There are several beautiful attractions in Istanbul. As a first timer, it is important to take note of these destinations. We have formulated a guide to help you across Istanbul.
This is one of the most popular monuments of Istanbul. The visitors often refer to it as a blue mosque since it is built with thousands of blue iznik tiles. The building has six gigantic minarets and several artistic domes accentuating the 17th century architecture. It is believed that this monument was built to compete with the Hagia Sophia museum located right across the street. Out of all the Ottoman mosques, the blue mosque has the largest courtyard and one can feel the peace and tranquility around. Be mindful of the prayer times if you wish to participate.
Hagia Sophia Museum
Byzantine Emperor Justinian built the extraordinary Hagia Sophia in 537AD. The building was originally used as a church for about thousand years and was converted into a mosque after the Turkish invasion. In 1935, Ataturk (first president of Turkey) declared it as a museum.
This has been the home to the Ottoman Sultans since more than 400 years now. Although one cannot access the interiors of the palace, one can experience the grandeur from the front yard. Most tourists choose to take the Harem tours, which operate on a daily basis.
One cannot miss out on the Grand Bazaar on a trip to Istanbul. The market is scattered across the narrow streets of the city. It is the largest covered market in Turkey and is considered to be a “must see” destination for shopaholics across the world. One can haggle for anything, from pots to jewelry to rugs. The entire bazaar contains more than 4000 stalls and some shops are open until midnight. You can experience the authentic culture of Turkey while shopping across the constricted lanes.
This palace is located on the shores of Bosphorus. While it comes across as a contemporary structure, the chandeliers in the palace are worth a watch.