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Istanbul

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About Istanbul

As a city that cradles both Asian and European cultures, Istanbul has innumerable stories to count. Sitting at the throat of the Bosphorus Strait, this city is at the confluence of eastern and western culture. Previously, three ancient empires—the Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans—made this their capital city, previously known as Constantinople and Byzantium. An abundance of ancient relics and structures each culture left behind have been preserved. In the old Sultanahmet District you can see magnificent Blue Mosque and, in the same visit, go to the nearby Hagia Sophia—a Greek Orthodox church that became a mosque and is now a museum)—and the Ottoman-era Topkapı Palace. The century-old Grand Bazaar is a spectacle not to be missed. The goods inside are dazzling to behold and it is a good place to buy souvenirs.

Popular Attractions in Istanbul

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  • Religious Sites
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  • Exhibition Halls
Hagia Sophia Museum
4.6/5
995 Reviews
Church

The Hagia Sophia Museum was originally an Eastern Orthodox cathedral in the Byzantine Empire. Its construction began in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages and then converted into a mosque during occupation by the Ottoman Empire. It has now been secularized and converted into Turkey’s most visited museum, with preserved murals covering the plaster walls. Most have been restored to resemble their original appearance. The building is a true spectacle featuring the overlap of Christianity and Islam, and is a very special site well worth visiting.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque
4.5/5
1,108 Reviews
Mosque

Situated on the bank of the Bosphorus Strait is one of Istanbul's landmarks, Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It features a magnificent and eye-catching, enormous round dome. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque, was built under the rule of Sultan Ahmed during the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque derives its name from the more than 20,000 blue ceramic tiles used to decorate its interior. These exquisite blue ceramic tiles are one of the mosque's highlights. The tiles are engraved with rich patterns and Arabic inscriptions, which are the perfect embodiment of the unique features of Islamic art.

The Basilica Cistern
4.4/5
531 Reviews
Historical Site

The Basilica Cistern is located next to the Hagia Sophia Museum and was built under the orders of Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It has a capacity of 80,000 cubic meters of water, served as an underground reservoir used by the Byzantine and Ottoman Palaces and is still in use today. The Basilica Cistern is now a famous tourist attraction due to its historic importance and architectural beauty. In the dim light of the Basilica Cistern, thick Corinthian stone pillars support massive brick vaults engraved with exquisite reliefs. Sometimes you can even find fish swimming about. Because of the unique air of mystery here, it has served as a filming site for both the James Bond installment, “Skyfall”, and Jackie Chan’s “Secret City”.

Dolmabahce Palace
4.6/5
280 Reviews
Palace

Istanbul 34357, Turkey

Istanbul Tours & Tickets

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Big Bus Istanbul Hop-On Hop-Off
5/5
25 Reviews
FromGBP35.76

Istanbul Weather

|
Today
21 Oct 2019
17 °
Partly Cloudy
17-23
Tomorrow
22 Oct 2019
15 °
Intermittent Clouds
15-22
Wednesday
23 Oct 2019
14 °
Mostly Clear
14-22
Thursday
24 Oct 2019
15 °
Partly Cloudy
15-22

Travelogue

Turkey
Landforms
Historic Landmarks
Paragliding
Istanbul
Ephesus
Pamukkale
Fethiye
Antalya
Cappadocia
Turkey has long been a global crossroads. Straddling Europe and Asia, its lands have seen the rise and fall of vast empires including the Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman. This long history combines with pristine natural beauty. Black Sea resorts dot Turkey’s northern coast. Grand cathedrals and mosques line the Bosporus Straits in Istanbul. Picturesque islands are scattered in the Aegean Sea. And ancient ruins coexist with modern luxury along the Mediterranean coast. It is a land for travelers seeking something exotic yet familiar. In this and so many other ways, Turkey is the ideal blend.
William_Whitman   17 May 2019
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