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The Best Places to Visit in Istanbul
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During The Places for Visiting in Istanbul article, I will share detailed information and photographs about visiting places in Istanbul which is one of... The Best Places to Visit in Istanbul

During The Places for Visiting in Istanbul article, I will share detailed information and photographs about visiting places in Istanbul which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world according to me as I saw and traveled more than 30 countries. You can find any information that I will introduce in the article about all these places like admission charge and visiting hours. At the end of the article, I will share with you a nice map of the places where I will introduce, to visit in Istanbul where all the places are together.

Places to Visit in Istanbul by Category

With the help of its rich history, you can easily find the place to visit for each category in Istanbul. If you want, you can fill out your trip list with only the historic buildings which are most popular. You can focus on arts and entertainment by choosing places that eye catchers for all age groups.

Places to visit in Istanbul: Important Historical Structures in Istanbul

View of Galata Bridge

View of Galata Bridge

 

The historical structures which bear traces especially from Byzantine and Ottoman and many other civilizations fascinate the traveler with its rare features and its numbers.  They are the evidence of rich history with Hagia Sophia – considered as the most magnificent structure of the Historical Peninsula, the Topkapı Palace – witnessing important decisions, was taken during the mighty times of the Ottoman Empire, Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi Palaces of the last period of the empire, as well as the architects

The Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar are the first addresses for visiting people to shop in the city for hundreds of years. Soğukçeşme Street is an indispensable place for enthusiastic travelers to beautiful houses and civil architecture.

Except these, we can add to our list Basilica Cistern, Yıldız Palace, Galata Tower, the Maiden’s Tower, Rumelia Fortress – the other important historical structures to visit in Istanbul. If you need more destinations please check: https://toursce.com/destinations/location/istanbul/

Places to visit in Istanbul: The most important mosques in Istanbul

Blue Mosque / Istanbul

Blue Mosque / Istanbul

 

Another indication of how Ottoman has developed about architecture is the magnificent mosques of Istanbul. You can see closely the cultural accumulation of the empire in the mighty Süleymaniye in Eyüp Sultan where the source of peace, especially in the Blue Mosque.

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Fatih Mosque, Ortaköy Mosque, Yeni Mosque and Beyazit Mosque are other important sacred buildings that you can add your list of places to visit in Istanbul.

Places to visit in Istanbul: Important museums and art galleries in Istanbul

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

 

Except for curious people about history and architecture, there are many places that can be visited in Istanbul for people who are interested in art. The most interested places are Istanbul Archaeological Museum whose the things came from the continents where were under the sway of Ottoman Empire and the antiques which was found in the Anatolia, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art which Eczacibasi family opened and being the first in the area of Turkey under the leadership of the most interesting of this style venues. If you are interested in art and culture, you can also add the places such as Istanbul Maritime Museum, Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Galata Mevlevi Lodge, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum. Of course, these are not whole museums in Istanbul. Let’s go to the place where you can have fun with your kids…

Places to visit in Istanbul: Places for Kids

Vialand / Istanbul

Vialand / Istanbul

 

Istanbul is a city with the contents to make the children enjoy the pleasant hours as well as the adults. For example, if you want to take a photograph with wax sculptures of famous people, you can go to the Madame Tussauds Museum in Taksim and visit the Vialand Theme Park in Alibeyköy if you want to have fun with your children throughout the day.

In the Istanbul Toy Museum, founded by Sunay Akın, you can evaluate historical toys from a different point of view. You can witness the treasure of the underwater world in Sea Life or Istanbul Aquarium. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center, the only place in the city where people older than 18 cannot enter without a child under the age of 14, is helping kids to develop their talents by enjoying.

TOP 20 Places to Visit in Istanbul

As I mentioned in the previous titles, Istanbul is a rich city with many places to visit and appeal to all ages in a cultural sense. So, it becomes difficult to choose between the places. I prepared a 20-item list of places to visit, including the most popular tourist areas of Istanbul for not getting into hard situations.

Istanbul Strait

Istanbul Strait

Istanbul Strait

 

In the places to visit Istanbul’s list the Istanbul Strait, one the most impressive places in the world, is at the top. The Istanbul Bosphorus, which separates the two continents from each other, admires the travelers with its view, by revealing the most beautiful cityscapes. One of the most enjoyable and easy ways of visiting the Bosphorus is to join Bosphorus Tours, organized at different points of the city. The tours from Ortaköy, Eminönü or Üsküdar, usually takes 1-2 hours. When you are touring, you will be informed about GPS based automatic information about the structures in your area.

