Istanbul is a city of contrasts formerly known as the Oriental metropolis Constantinople. The deeply rooted rich Islamic culture meets Western lifestyles. Ancient traditions and religious beliefs alternate with those of modern life. Here are the top 10 places you must see in the city.
With its amazing architecture, six minarets, and tens of thousands of tires in the interior, this is the biggest of all Ottoman mosques in Istanbul. The mosque’s perfect proportions and breathtaking atmosphere make it an absolute must see and best of all it’s free.
The Gallatin Tower is the tallest tower in the city when it was constructed in the year 507. Originally built to spark fires from afar, it’s now a popular spot for the young Istanbul ahem. In the tower, there is a coffee place with great views of the city. At night, the tower turns into a tourist attraction with dinners and shows all around.
The Bosphorus is a mighty strait dividing the city into European and an Asian part. There are a lot of ferries connecting the two continents most of which are used by the many commuters. Make sure you board one of the exclusive tours along the Bosphorus to get the best views of the city and some of its delightful attractions.
The next attraction is for art lovers as Istanbul rich art scene offers something for everyone. Close to the newly-opened Istanbul modern which holds a superb collection of modern and contemporary art there is the Boheme district of Jahangir. Nestled between cozy cafés and stunning antique shops, Jahangir is for those who are interested in up-and-coming galleries and small designer shops.
If you always dreamt about shopping in the buzz of an oriental bazaar be sure not to miss this mind-blowing atmosphere of Kapil Akasha. Spreading over fifty-eight streets, it hosts over four thousand shops. Settle on the price for an original Ottoman carpet over a glass of epic tea, smoke a traditional water pipe, or just marvel at the extraordinary selection of handmade artifacts.
If you need a break from the crowds, take a boat to one of the tranquil princess islands. It’s a great destination for a day’s escape especially as the ferry ride here is very enjoyable. Upon your arrival, you can rent a bike or take one of the romantic horse carriages for a trip around the island.
Istiklal Street is the vibrant heart of the city. A shopper’s paradise at daytime, Istiklal turns into the center of Istanbul’s nightlife after dark. Stroll around the countless side streets to find restaurants, bars, and clubs for every budget and taste – a lot of which offer live music until the early morning.
Istanbul is famous for the countless dance shows you can visit. No matter if it’s belly dance, traditional folk, or modern break dance you name it they have got it. Watching a show like this is a truly exhilarating way to spend an evening.
This opulent palace complex stars in many colorful stories. Marvel at ancient Islamic relics and beautiful handcrafted items as you walk through the palace gardens. There are guided tours around the many courtyards but make sure you have booked your tickets in advance because prices and quality may vary.
This extraordinary building is Istanbul’s most famous monument. Breathtaking mosaics, a dome hovering almost unsupported over your head, and a history as long as the cities itself make this one of the world’s truly great buildings.