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Attractions in Istanbul

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Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia Museum

4.6/51,126 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 43185 reviews
Church
From April 15th to October 30th, 9:00-19:00, October 30th - April 15th, 9:00-17:00, stop selling tickets 1 hour before closing. The first day of Ramadan is not open every year, and lesser bairam is only open for half a day. (Local time)
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

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

4.5/51,219 Reviews
Mosque
Generally, it is open during 8:30-16:45. No entry during the Muslim religious service. There is a sign at the front of the door to remind visitors of the opening time of the day (about 3 periods per day). Friday is usually open to visitors from 13:00. (Local time)
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.
Bosporus

Bosporus

4.6/5757 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 1638 reviews
Strait/Fjord
Open all day (Local time)
The Bosporus Strait, which divides Istanbul in two, is also known as the Strait of Istanbul. It connects the Black Sea in the north to the Marmara and Mediterranean Sea in the south, splitting Turkey into a European side and an Asian side. Both sides are famous historical districts in Istanbul. A common way to enjoy the Bosporus is by tour cruise. Sailing down the Bosphorous offers a great view of scenic spots on each side of the strait accompanied by the beauty of the water itself, especially at sunset when the scenery becomes particularly mesmerizing.
The Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern

4.5/5583 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 31095 reviews
Historical Site
Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Local time)
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”.
Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

4.3/5498 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 14 reviews
Market
Monday-Saturday 9:00-19:00, closed on Sundays and bank holidays. (Local time)
Bazaar means the market, and Turkish is the "covered market." The Grand Bazaar has been the city centre of Istanbul for centuries. The Grand Bazaar is very close to Istanbul University and the Blue Mosque, and its entrance is so ordinary that it is easy for visitors to miss it. The large-scale Grand Bazaar adopts a fully enclosed design that receives visitors from all over the world every day. People have installed a set of lockable doors and fences for the market, so that after a day of trading, the market can be safely closed.
Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

4.5/5574 Reviews
Palace
October 30th - April 15th, 9:00-16:45 (stopping ticket sales at 16:00), April 15th - October 30th 9:00-18:45 (stop selling tickets at 18:00); It is not open every Tuesday of the year. The opening hours of public holidays and religious holidays will be adjusted. (Local time)
Topkapi Palace was the official government and residence of Ottoman Sultan in the city from 1465 to 1853. It is now transformed into a museum that shows the world the past and amazing treasures of royal life. The palace was ordered to be built in 1459 by Sultan Mehmed II, the conqueror of the Byzantine Empire. The emperor who was famous in history chose this highland on the left side of the Bosphorus. The sea and the Golden Horn are in full view, and its history and grandeur are the treasures of Turkey.
Istiklal Avenue

Istiklal Avenue

4.5/5413 Reviews
Featured Neighbourhood
Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace

4.6/5353 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 7718 reviews
Palace
Tue - Sun 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (Local time)
Dolmabahce Palace built in 19th-century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of the Ottoman Sultans residing there. After the foundation of the Turkish Republic in Ankara, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk transferred all government functions to the youthful capital but on his visits to Istanbul Ataturk occupied a small room at Dolmabahce Palace as his own. He stayed, welcomed his foreign guests and made a practical center for national, historical and language congress and for international conferences.
Galata Tower

Galata Tower

4.5/5287 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 9512 reviews
Ancient Pagoda
9:00-18:00 (Local time)
The medieval Galata Tower gives a fairytale feeling to the hilly Beyoelu district, on the north part of the Golden Horn. Topped by a conical tiled steeple and gold finial, the 67 meter high stone tower was built by the Genoese in 1348. Explore the outdoor observation place at the top for a marvelous panorama reaching to Sultanahmet, have dinner or a snack at the tower-top restaurant, or view a Turkish belly-dancing show inside the nightclub.
Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque

4.5/5228 Reviews
ta-iconbased on 12073 reviews
Mosque
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