If you have no shortage of budget in Turkey, or want to listen to the most detailed and interesting information about Bosporus in Turkey, you can join the tour of the Saffet Emre Tonguç guidance. Or you can rent a private boat to do various organizations. You can read detailed information about Bosphorus Tours or also you can find out about the video I took during the tour in Ortaköy with information about Bosphorus. https://toursce.com/blog/istanbul-city-owerview/

Topkapı Palace

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

 

Topkapi Palace, which was built between 1460-1478 in 700,000 square meters area of Sarayburnu, was used as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for 4 centuries. The Palace, nested 4 yards, turned into the Republic of Turkey’s first museum was opened to the public in 1924. Imperial Council, Baghdad Mansion, Harem and Holy Relics constitute the most interesting parts of this magnificent building which hosts the 300,000-piece collection. We recommend you to spend at least 2-3 hours to visit the museum. https://toursce.com/destinations/topkapi-palace/

  • Address: Cankurtaran Neighbourhood 34122 Fatih / Istanbul
  • Visiting Times: October 30 to April 15, 09:00 to 16:45, April 15 to October 30, 09:00 to 18:45
  • Admission Charge: 40 Turkish Liras (free for owner of the Müzekart, except Museum Harem and Aya Irini departments)
  • Web: topkapisarayi.gov.tr

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

 

The Hagia Sophia Museum, which is of great importance for the Muslim world as well as for the Christians, took its appearance from the architectural perspective in 532-537 years after it was built for the third time by Justinian I.

The religious structure bearing the title of the world’s largest cathedral for 1,000 years has been transformed into a mosque by adding Islamic elements immediately after the conquest of Istanbul. In addition to its magnificent architecture, Haghia Sophia, which is the center of interest for the sultan’s shrine, was transformed into a museum between 1930 and 1935 years with Atatürk’s request.

You must see the splendid interior adornments, mosaics and the wish-column on the basement. You can spend 1 hour to visit the interior of the Hagia Sophia Museum, and need to have a little more time for Sultan Kabir of the outer section. https://toursce.com/destinations/hagia-sophia-museum/

  • Address: Hagia Sophia Square, Sultanahmet Fatih / Istanbul
  • Visiting Times: October 30 to April 15, 09:00 to 17:00, April 15 to October 30, 09:00 to 19:00
  • Admission Charge: 40 Turkish Liras (Free to owners of Müzekart)
  • Web: ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en

The Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

 

The Sultanahmet Mosque, which is also known as “Blue Mosque” due to the color of 22.000 ceramics decoration in the interior, was built by Sultan Ahmet I, known for his religionist behavior, by way of Architect Sedefkâr Mehmet Ağa between 1609-1616 years.

The most important feature of the structure is that it is the only 6 minarets mosque in Istanbul. The mighty mosque, the madrasah section, which rises just across Haghia Sophia, is located on a large social complex, which is used as the archive center of the prime minister today and has sections such as school, bazaar, hospital, imaret, and shrine.

Especially during the Ramadan month, festivals around the mosque add a different atmosphere to the region. In Ramadan month, if you have the chance, you should see Sultanahmet and its surroundings. https://toursce.com/destinations/blue-mosque/

  • Address: Sultan Ahmet Neighbourhood, Atmeydani Street No: 7 34122 Fatih / Istanbul
  • Visiting Times: Closed on Friday until 02:00 pm. Except Friday 09:00 – 19:00.
  • Admission Charge: Free
  • Web: bluemosque.co

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

 

One of the 20 most valuable places on the list of places to visit in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar, which is the popular place for enthusiastic both history and shopaholic. The widening of the bazaar, which is based on the Byzantine Empire age, began in the Fatih period. There are thousands of shops in the streets of the bazaar, which is a combination of two big shopping mall (bedesten) called Sandal and Cevahir.

In these shops, which take names after occupational groups active in the past, a lot of things are sold, including delicious Turkish delights, crafted wood products, interesting decorations and healing herbal teas. https://toursce.com/destinations/grand-bazaar/

  • Adress: Beyazıt Neighbourhood 34126 Fatih/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Except Public holidays and Sunday 09.00-19.00
  • Admission Charge: Free
  • Web: No English website is available. Turkish website: kapalicarsi.com.tr

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace

 

Dolmabahçe Palace, which is the most important place which highlights on the last periods of the Ottoman Empire, was built in 1856 with the orders of Sultan Abdülmecid and under the supervision of architect Garabet Balyan and his son. The historical structure which adheres to the traditional “Turkish House” architecture in its design carries traces from Rococo, Baroque and Neo-Classical styles. The palace, which was used as the administrative center of the empire until 1984, was turned into a museum in 1924.

