Top things to do in Istanbul

Top things to do in Istanbul

Top things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul remains a favorite destination for visitors due to its prominence in the historical and cultural map. With over 3000 years of tradition and history, Istanbul is a paradise of palaces, museums, forts, monuments and landmarks displays the captivating architecture of the bygone eras. Regarded as a hub for entertainment and leisure, Istanbul offers everything on a platter be it shopping, nightlife or panoramic natural beauty. The cool Mediterranean climate is absolutely inviting to spend an enchanted vacation in the sparkling waters and hilly landscape. Turkish food is irresistible with its mix of Eastern and Western flavors and a Turkish Bath in the traditional hamams is something you can’t miss while you are in Istanbul. Hospitality of the Istanbul people cannot be left unsaid. Anyone who enters a shop or restaurant is offered the famous Turkish tea with its refreshing aroma and taste taking away all the tiredness of the day. Shopaholics can fill in their bags with carpets, potteries, handicrafts, soaps, nuts, jewelry and many such items can be purchased from the famous local markets in the city.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque:

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for its distinctive interior decoration of Iznik style ceramic blue tiles. One of the only two mosques in the city adorned with 6 minarets, the Blue Mosque is a 400-year-old structure that was constructed in 1616 during the reign of Ahmed I. One of the largest mosques in Istanbul, this active place of worship consists of a hospice, a tomb and a madrassa, and is closed to non-worshippers for close to an hour during the 5 daily prayers.

Eyup Sultan Mosque (Eyup Sultan Camii):

Situated on the coast near the Eyup Port terminal, Eyup Sultan Mosque is said to be of historical significance for the locals, since the mosque houses a tomb of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari who served in Prophet Mohammed’s army as a sanjak. The interior of the mausoleum is beautifully decorated with Turkish Iznik tiles and is known to be one of the major destinations in Istanbul.

Maiden’s Tower:

This legendary byzantine tower on Bosphorus Strait 200 meters away from coastline was initially a lighthouse, which is now converted into a restaurant, with a spellbinding view. A number of Hollywood movies including one from the James Bond series was shot at this location.

Cevahir AVM:

Also known as the Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre, this is one of the largest malls in the world that accommodates a plethora of international brands and food chains.

Zorlu Centre:

Located in central Istanbul, Zorlu Centre is a shopping mall with over 194 stores of various brands like Burberry, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and many such brands. The shopping mall also offers 14 movie theatre screens of which 2 are VIP theatres, and is now famous as the meeting venue in Istanbul for most of the locals.

Kanyon:

Located in the commercial district of Istanbul, Kanyon is a huge shopping mall with over 150 stores housing numerous brands. This shopping mall is a one-stop destination for catering to all your shopping needs.

Istiklal Caddesi:

Located in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi is one of the most famous and crowded streets in the city. This shopping street is cluttered with a number of famous Turkish and international brands. This street is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs and jewelry.

Topkapi Palace Museum:

The 600-year old Seraglio belonging to the Sultans of Ottoman Dynasty is a museum as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The expansive palace is filled with many courtyards, pavilions and gardens. Having been occupied for more than 400 years by the Sultans, this palace is home to a lot of treasures.

Miniaturk:

Stretched over 15,000 square meters, Miniaturk is a park that is known to be a replica of the whole of Turkey with a miniature Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and 122 other models. Located close to the river bank near Halic Park, this miniature park has become a prime destination for tourists.

Basilica Cistern:

Located 500 feet beneath Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern is the largest underground cistern in the world. Depicting the splendid byzantine and ancient Greek architecture, the cistern was made accessible to the public in 1987 and is now one of the most popular destinations in Istanbul.

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