Istanbul tourist guide – Sightseeing

Istanbul, the city of empires, history  and contrasts.  It’s one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world, for its splendid landmarks, amazing views and different cultures.

The city where meets the modernity and the traditions, the East and the West, Europe and Asia, should be at the top of your list.

Here are what you can’t miss in Istanbul.

Hagia Sophia:

A magnificent byzantine building and one of the most important religious landmark in Turkey and in the world. It was a church then became a mosque and now, it’s museum that welcomes and fascinates millions of visitors with its gorgeous architecture and gold mosaics. You can walk and see a live mix of the older Christian art and architecture, right beside the more modern Islamic one.

Opening hours:

The winter season: from  09 am to 5 pm

The summer season : from 09 am to 7 pm

The final entry 1 hour before closing.

Closing days: Mondays

Admission: 11 $

Source: a n i. Y.

Source: a n i. Y.

Bosphorus Cruise:

You should absolutely  explore the city by boat while doing a Bosphorus cruise. This strait that separates two continents, offers you countless amazing landscapes, palaces, castles, buildings and Turkish treasures to see. Passing by the Bosphorus bridge, the Asian and European shores are are amazing moments you can’t miss.


The prices of the cruise differs depending on the length of tour starting from 40$

Bosphorus Istanbul

Topkapi Palace:

Topkapi Palace is the symbol of the Othman Empire. It was the home of generations of Sultans and their harems. The complex is incredibly beautiful with vast suites, patios and pavilions. There is a unique collection of jewels, fancy items and the famous Topkapi dagger. The views over the sea, the tour between gold and luxurious furniture, the beauty of history, the whole imperial experience is breathtaking.


Topkapi Palace is where lived the Sultan Sulaiman, his wife Huyam and all the characters of the famous TV show: Hareem el Sultan. The show has been filmed in parts of the castle and the clothes and jewelries of the imperial family was inspired by the masterpieces presented in the palace.

Opening hours:

Between October 26th – April 15th: 9:00 am – 4:45 pm

Between April 15th – October 26th: 9:00 am – 6:45 pm

Ticket booths close before 45 minutes

Closing days: Tuesdays

Admissions: 11 $ Additional Harem is 5.5 $



Grand Bazaar:

One of the most famous Souks in the world, the grand Bazaar is where you can buy souvenirs, carpets, jewelry and much more. It’s composed of thousands of boutiques, every area sells a different type of goods. There are also many authentic restaurants and beautiful mosques.

With more than 60 streets, you may get lost, so try to concentrate and take a map. Also, take care of your belongings, and try to avoid narrow and small corridors. Pickpocket is not stranger to that area.


Opening  Hours: Summer / Winter from 08:30 am to 7 pm

Closing Days:  Sundays

Source: Pedro Szekely

Source: Pedro Szekely


Blue Mosque:

The blue mosque or Sultan Ahmed mosque is a very famous tourist attraction in the world. It’s unique with its six gorgeous minarets, domes and its interior design.  The interior walls are covered with blue tiles from which it has the name. The mosque’s marvelous architecture has inspired visitors and designers for centuries.

Opening times: Daily, except prayer times.

Entrance: Free

Blue Mosque Istanbul

Taksim Square:

Located in the European part, Taksim is a contemporary area in Istanbul. It’s where you can find shopping centers, restaurants, baklava shops and popular hotels.

The place is vibrant and full of life. After a tour of Istanbul historic monuments and wonders you will admire the modernity of the city.


Galata Tower:

Dates from the 6th century, the Galata Tower is a historic landmark in Istanbul.

Situated on a hill, it faces the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.  On the top, the views are simply amazing. You can have lunch or a cup of tea at the top and enjoy the bosphorus and beautiful views.

Opening Hours: Summer / Winter from 9 am to 8 pm

Admission: 6.7 $

Source: Onur ERON

Source: Onur ERON


Kariye Museum (Chora Church)


The kariye Museum which was originally a church, is a byzantine building famous with its  wonderful mosaics and frescoes. Every corner has a story. You should buy a guidebook or take a guide with you to explain the meaning of that arts and you will be amazed by the history and beauty.

Opening hours:

Summer season: from 9 am to 7 pm

Winter season: From 9 am to 5 pm

Ticket booths close before 1 hour

Closing days: Wednesdays

Admission: 5.5 $

Source: hugovk


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