Best things to do in Istanbul

Places To Visit in Istanbul

Istanbul is a world capital, the only city in the world that connects two continents, and a geography that hosts the world’s greatest empires. Every culture has left a mark on this colorful city, which is home to thousands of different people and cultures. There are many places, museums and places to see in this vast metropolis that is on everyone’s eyes. We have compiled 50 places to visit in Istanbul for you in one breath and present them to you.

Table of Contents

Sultan Ahmet Mosque

The Six-minaret mosque of Istanbul was named as the Blue Mosque by foreign tourists, thanks to the blue and turquoise colors given by the Iznik tiles inside.

Sultan Ahmet Mosque

Hagia Sophia Mosque Museum

The history of Hagia Sophia, which is one of the symbols of Istanbul and Turkey, dates back to the Byzantine days and Constantine. Hagia Sophia is the place where the first Friday prayer was held after the conquest of Istanbul. It was converted into a mosque, used as a museum for a long time, but is now being visited again as a mosque since 2020.

Hagia Sophia

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)

The cistern, which was built to meet the water needs of the region where Istanbul’s palaces are located, is especially famous for the columns and medusa heads inside. Basilica Cistern, which fascinates people with its water, lights, location of columns and visuality, is open to visitors as a museum and a place where many activities are held today.

Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnici)​

Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)

The Maiden’s Tower, which is one of the images of Istanbul that opens to the world, has a unique Istanbul View. The Maiden’s Tower, about which there are many legends and rumors, is visited today as a Cafe, Bar and Restaurant.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower, which is one of the first symbols that catches the eye when we look at the Istanbul skyline, has survived to the present day as a structure that has witnessed the Genoese, Byzantine and Ottoman pasts with its perfect view of the historical peninsula and the Bosphorus. Today, it is open to visit as a visual museum, as well as a Cafe, Bar and Rastaurant.

Galata Tower

Istiklal Street

Istiklal Street, one of the most important points witnessing the history of Istanbul, is the most important center of shopping, entertainment and Istanbul, as well as hosting occupations and festivals.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace, which carries the traces of many secrets and past of the 700-year-old Ottoman Empire and used as the center of the state for many years, is in a position that dominates almost all of Istanbul from Sarayburnu. In addition to being the place where sultans, sultans and princes lived, it also hosted special areas such as the Harem and the Treasury. Today, it is visited as a very large museum where the valuable past of the Ottoman Empire and the Sacred Relics of Islam are exhibited.

The Spice Bazaar (Turkish: Mısır Çarşısı, meaning "Egyptian Bazaar"

The Spice Bazaar, located in Eminönü, was established as a market where spices and medicinal herbs were sold. Today, various organic foodstuffs are also sold in the bazaar, where medicinal herbs and spices are sold, and it is a place frequently visited by local and foreign tourists. We can count it as one of the most crowded places in Istanbul.

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

The Grand Bazaar, which is the biggest bazaar of Istanbul, is one of the important centers of our Istanbul as the oldest bazaar in the world. It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmed after the conquest of Istanbul. It serves as a bazaar where carpets, rugs and valuable jewelry are sold in abundance. The place, which mostly hosts jewelers, is like the gold center of Istanbul.

Dolmabahce Palace

Witnessing the past of the two most important states of the Anatolian geography, Dolmabahçe Palace is home to the last rulers of the Ottoman Empire as well as the palace where the founder of our republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, stayed during his Istanbul visits and breathed his last. Today, it is open to visit as a museum where traces of memories from the past of the Ottoman Empire and the first years of our Republic can be found. The bed and belongings of the room where Atatürk took his last breath were preserved in the same way.

Dolmabahce Palace

Istanbul Archeology Museum

Istanbul Archeology Museum, where many artifacts from the world’s past, from the world’s first love poem to the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, are collected, hosts very important works from the past not only of Anatolia but also of the world. It has a rich collection that can attract the attention of people of all ages.

Seven Towers Dungeons

The Seven Towers Dungeons, whose history dates back to Byzantium, were also used in the Ottoman Empire. The dungeon was used as the Treasury Center and a palace where important guests of the State were hosted. It has taken its place in history as the place where Young Osman was strangled.

Rumeli Fortress

İstanbul’un fethi öncesine dayanan tarihi ile Fatih Sultan Mehmed tarafından İstanbul’a fetih öncesi kuzey’den gelebilecek yardımları engellemek amacı ile yaptırılan Rumeli Hisarı, kuş bakışı bakıldığında arapça Muhammed yazısını göstermektedir.
İstanbul Boğazının süper manzarasına hakim olan Rumeli Hisarı, İstanbul’un fethinde kullanılan ve haliç’i kapatan zincirler gibi eserlerin sergilendiği bir açık hava müzesi olarak kullanılmaktadır. Aynı zamanda Açık Hava konserlerinin de yapıldığı hisar ziyarete açıktır.