Mabeyn, Harem and Muâyede Hall are the most interesting parts of the palace, especially Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s room, where he passed away. You can visit the palace with guided tours arranged at certain times. 2 hours are enough for a palace tour. https://toursce.com/destinations/dolmabahce-palace/

  • Address: Dolmabahçe Street 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: 00-16.00 except Monday and Thursday
  • Admission Charge: 40 Turkish Liras
  • Web: millisaraylar.gov.tr

Süleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque

 

Suleymaniye Mosque, which is known as the masterpiece of Sinan the Architect, was built between 1551-1557 years. The large social complex consisting of a madrasa, a hospital, infants’ school, a bathhouse, a hospice and a library is considered the second largest building group, building in the Ottoman Empire after Fatih.

With the help of its location, you can see the Golden Horn, the Topkapi Palace and the Bosphorus from its garden. The numbers of the minarets and minaret balcony indicate that Kanuni’s order of the conquest and the general meaning accedes of which order.

There are two different styles of shrines belonging to Kanuni and his wife Hürrem Sultan in the gardens of the mosque which fascinates with the interior architecture. The shrine belonging to Sinan the Architect is very close to the mosque. https://toursce.com/destinations/suleymaniye-mosque/

  • Adress: Süleymaniye Neighbourhood, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Street, No:1 34116 Fatih/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Closed on Friday until 02:00 pm. Except Friday 09:00 – 19:00.
  • Admission Charge: Free
  • Web: kultur.gov.tr

Basilica Cistern

Basillica Cistern

Basillica Cistern

 

The Medusa Heads in the northwest corner and the most interesting parts of the inlaid column, which is said to represent hundreds of slaves who died during construction, are now home for work of art. https://toursce.com/destinations/the-basilica-cistern/

  • Address: Alemdar Neighborhood, Yerebatan Street, 1/3 34410 Fatih/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Every day from 09.30 to 17.30
  • Admission Charge: 20 Turkish Liras
  • Web: yerebatan.com

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Istanbul Archaeological Museum

 

The stereobates of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, consisting of three parts Archeology, Ancient Oriental Works, and Tiled Pavilion, were founded with the establishment of the Imperial Museum in 1869.

You can visit the museum, which contains more than one million artifacts, and learn more information about the many civilizations that have been established in different geographical regions from North Africa to the Balkans, from Central Asia to the Near East. You can visit the museum, which is located very close to the Topkapı Palace.

  • Address: Alemdar Street, Osman Hamdi Bey Yokuşu Street 34122 Gülhane/Fatih/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: From April 15 to October 2, 09.00 to 19.00, from October 3 to April 14, from 09.00 to 17.00
  • Admission Charge: 20 Turkish Liras (Free to owners of Müzekart)
  • Web: kultur.gov.tr

Galata Tower

Galata Tower

Galata Tower

 

The Galata Tower, one of the oldest of its kind in the world, was first built in 528 by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius Oilosuz. After some catastrophic situations, it has some radical revisions processes in different periods and today it is in the shape of the tower which was shaped in the time of Mahmut II.

The Tower is a 70 meter height which is an indispensable for the visitors’ list of places to visit in Istanbul since 1967 when joining the tourism has observation terrace which you can watch the splendid view of city and restaurant which offers delicious meals to its guests. https://toursce.com/destinations/galata-tower/

  • Address: Bereketzade Neighborhood 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: from 09.00 to 19.00
  • Admission Charge: 7,5 Turkish Liras
  • Web: istanbulkulturturizm.gov.tr

Maiden’s Tower

Maidens Tower

Maiden’s Tower

 

The Maiden’s Tower, which was mentioned in 410 BC according to the historical source, was built by the Athenian Alcibiades. The tower, which has been used for centuries to control the ship’s traffic in the Bosphorus, has been subject to many myths over time due to its proximity to the land but its isolation from the city.

The building, which opened to the public after extensive renovation works between 1995-2000 years, now, serves as a museum and restaurant. You can reach the tower by going with a small boat from Salacak. https://toursce.com/destinations/maidens-tower/

  • Address: Local of Salacak 34668 Üsküdar/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: from 09.00 to 19.00
  • Admission Charge: 20 Turkish Liras
  • Web: kizkulesi.com.tr

Egyptian Bazaar

Egyptian Bazaar

Egyptian Bazaar

 

Construction period of the Egyptian Bazaar which started in 1597 at the request of Sultan Safiye, mother of Sultan Murad II, was completed by Kazım Ağa with the requesting of Hatice Turhan, mother of Sultan Mehmet IV.

