Top Sightseeing Places In Istanbul
These are the sights you are recommended to see in Istanbul, ranked in order of significance and ease of access.
Luckily, the first six sights are very close to each other near Sultanahmet Area. You can visit them on your own, or you can hire a private tour guide to see these beautiful sights. Tour guide is very useful about the fast track advantage as well as being well informed about the sights.
Places To See In Istanbul
Private lifes of the sultans. Certainly a must-see. However the Harem of Topkapı Palace is under a long term restoration. That might cause you miss some of the sections.
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)
It changed the course of Western architecture; greatest church in Christian world for thousand years.
Sultan Ahmed (Blue) Mosque
Islam’s elegant respond to Hagia Sophia, with its six minarets and blue Iznik tiles, Blue Mosque is considered as one of Istanbul’s most beautiful imperial mosques.
Best Byzantine mosaics of the world. Chora Church was the monastery complex in Constantinople. It was converted into a mosque in the Ottoman time and became one of the small mosques of Istanbul. Its glory revived when mosaics are uncovered and converted into a museum.
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum
Used to be the house of Ibrahim Pasha, a high ranking officer in Ottoman Empire. Next to the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, a treasure-house of 1000 years of fine art.
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayı)
Place for James Bond movies and Dan Brown’s Inferno. Turks call it “Sunken Palace” because of its beauty. 336 marble columns which could hold 2,260 cubic meters of drinking water in case of drought or a siege in Constantinople.
Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı)
Grand medieval shopping center. Stands in the heart of the old city with 3000 shops and 67 streets fun whether you shop or just browse.
Here is my article for Grand Bazaar Shopping Advices.
Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar
Food, spices, coffee, snacks in this oriental bazaar. It look like smaller Grand Bazaar.
The romance of 19th-century Ottoman Istanbul with European flavour. Best cafés, tavernas, restaurants, clubs, boutiques of Istanbul
The sultan’s european style palace on the Bosphorus. Spectacular place, if you have the time. Not more interesting than Topkapı Palace though.
The perfect 45 minute, Istanbul excursion, up toward the Black Sea past castles, palaces and historic Ottoman villages. Turyol private boat company arrange 45 mins tours.
A nice journey to islands with victorian-era towns free of cars: you can walk, bicycle, or take a horse-drawn carriage tour around the island.
Fast Track Opportunities
Waiting lines to enter the top sights can take long time but the good news, there are ways to pass this lines quickly. There are two practical options.
Istanbul Museum Pass
Istanbul Museum Pass not only makes them shorter, it saves your money! You can also consider Istanbul Museum Pass.
Istanbul Private Guided Tours
You can also try self-guided walking tours. To be a guide in Turkey not very easy. Guides go to the university and study lenguage and history then they get their lifetime license for being a tour guide.
You can book one of the istanbul private guide to enjoy your day with a lot of information. Fast track, dealing with street vendors, save some time, learn many things. These are advantages of a personal guide.
© Best Places To See In Istanbul 2017 – 2018
Featured article about booking a tour guide in Istanbul:
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By Serhat Engul
Private Tour Guide in Istanbul