Istanbul

Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.

The Ottoman-era Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) was named for its blue interior tiles. Circa-1460 Topkapı Palace, home to Ottoman sultans until the 19th century, contains royal artifacts and rooms that once comprised a large harem. Nearby is the Spice Market and rambling Grand Bazaar. Spanning the Golden Horn estuary, atmospheric Galata Bridge is a popular fishing spot and leads to the city’s modern heart. The Galata area is known for its medieval tower and upmarket boutiques. Beyoğlu’s stylish bars lie south of Taksim Square. The city’s eastern, Asian side encompasses residential areas and waterfront districts such as Kadiköy.

 

Topkapi Palace

It was once the home of emperors of 3 continents. It is a must-see for everyone as it homes a great view of Istanbul, traces of hundreds of years of history and priceless treasures.

 

Hagia Sophia Museum

Once a church, then a mosque and now it is a museum. This more than a thousand year old work of art will attract you in. Not to give any spoilers, don’t forget to make a wish inside.

 

Blue (Sultan Ahmed) Mosque

Half thousand year old mosque, built by Mehmet Agha (last student of architech Sinan) welcomes millions of tourists every year. Fine tiles brought by Iznik make it look bluer that it is.

 

Dolmabahçe Palace Museum

Dolmabahçe Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for almost a century, then it served as the house of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic.

 

Grand Bazaar

It’s one of the largest and oldest markets in the world. It’s just like shopping in those old movies. Test your bargaining skills in there and shop for fantastic gifts and souvenirs.

 

Suleymaniye Mosque

Built by the talented architect Mimar Sinan on the order of the Sultan Süleyman in 1557. The mosque is not only beautiful inside and out, but it also has one of the most amazing views of the Golden Horn and the mouth of the Bosphorus.

 

Bosporus

Narrows in Turkey

The Bosporus or Bosphorus is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. The world’s narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Most of the shores of the strait are heavily settled, straddled by the city of Istanbul’s metropolitan population of 17 million inhabitants extending inland from both coasts. Together with the Dardanelles, the Bosporus forms the Turkish Straits.