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Must Visit Highlights of Istanbul

We made a short List, picked and mostly suggested ones and must visit spots in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, a miraculous building with its history dating back to the 6th century, welcomes you in the center of the historical peninsula. It has the effects of Christianity and Islam as it has changed hands for centuries.

It was built for the first time by the name of Megale Ekklesia (Great Church) by II Contantinus, the son of Contantine the Great between 337-361. It was destroyed in a fire that broke out in the 5th century during the reign of Emperor Arkadius. It was then rebuilt in its current location during the reign of Theodosius II. The year 532 has been the milestone of today's building. A large part was burned and destroyed in the riot against Emperor Justinian. This great uprising is known in history as the “Nika Riot”.

After the uprising, the third church was built by Emperor Justinian, much larger, more powerful and magnificent than the previous ones. Its construction was completed within 5 years.

Hagia Sophia, the center of Christianity for hundreds of years, changed hands with the conquest of the Ottoman Empire in 1453. After the conquest of the Ottoman Empire, the church was turned into a mosque and the mosaics were taken under protection. Because of not using images in mosques, mosaics were closed and main elements of mosques such as pulpit, mihrab muezzin lodge were added. After the Ottoman Empire transformed into the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the question began whether the mosque would become a church or remain as a mosque. In 1935, the mosque was turned into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the mosaics were uncovered.

After the Ottoman Empire transformed into the Republic of Turkey in 1923, the question began whether the mosque would become a church or remain as a mosque. In 1935, the mosque was turned into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the mosaics were uncovered. and in 2020 it regained the status of a mosque.

Topkapı Palace

Following the conquest of Istanbul by Sultan Mehmet the II in 1453, a palace was first built for the empire in the Beyazit region. Just few years later, the first buildings of Topkapi Palace started to be built. For this reason, Topkapi Palace is not a building built in a few years. It is literally a history that tells all the centuries of the Ottoman empire.

It consists of 4 courtyards.

The 1st courtyard was open to the public in the past as well as today. It hosts the Aya Irine Church, a museum that has never been turned into a mosque. You reach this courtyard by passing through the Bab-u Humayun gate. You can reach the Archeology Museum from the road on the left.

For the second courtyard, you can pass through the double-tower Bab-usselam gate. The courtyard you will encounter after you pass the ticket booth opens to wide paths and garden. For a second, you don't know which way to go, but the rules and order have been carefully planned. The 16th century kitchens, the entrance to the Harem Apartments, the Divan-ı Humayun (Imperial Council Hall) are in this courtyard.

You can reach the 3rd court from the Babussade gate. Enderun, the school of the palace, is located here. 18th century library is here. However, the most valuable ones are the Holy Relics section awaits you in this courtyard. The footprint of the Prophet Muhammad, the relics of John the Baptist, the sword of David are here. In addition, the "Spoonmakers Diamond" in the treasure section and Topkapi dagger, the leading actor of the famous movie, await you.

Finally, the 4th courtyard is the courtyard reserved for the Sultan and his closest people. It watches the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn from both sides. Beautiful pavilions and rose gardens tell a dreamlike story.

One year after the Ottoman Empire transformed into the Republic in 1923, the palace was converted into a museum. Today, it opens its doors to numerous local and foreign tourists from all over the world.

Blue Mosque / Sultanahmet Mosques

After the Ottoman empire conquered the city, one of the greatest wishes of the Sultans was to build a large, public, inclusive mosque. Most importantly, a building built as a mosque from the beginning to the end. One of these dreams came true in the 17th century, right across the Hagia Sophia. The mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet in the 17th century. The architecture of the mosque is Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, a student of the famous 16th century architect Mimar Sinan. Sultanahmet Mosque, which is a magnificent social complex, reflects the nobility of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It covers an area of more than 2000 square meters with its outer and inner courtyards, madrasah, 6 minarets, arasta bazaar. Its name is referred to as the Blue Mosque by travelers because of the magnificent blue tiles used in its interior design. It has an area where 12 thousand people can pray at the same time. and in high season it is visited by 20 thousand people a day.


It is one of the most important straits in the world due to its geological location. It is the Istanbul Strait that connects the European and Asian continents. It connects the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea itself. Most importantly, it is a link that connects the Black Sea to the world. It makes the districts facing it, from south to north, even more magnificent. The Bosphorus makes the city green, enriched and utilized. With its mansions, cafes, palaces and walking paths, they are the coasts visited by every local and foreign tourist at least once. For many locals, walking along the Bosphorus is the gateway to romance, or the freshest method of daily walking. To experience this, you can take a boat and visit the city by sea.

Egyptian Bazaar / Spice Market

The Spice Bazaar, built in the 16th century, was part of the complex of the New Mosque in Eminonu. It got its name from the spices brought from Egypt in the 18th century. Over the years, the products sold have enriched due to the development of trade and its location. The Spice Bazaar, built in the L plan, is a spice - Turkish delight - tea version of the Grand Bazaar. Over time, it was named "Spice Market" by its visitors due to this diversity.

Grand Bazaar

Meet with this huge bazaar where silver, gold, fabric, carpet and leather come together. With 11 doors, Grand Bazaar is the most valuable and oldest shopping mall of history ever seen. The Grand Bazaar has been the financial source of the people since the first days of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. It has been the center of various professions such as arts, commerce and economics. It is not only a commercial, but an educational center. The Grand Bazaar is waiting for you with its 4000 shops and 25 thousand employees.

Additional the these: - Fener Balat area - Galata Tower - Karakoy streets - Kadikoy area - Istiklal Street from Taksim square to Tunnel area - Ortakoy quarter - Suleymaniye area are to visit before you leave... Long list, huh? :) Mail us to design your trip guys ;) Sanem Yucesoy

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