The bazaar, which was the first address for people those seeking traditional tastes since the Ottoman Empire, was built in an “L” plan. The covered market which can be accessed from six gates, fours are big gates, is also called Spice Bazaar which its shops selling spices from Africa and Asia. If you go to Eminönü, you should stop at the Egyptian Bazaar and buy some spices and various kinds of desserts. https://toursce.com/destinations/egyptian-bazaar/

  • Address: Rüstem Paşa Neighborhood, Erzak Ambarı Avenue, No:92 34116 Fatih/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday 08.00-19.30, Sunday 09.30-19.00
  • Admission Charge: Free
  • Web: misircarsisi.org.tr

Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue

 

In the past Grande Rue de Pera, today’s Istiklal Avenue based on the Byzantine period. The street passages, food and drink places, and stores which were enriched in architecture and commercial by French people who settled in the area after the plague attract travelers who come to visit the city. You can access the street whether from Taksim or from Tunnel, and you can see the real beauty of the street that adds to the elements of the vast majority of the non-Muslim people have built in the past.

Nowadays, Istiklal Street is in the shadow of construction works but it is expected to reach the old days of the city when the work is over.

  • Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoğlu/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Every time
  • Admission Charge: Free

Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Shrine

Eyup Sultan Mosque

Eyup Sultan Mosque

 

Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Shrine, places to visit in Istanbul are among the most important religious buildings in our list. Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Shrine, built by the orders of Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1458, took its shape at the end of the reconstruction process made by Selim III. The mosque’s name which comes from Halid Bin Zeyd Ebu Eyüb El-Ansari, who was Muhammad’s standard-bearer, located in the first social complex in Istanbul.

There are departments such as almshouse, water-tank with a fountain, şerbethane in the social complex with a mystical atmosphere. However, the most interesting part of the visit is the Eyüp Sultan Shrine, which was built using a piece of sandstone and fascinated by its architecture. https://toursce.com/destinations/eyup-sultan-mosque/

Mosques and shrine are very popular, especially during Fajr prayer times, religious days and Ramadan.

  • Address: Merkez Neighborhood, Camii Kebir Avenue, No:1 34050 Eyüp/İstanbul
  • Admission Charge: Free
  • Visiting Hours: Closed on Friday until 02:00 pm. Except Friday 09:00 – 19:00.

Yıldız Palace

Yildiz Palace

Yildiz Palace

 

It was used as a hunting forest since the Kanuni period; Yıldız Palace was built in the name of Selim III’s mother Mihrişah Sultan. Sultan Abdülhamit became the first settler in Yıldız Palace.

The Yıldız Palace, one of the 4 palaces managed to the Ottomans, has been home to many important political struggles throughout history. Nowadays, this magnificent structure consists of Yıldız Palace Theater and Performing Arts İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality city museums interests are attracting attention. You can add to your list of places to visit in Istanbul to visit the museums in the palace and to visit Kaskat Mansion and Grand Mabeyn and to visit the Yıldız Mosque.

  • Address: Barbaros Boulevard, Serencebey Slope, No: 62 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
  • Visitor Hours: 09.00-19.00 from April 15 to October 2, 09.00-17.00 from October 3 to April 14
  • Admission Charge: 10 Turkish Liras (Free to owner of Müzekart)
  • Web: istanbulkulturturizm.gov.tr

Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress

 

Rumeli Fortress, which has been mentioned in many different names in the past, started to be built on April 15, 1452, with the order of Fatih in order to ensure the safety of strait before the pre-conquest. The completion date of the military structure that covers 30 acres of land is unknown precisely.

The most important parts of the fortress which 300 master and 750 workers work for the construction are the towers called by the names of the pashas who supervise during the construction works. You can see a part of the chain which used for closing the strait in that time, and cannon balls that are used for the conquest time in the historical structure which hosts the artistic activities. https://toursce.com/destinations/rumeli-fortress/

  • Address: Yahyakemal Avenue, No:42 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: 09.00-19.00 from April 15 to October 2, 09.00-17.00 from October 3 to April 14
  • Admission Charge: 10 Turkish Liras (Free to Museum Cardholders)
  • Web: muze.gov.tr

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace

 

The Beylerbeyi Palace, which carries Sarkis Balyan’s signature in its design, was built as a guest house by Sultan Abdülaziz in between 1860-1865 years. The simplicity in the exterior architecture is at the forefront. The palace carries traces of Baroque style. On the interior side, a magnificent view of the golden inlaid is waiting for the travelers.

