Places to Visit in Istanbul

Istanbul has a storyteller's personality, revealing its people, beauty, architecture, food, and culture one by one. The historical beauty of Hagia Sophia, the attractive architecture of the Blue Mosque, and splendid shorelines with avant-garde restaurants such as Ulus 29 and Mikla overlooking immaculate scenic vistas are just a few of Istanbul's attractions.

There are a plethora of places to see in Istanbul, some of which include the Bosphorus strait which is a perfect line of fusion because it separates the two continents. Continue going down Istiklal Avenue and into the Grand Bazaar to enjoy the local shopping experience. Climb all the way to the top of Galata and Maiden Tower to take in the city's breathtaking panorama. Explore the enchanting components of the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, as well as the Basilica Cistern's splendor. With each passing day, Istanbul city will continue to fascinate you with new adventures. Istanbul will give you the fun of your life, from drinking Turkish chai and resting in the Hammam to enjoying a hot air balloon tour of the city, cruising the Bosphorus, and cycling through the Prince Islands.

Because Istanbul is topographically diversified and experiences distinct climates in different sections of the city, tourism is surely at its peak most of the year. The months of March to May and September to November are the finest times to visit Istanbul because of the pleasant weather. During the summer, temperatures are extremely hot with considerable humidity, and during the winter, temperatures can drop to - 15 degrees.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
  • Topping the list of places to visit in Istanbul, Hagia Sophia is a significant Byzantine construction in Istanbul and one of the world's great monuments.
  • It is also known as the Church of the Holy Wisdom or the Church of the Divine Wisdom.
  • The Byzantine emperor Justinian I looked after the construction of the church in the 6th century.
  • It has been turned into a mosque, then a museum, and at last a mosque again over the years.

Checkout Now: Hagia Sophia Museum

Basilica Cistern
Basilica Cistern
  • The Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul's largest and most visited cisterns.
  • Basilica Cistern is the largest open to the public among the hundreds of cisterns.
  • It is situated on a renowned peninsula, which also houses Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
  • The structure was built in the year 542 by the famed Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to supply the water needs of the palaces.
  • The Basilica Cistern is a well-known historical attraction that attracts millions of visitors each year. It measures about 140 meters in length and 70 meters in width, with a total surface of 9,800 square meters. The big cistern is made up of 336 columns that are 9 meters long and 4.8 meters apart.

Also Recommended: Basilica Cistern & Hagia Sophia Combo Ticket

Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace
  • The Topkapi Palace Museum is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Istanbul and houses the Ottoman Empire's imperial collections as well as a huge library of books and manuscripts.
  • It is housed in a palace complex that served as the imperial Ottoman court's administrative center and residence from from 1478 to 1856. It opened as a museum in 1924, one year after the Republic of Turkey was established.
  • The Topkapi Palace Museum is noteworthy not just for its architecture and collections, but also for the Ottoman Empire's history and culture that it commemorates.

Also Know: Plan Your Visit To Topkapi Palace

Sealife Aquarium Istanbul
Sealife Aquarium Istanbul
  • Istanbul SEA LIFE Aquarium is considered to be one of Europe's largest aquariums, with over 15,000 aquatic animals distributed in 21 zones.

  • A stingray display, a touchpool, a 60-strong school of sharks, and a sea turtle hospital with the world's largest turtle weighing 440 pounds are among the highlights (200 kilograms).

  • At Sea Life Aquarium, there's so much to see, learn, and do! Meet the world's greatest collection of sharks, as well as whales, sea turtles, and a variety of other remarkable sea creatures.

  • In the interactive rock pools, you may even touch starfish and crabs. You'll feel like you're under the sea as you go through the 83-meter-long underwater Ocean Tunnel and enjoy the massive Sea Bed display. Life under the water will astound you!

Prince’s Island
Prince’s Island
  • The Princes' Islands are a group of nine lovely islands off the Asian shore of Istanbul in the Marmara Sea.

  • Only four of the nine islands are well-known and operational, and thousands of passengers are transported there every day by fast and regular ferries from Turkey's neighboring towns.

  • Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kinaliada are the names of the renowned four islands.

  • The Princes' Islands, which were once used as a place of exile, are now one of the most popular tourist destinations for a relaxing and serene break from the hustle and bustle of city life. Because vehicles are prohibited, it has become one of the most tranquil weekend resorts.

Legoland Discovery Center
Legoland Discovery Center
  • Start your visit with a factory tour to learn how LEGO bricks are created, or go to the 4D theater for a multi-sensory film experience.

  • Learn from experienced builders at the Creative Workshop, then put your newfound talents to the test with plenty of LEGO bricks.

  • Alternatively, you can dive right in and put your talents to the test with exhibitions like LEGO Racers: Build & Test and the Kingdom Quest laser ride.

