Istanbul is the ideal destination for taking a holiday with family, friends, or that special someone. Istanbul is also a top rated destination for those who enjoy history and beautiful landscapes. Since there are a vast variety of attractions to take part in while in Istanbul, it is helpful to have an idea of the most popular experiences that one must have while in Istanbul. Whether you enjoy shopping, eating, or admiring the beauty of the mosques and the palaces, Istanbul has something to offer the young and the young at heart.
Topkapi Palace is considered the location for touching the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Those wishing to truely enjoy this palace will need to reserve at least half of the day for exploring, but if you have an entire day take advantage of spending it at Topaki Palace. If you are pressed for time the highlights of the palace include The Harem, Imperial Treasury, and The Courtyard.
Church of St Saviour in Chora
Art and Theology enthusiasts will find great joy in the exploration of this great Byzantine wonder. Tourists will fall in love with the intricate mosaics and frescoes and will leave with a deep appreciation and understanding of Turkish culture.
What trip to Istanbul is complete without a shopping trip! At the Grand Bazaar, shoppers will need at least 3 hours to peruse through the whopping 5,500 vendors offering items like carpets, handbags, and even purses. You won’t leave empty handed!
Haghia Sophia was originally a Byzantine church, but was later turned into an Ottoman mosque and is currently a Turkish museum. Visitors to Haghia Sophia will marvel over these ruins which once where considered quite glorious.
Travel guides will likely recommended skipping the Egyptian Bazaar to avoid being pressured into purchases by persistent vendors; however avoiding Egyptian Bazaar would be a costly mistake at the expense of missing out on Erzincanlılar which is one of the most amazing delis in the world. Be sure to sample some Turkish cheese!
Walk the city walls – Galata Tower
Origianlly named the Tower of Christ, be sure to take advantage of the 360-degree viewing gallery which offers visitors luxurious views of the stunning metropolis. You will easily be able to spot many of the fabulous Istanbul architecture.
Those who appreciate fine art will find significant pleasure in the exhibits displayed at Istanbul Modern. From edgy works of art to pieces composed by local Turkish artists, Istanbul Modern has it all!
Turkey is well known globally for their elegant palaces and Dolmabahçe Palace is among one of the most intricately designed structures with rich, decendant interiors sure to impress. Don’t miss the throne room or its four-tonne crystal chandelier!
No trip to Istanbul is complete without experiencing a Turkish hookah. For those not interested in smoking, be sure to have a cup of the very potent Turkish coffee and enjoy the sights at the popular Enjoyer Café.
When the sun goes down in Istanbul, the young people come out to enjoy themselves. Enjoy a lively nightlife? Stop over at Sortie to experience a true Turkish superclub. If you aren’t quite the dancer, people watching will keep you just as busy and most likely, just as spellbound. If you prefer to keep things more low key, Anjelique offers a trendy night club experience, but on a much more sophisticated and smaller scale.
Those who are fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Istanbul may want to consider dedicating much of their travel time to taking advantage of all that Istanbul has to offer. That is why it is a good idea to plan your trip in advance, compare Istanbul hotels and book accommodation, as well as read about the various attractions Istanbul has to offer. From Istanbul’s art-deco inspired night clubs to the extravagant palaces and historical mosques, there is far too much to do in Istanbul, so be sure to allow for plenty of time to peacefully explore the city and all its glory.
Photo credit: Greenwich Photography