Are you visiting Istanbul soon and you have no idea where to begin ? That’s understandable as the city is between two continents and has so much to offer in terms of history, food and Art !
Napoleon Bonaparte said: “If the Earth were a single state, Constantinople would be its capital.” And I had the most imponderable chance to live in this magical city for a little over 6 months and guided a few friends who came over as tourists which means you can trust me when I recommend you to visit:
1. The Bosphorus Bridge:
Istanbul is the only city on the planet that combines two continents with a bridge. How cool is that ?
Actually there are 2 bridges, the “Bosphorus Bridge” which links “Ortakoy” in the European side with “Beylerbeyi” in the Asian side and the “Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge” which links “Hisarustu” in the European Side to “Kavacik” in the Asian side.
A 3th bridge is on the go and was named “Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge”. It will be put on service in 2015.
2. The Blue Mosque:
It was built in the early 17th century by Sultan Ahmet and takes its name from the blue tiles on the dome and the upper levels of the interior. My advice is to plan your visit beforehand as the mosque closes to sightseers during the five daily prayer times.
Make sure to remove your shoes and to dress modestly before going in.
3. The Hagia Sophia:
It was a Roman Catholic church when it was first built in 537 and it became a mosque in 1453. Then, it was closed in 1931 to be reopened as a museum in 1935. It is a few steps away from the Blue Mosque. The exterior may not look very impressive but wait until you step inside.
You will be in awe.
4. The Topkapi Palace:
Take a day off and head to the largest and oldest palace in the world: The Topkapi Palace.It is surrounded by 5 kilometers of stine wall, 27 towers, Harem’s quarters, a wide collection of old weapons, jewels, clocks, clothes, etc. All overlooking the sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.
Make sure you wear something comfortable.
5. The Grand Bazaar:
The Grand Bazaar covers 61 streets with more than 5000 shops full of glittery things to catch your eye. It dates back to 1461 which makes it one of the oldest and largest indoor marketplaces in the World. The Bazaar features carpets, spices, turkish delights, carpets, mosques, antiques, fountains, Hammams, etc.
This place is seriously dizzying yet worth a visit or two.