The most important parts of the 24-room palace are the baths in the harem and the portion of a house reserved for men sections and the Reception Hall. There are also Ahır, Mermer and Sari mansions in the palace. https://toursce.com/destinations/beylerbeyi-palace/

  • Address: Beylerbeyi Neighborhood 34676 Üsküdar/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: except Monday and Thursday, from 09.00 to 17.00
  • Admission Charge: 20 Turkish Liras
  • Web: millisaraylar.gov.tr

Vialand

Vialand

Vialand

 

Vialand is at the beginning of places for children in our list of places to visit in Istanbul. Vialand, which has an entertainment opportunity for all ages and pleasures in 600,000 square meters, has been active since 2013. 110,000 square meters of the theme park, which is dedicated to shopping and eating and drinking areas, aims to educate young people while they are having fun.

The area that the entertainment facility which has “360” and “Nefeskesen” game for the adrenaline buffs named ” Once Upon a Time Istanbul “is helping to understand the past of the city. Vialand is a place where especially the young families can have fun all day.

  • Address: Yeşilpınar Neighborhood, Sehit Metin Kaya Avenue, No: 11 34065 Eyup / Istanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday – 10:00 to 18:00
  • Admission Charge: 77 Turkish Lira on Online
  • Web: vialand.com.tr

Miniatürk

Miniaturk

Miniaturk

 

Miniatürk, carrying the slogan “A Small Model of the Great Country”, opened in 2003. The most important feature of the theme park with a total area of 60,000 square meters is to accommodate the reduced copies of 134 works built in Anatolia and Ottoman geography over a period of 3000 years.

After visiting symbolic areas such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Haghia Sophia, Galata Tower, you can spend time in the show and playgrounds areas or shopping areas. The facility is informed about the miniatures exhibited on its premises through the voice guidance service which has 9 different language options.

  • Address: Örnektepe Neighborhood, İmrahor Avenue, No: 7/1 Beyoğlu / Istanbul
  • Visiting hours: 09.00-18.00
  • Admission Charge: 7.5 Turkish Liras
  • Web: miniaturk.com.tr

Rahmi M. Koç Museum

Rahmi M. Koç Museum

Rahmi M. Koç Museum

 

Rahmi M. Koç Museum is my personal favorites on my list of places to visit in Istanbul. There is Rahmi M. Koç Museum, which draws attention with its rich collection at the end of the TOP20 list of places to visit Istanbul. In the cultural structure where extends from the old Lengerhane, the Hasköy Shipyard and the main entrance to the Golden Horn, which opened in 1994, works of art and tools exhibits.

You can see scientific fields, models, and toys as well as nostalgic vehicles, Turgut Alp’s crane, B-24 Liberator aircraft in these sections. Even after you have visited Fenerbahçe Steamer and TCG Uluçalireis Submarine, you can go on a steamboat trip if the weather is fine.

You can visit the Rahmi M. Koç Museum if you want to visit places different from the usual ones. 2-3 hours is enough for a museum tour.

  • Address: Keçeci Piri Neighborhood, Hasköy Avenue, No:5 34445 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
  • Visiting Hours: Weekdays from Tuesday to Friday from 10.00-17.00. From 1 October to 31 March for the weekend, 10.00 to 18.00, from 1 April to 30 September, from 10.00 to 19.00
  • Admission Charge: 16 Turkish Liras
  • Web: rmk-museum.org.tr

Places Close to Istanbul

If you want to move away from Istanbul and have a piece of mind on weekends or short holidays, there are many places you can see around the city.

The Marmara Region is a transition point between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea climates, and as a result of the enriching nature and the cultures of different communities settled here centuries ago, many places worth seeing around Istanbul have emerged.

For both weekend getaways and short-term vocations, you can prefer places like Polonezkoy, Mashukiye, Sapanca, Agva, and Şile. In addition to these places, you can taste fresh seafood in Anatolian and Rumeli coasts, enjoy the sea in Riva; discover rare natural beauties in Acarlar Deep Spot.

Places to go swimming in Istanbul

Istanbul also has beautiful beaches where you can take long walks with numerous beaches that allow you to enjoy the sea and sun in summer. The first places that come to mind when you enjoy the sea are the beaches of Kilyos Beach and Prince Islands.

You can expect a lot of choices in both Europe and the Anatolian side for walks that will provide comfortable feeling and urban styles. Moda, Üsküdar, Caddebostan in Anatolia; On the European side, Arnavutköy-Bebek Beach Road and Yeşilköy, Bakırköy coastal areas are the most popular places those who like walk and run.

Tours CE Travel Consultant

Tours CE is a travel agency in Istanbul. We can make itineraries for you or you can choose your tour program between ready itineraries. For any question, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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