Istanbul is the heart of turkey, the only city in the world on two continents and the most populated city in Europe. The country has over 2000 years of history and is the former capital of three successive empires, the Christian, Islamic and Ottoman Empires. Princess island tour Turkey, arguably part of the top 10 tourist attractions in Turkey is good to try out if you have the time.The past is well preserved, whilst there is a modern streak apparent. Our Istanbul tour page has a wide range of package tours starting in istanbul, and many day tours that are great to consider on a short trip in Istanbul or if you are wondering how to spend the extra time there. The small waterway; the Bosphorous, runs through the city and creates a harmonic setting for the historic landmarks, including top tourist attractions in Istanbul Turkey:
TOP SIGHTS OF ISTANBUL
HAGIA SOPHIA MUSEUM
Hagia Sophia was built at the command of Emperor Justinian in the years 532 to 537. It was first constructed as a church, then became a mosque and is now a museum. It has the fourth biggest dome in the world, towering at 56m, it is the largest in Turkey.....more info
The Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is without a doubt, one of the most spectacular sights of Istanbul and one of the architectural marvels of the world. It is referred to as the Blue Mosque, due to the blue tiles adorning the interior walls.....more info
Topkapi Palace was the administrative centre for the Ottoman Empire, for nearly 400 years, from 1465 to 1853. The palace was the setting for many royal entertainment events. Topkapi Palace is certainly the most important historical site to be visited in Istanbul.....more info
HIPPODROME AND OBELISKS
In the square in front of the Blue Mosque one of the most famous areas in Byzantine Constantinople can be found; the Hippodrome. The ancient Hippodrome, was originally a gathering place, sports area and the scene of chariot races.....more info
The Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest covered markets in the world. It was originally built in 1464, at the command of Fatih Mehmet II, shortly after his Conquest. It contains around 4400 shops, 2195 workshops, 497 stalls and 18 fountains.....more info
This area was originally the bay, where the navy anchored in the early periods; when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. Between the years 1611-1614, this bay was filled in and a timber building with a large garden called "the Besiktas Palace" was built by the order of Sultan Ahmet I. The land of the Besiktas Palace, which had become completely useless due to a fire.....more info
Suleymaniye is a mosque located on the third hill in Istanbul. It is the second-largest mosque in Istanbul. The mosque was built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.....more info
The Golden Horn is a horn-shaped inlet on the Bosphorus, which divides the European half of Istanbul, forming a natural harbour. There are walls built along the shoreline.....more info
Istanbul's 17th-century Spice Bazaar, otherwise known as Misir Carsisi, was built to provide rent for the upkeep of the nearby mosque, the Yeni Camii. The Spice Bazaar is the second largest covered shopping complex, after the Grand Bazaar and one of the oldest Bazaars in Istanbul......more info
BOAT CRUISE ON BOSPHORUS
The Bosphorus is the waterway between the two continents of Turkey, the European part, known as Rumelia or Ortakoy and the Asian part known as Anatolia or Beylerbeyi. The name originates from Greek mythology.....more info
Rumeli Fortress is located on a hill on the European side of the Bosporus, north of the Bebek district, on the narrowest point of the Bosphorus; giving the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452.....more info
The Bosphorus Bridge spans the Bosphorus Strait and provides the unique chance to step from one continent Ortakoy (European side) to another Beylerbeyi (Asian side), within a few minutes. The Ataturk Bridge carries 200,000 vehicles and 600,000 people a day......more info
Camlica Hill is one of the highest points of the Bosphorus and Istanbul, 267 metres above sea level. Çamlica Hill is the tallest of the two twin peaks of Mount Bulgurlu. The Camlica Hill has wonderful panoramic views......more info
Basilica Cistern is the largest of hundreds of underground cisterns in Turkey, capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water. It is located next to Hagia Sophia and was built during the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century.....more info
Istanbul offers a great variety of nightlife and entertainment. This ranges from the more traditional male-dominated cafes to big nightclubs. Traditional Turkish bars are called Meyhanes’s and are a combination of raki, beer and wine, along with food; including mezes (starters), kebabs and fruits of the season. The most popular area to find Meyhane’s is behind the flower passage in the Cicek Pasaj in Beyoglu. This area is a mixture of flowers, fish and vegetable stalls, where street musicians and vendors wander among the revellers
Taksim square is considered the heart of modern Istanbul and is situated on the European side. It is composed of a main shopping street, a tram line, hotels, restaurants and a favourite location for public events such as New Year’s celebrations. It is a very popular place for tourists and the nightlife is bustling, with various different venues, depending on your preferences in music.
Istanbul’s most popular Meyhane, with 3 stories, able to host 600 people.
Another common night out, includes more exotic forms of entertainment, like belly dancers, troupes of Russian or Romanian dancers, and flashy cabaret singers. Most bars stay open until 2:00 am and some keep going until 4:00 am or later. The Taksim area is very popular with tourist offering a variety of different venues, depending on the music of interest. One of the most popular bars is;
This bar and restaurant is located in the Pera district and gives punters the opportunity look out over Istanbul, with 360-degree views through their glasses walls.
New nightclubs open in Istanbul every year. However, some lasting favourites include; Reina, Sortie, Anjelique, Crystal Lounge, Mojito and Mojo. The big clubs are located around the Taksim and Ortakoy areas.