Things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul is seen as a ‘bridge’ that unites the Eastern and the Western world. The financial and commercial part of the city is found on the European side, and two-thirds of the city’s population lives on the Asian side. This city is a cultural mix between tradition and innovation. Architecture, food, and history are some of the most interesting attributes of the city. Until 1930 the city had two names: Istanbul, and its historic name Constantinople. In 2012 it was declared a European capital of culture and is the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former greek orthodox christian patriarchal basilica. Then it has turned, during the ottoman era, into an imperial mosque. Built in 537, its construction took over 1000 years to be completed. At that time it was the largest cathedral in Europe until the cathedral of Seville was built. It is now a museum about art and history of Architecture, and one of the most visited museum in the world!

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul is a former residential building of the Ottomans sultans. The construction of the Palace began in 1459, six years after the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul). In 1985, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site like many parts of the city of Istanbul. Now, since 1923, Topkapi Palace is a museum where you can visit the most important room of the palace such as the Imperial Treasury Room or the Ottoman Imperial Harem, which was the room of the wives of Sultans.

Grand Bazaar

One of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul attract more than 250,000 people every day. With more than 4,000 shops it is considered as the largest shopping mall in the world. From the velvet clothes to the famous Turkish delights, you will find everything you need there. It is also a great moment to try your negotiation skills as long as you stay respectful with the sellers.

blue mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is still religious today, and Muslim keep on kneeling on the red carpet after the call to prayer. Built under the rule of Ahmed I, the blue mosque got its name from the color of its wall that is blue. The particular design of this mosque is the result of two centuries of development of mosque architecture. With its five domes it is one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul.

Cappadocia

Located in Central Turkey, Cappadocia is a semi-arid region. It is mainly known for its tall, cone-shaped rock formations clustered in Monks Valley, Göreme and elsewhere. The 100m-deep Ihlara Canyon houses numerous rock-face churches. The place is also known for its multiple Hot Air Balloon tours from which you can admire the region with a breathtaking birdview.

Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is a tiny natural strait and a major international waterway in the northwest of Turkey. As Istanbul is located on the shore of the Bosphorus, a cruise on this waterway is highly recommended. You can also take a boat to get to the cute islands located on it. To cross it you also have the possibility of taking the two bridge that crosses it.

Pamukkale

Pamukkale is a natural site in the southwest of Turkey in the River Menderes Valley. It is especially known for its carbonate mineral left by the flowing water. Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish takes his name from the white color of the minerals that cover the whole part of the hills.

Troy

Troy was a city in the antiquity in Turkey, the present day location is known as Hisarlik. The city of Troy is especially known for being the location of the Trojan War described in the Greek epic tales, in the Iliad and Odyssey. The war ended by using the famous trick of the Troy Horse, which was used by the Greeks to enter the fortified city.

Süleymaniye Mosque

The Süleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. It is the second biggest mosque in the city and one of the most-known sights of Istanbul. Built on under the rule of Sultan Süleyman in 1550, it blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements. It combines tall, slender minarets with large domed buildings supported by half domes in the style of the Byzantine church Hagia Sophia.

Turkish Bath

A Turkish bath is a type of public bathing associated with the culture of the Ottoman Empire and more widely the Islamic world. The method involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna but is more related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.