today. It’s a museum. The vaulted chambers and mosaic walls clearly hint the former glory. When visiting Hagia Sophia, you should observe the incredible frescos and mosaics in the upper gallery.
- Hippodrome: Hippodrome was the center of various ancient events in Constantinople, which was a part of the great Roman Empire. It was the place where royal celebrations, gladiator fights and rowdy chariot races. Today, it’s the place where you can find traditional Turkish food along the perimeter. Near the center of the site, there’s the Obelisk, which is a 60-ton solid block of granite. It was moved from the temple of Luxor in Egypt by the Roman emperor, Theodosius.
- Topkapi Palace: Topkapi Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Empire for about three centuries. You can spend about half a day inside the Palace to explore it. When visiting the Topkapi Palace, you should check the innermost courtyard, Imperial Treasury and the Harem.
- Egyptian Spice Bazaar: The Egyptian Spice Bazaar offers a unique experience with plenty of stalls and alleyways. You can find many things in the bazaar, such as Turkish cheese and honeycomb. You may also try dried figs with walnuts, Turkish coffee, honey covered mulberries and Turkish Delights.
- Bosporus River: The Bosporus River cruise may take place full or half day, depending on the length of the cruise. The Bosporus River is among the busiest waterways in the world. Along the edge of the river you can find mansions, lush parks and beautiful waterside houses. It’s the time for you to sit back and enjoy. The highlights of the cruise is when you sail below the Bosporus Bridge and when you sail near the old palaces and hunting lodges of the Ottoman sultans.
- Grand Bazaar: It is one of the most famous markets, known locally as Kapali Carsi. The Grand Bazaar was established shortly after Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans. Today, you may find more than 4,000 shops that sell variety of items.
- Dolmabahce Palace: The Dolmabahca Palace is known for its white marble facade that looks striking when you view it from the water. The palace was the work of Sechan, the famous French decorator who also made the Paris Opera House. It’s a big palace with 285 rooms, 68 restrooms and 6 baths, as well as a gold-plated ceiling. By any standard, the Dolmabahce Palace is a marvellous structure. There are many things to see like crystal staircase and crystal chandelier.