  • MINILAND, an exhibition of sites from Istanbul and throughout the world created from more than one million LEGO bricks, is a great source of inspiration.

Dolmabahçe Palace
Dolmabahçe Palace
  • Dolmabahce Palace is a luxurious residence and a must-see place to see in Istanbul, located on the Bosphorus Strait's scenic European shore.
  • This magnificent royal estate is the epitome of Ottoman architectural intrigue and is regarded as the world's most opulent mansion.
  • Dolmabahce Palace, undoubtedly one of Istanbul's most appealing tourist attractions, boldly displays its historic majesty through structural finishing embellished with a plethora of precious gemstones, gold, and everything vivid that adds attractiveness to every nook and cranny of the structure.

Recommended Read: Dolmabahce Palace Inside

Madame Tussauds Istanbul Wax Museum
Madame Tussauds Istanbul Wax Museum
  • Madame Tussauds, the world's most famous wax museum, has opened in Istanbul, with a 250-year history!

  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Rumi, Suleiman the Magnificent, Messi, Rihanna, and Muhammad Ali are among the approximately 60 popular individuals from Turkey's and the world's history, culture, art, sport, science, and politics shown at Madame Tussauds Istanbul.

  • You may get your tickets now to participate in this unique, interactive event, which allows you to see your favorite celebrities together, touch and embrace them, and take photos with them!

Galata Tower
Galata Tower
  • The Galata Tower, also known as Christea Turris by the Genoese, is a 1348-built medieval tower in Istanbul's Galata Quarter. It is a cylindrical tower with a high cone crown that provides a 360-degree perspective over Istanbul's historic center.
  • The skyscraper has nine storeys and is 66.90 meters tall, making it the city's highest structure at the time of its construction.
  • It is the ideal site to see Istanbul's peninsula and surroundings from a different perspective, as it is close to the main intersection of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

Book Now: Galata Tower Tickets

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque
  • The Blue Mosque also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul, recognised for its beautiful architecture.
  • At night, the mosque gleams like a blue diamond, thanks to the lovely reflections created by the falling lights from the minarets.
  • Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the interiors, which are a lovely mix of Turkish (Ottoman) empire, Byzantine empire, and traditional Islamic architecture.
  • The foundation location of the mosque is the Byzantine emperor's palace, which is located in front of the famous museum Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet square.

You Can Also Checkout: Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour

Chora Church
Chora Church
  • The Kariye Mosque, also known as the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, was a medieval Greek Orthodox church in Istanbul's Edirnekapi neighborhood that is currently used as a mosque.
  • The neighborhood is located in the western region of the Fatih district.
  • The structure is a fine example of Byzantine design. It was converted into a mosque in the 16th century during the Ottoman Empire, became a museum in 1945, and was turned back into a mosque in 2020 by President Recep Tayyip Erdoan.
Grand Bazar
Grand Bazar
  • In the center of Istanbul, you'll find the world's oldest and largest covered market!

  • Every day, hundreds of visitors and shoppers from all over the world flock to the famed and historic Grand Bazaar.

  • The Grand Bazaar lives up to its name, with a market space that spans 30,700,000 square meters.

  • It has approximately 4,000 shops, which are set up along 62 covered lanes and sell everything from clothing to home decor to sweets and goods related to Turkish culture and cuisine.

Rustem Pasha Mosque
Rustem Pasha Mosque
  • The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is an Ottoman mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, near the Spice Bazaar.
  • It is located in the Hasrclar arşs in the Tahtakale neighborhood of the Fatih district.
  • It was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan and completed in roughly 1563, and is named for Rüstem Pasha, who served as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire under Sultan Suleiman I.
Ortakoy Mosque
Ortakoy Mosque
  • The Ortaköy Mosque, formally the Büyük Mecidiye Camii or Sultan Abdülmecid's Grand Imperial Mosque in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is located on the waterside of the Ortaköy pier plaza, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul.
  • This structure is representative of Ortaköy since it boasts a unique view of Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait and the Bosphorus Bridge.
  • The mosque may be seen from the popular Bosphorus Cruise, which takes tourists from Istanbul's Asian side to the European side aboard a ferry boat.

Suggested Read: Mosques Walking Tour

Istanbul Modern Museum
Istanbul Modern Museum
  • The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art or Istanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi, which opened in 2004 as Turkey's first museum of modern and contemporary art, moved to a temporary location in the Asmalimescit neighborhood in 2018 while a new structure was being built.
  • The city's premier modern-art museum presents rotating temporary exhibitions and current works by Turkish artists.

Also Checkout: Dolmabahce Palace History

FAQs of Istanbul

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    Dolmabahce Palace is the most visited place in Istanbul as it houses some of the major tourist attractions of the city.

    Also Checkout: Dolmabahce Palace Red Room

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Top Things to Do in Istanbul