Rumeli Fortress

Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque, which Mimar Sinan called his journeyman work and built on one of the most dominant hills of Istanbul, was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, after all. The tombs of Mimar Sinan and Kanuni, who applied many architectural secrets in this mosque, are also in this mosque complex. The incident, which was claimed to have smoked hookah inside the mosque in history, took place in the construction of this mosque.

suleymaniye-Mosque

Pierre Loti Hill


The place, which has been operated as a coffee house for many years, has gained fame with the frequent presence of the French writer. It is also possible to climb the hill, where Istanbul and the Golden Horn can be seen from a very special perspective, by cable car. It is very close to Feshane and Eyüp Sultan Mosque.

Buyukada

Büyükada, one of the most visited summer resorts in Istanbul, is located on the Anatolian side across Bostancı, Maltepe and Kartal. It is the largest of the island group known as the Prince Islands of Istanbul. Aya Yorgi Church is also located here.

Miniatürk


Miniaturk, which consists of exhibiting the miniatures of the geographical and historical structures in Turkey as well as the structures that Turks left their mark on in the world, in a huge open space, will give you a huge tour of Turkey in a short time. Miniaturk, an open-air museum on the shores of the Golden Horn, is a museum that attracts people of all ages.

St. Antuan Church


One of the important symbols of Istiklal Street and Istanbul, St. Anthony’s Church is managed by Italian priests and its architect is an Italian. The history of the church, which stands like a hidden treasure in Istiklal Street with its magnificent architecture and stature, dates back to 1912.

Aya Yorgi Church

The history of Aya Yorgi Church, located on the top of Büyükada, dates back to the 1700s. The church, which can be reached by climbing hundreds of stairs, is considered one of the 2 pilgrimage points of Christians. It is believed that the wishes will be granted if you go to the church, which is frequently visited by the visitors of Büyükada, by spinning a thread along the way without speaking.

Pera Palas

The reason why Pera Palas, one of the first and most luxurious hotels in Turkey, came into existence is the famous Orient (East) Eksperes’ visit to Istanbul. It was built to meet this need of Istanbul, which has a hotel that can accommodate the wealthy of France and Europe, and it is a hotel where Atatürk is a frequent guest. The first luxuries such as running hot water and elevator in Turkey were implemented in this hotel.

Istanbul Aquarium

Istanbul Aquarium, the world’s largest thematic aquarium, is an aquarium that is the first and the most in the world in its field, with the variety of vitality, themes, rainforests it contains.
It is aimed for its visitors to see the entire Istanbul Aquarium in 16 different themes, in an order from the Black Sea to the Pacific Ocean. While trying to keep everything alive in accordance with reality and under natural conditions, a huge team of experts in the field is to ensure that this natural cycle works flawlessly.

Ataturk Museum


The historical house in Şişli, Istanbul, where Atatürk stayed before the War of Independence and many decisions were taken for the current Turkish Republic and our sovereignty, can be visited today as a museum where Atatürk’s personal belongings are exhibited.

Cagaloglu Turkish Bath

Cagaloglu Hamam, which was built by the sultan of the time, Mahmut I, in 1741 to provide income for the library in the Hagia Sophia Complex and the Hagia Sophia Mosque, was drawn by Architect Süleyman Ağa and was built by Abdullah Ağa. Cagaloglu Hamam, which still continues to serve today, is on the same street as the Basilica Cistern.

Cemberlitas Column

Constantine removed the 57-meter-long Apollon Column from the Temple of Apollo in Rome, in the square called Forum Constantine, that is, in its present place, A.D. It was erected in his honor in 300 BC. According to rumors, when it was built under Çemberlitaş, Hz. Cemberlitaş, which is located in a section between Sultanahmet Square, Hagia Sophia and Beyazıt, is one of the important works of historical Istanbul and continues to watch the events of Istanbul for centuries with a deep silence.

Historical Haydarpasa Train Station

Haydarpaşa Train Station, the place where people who migrated to Istanbul from Anatolia in many old Turkish films, started to see the beauties of Istanbul for the first time, is also one of the most important symbols of Istanbul. Haydarpaşa Train Station, which was completed in 1908 and opened to Anatolia, to the Hejaz Railway of Istanbul. The name of Haydar Pasha, one of the pashas of Selim III, who had a lot of work in the construction of the Selimiye barracks, was awarded this gigantic structure.

Historical Haydarpasa Train Station​
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