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A place to visit: Istanbul!

Updated on August 31, 2014

Istanbul is one of the greatest destinations in the world, as the city constitute the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. One of the reasons that makes Istanbul famous is that it served as the capital of 4 empires: the Roman Empire (330–395), the Byzantine Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). Another one is that city is transcontinental, a third of its population lives in Asia, the rest in Europe. With a population of 14.1 million, the city forms the second largest urban agglomeration in Europe, second largest in the Middle East and the fifth-largest city in the world by population within city limits. All of these reasons will surely make you think to visit Istanbul. But the question that you'll be asking is: "What to visit in Istanbul?". So here's a review of the best places you must visit there. There's surely many others, but these are, for me, the bests!

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Topkapi Palace

If there's a must-see in Istanbul, then it will surely be Topkapi! It's a large palace in Istanbul that was the primary residence of the ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. It's now a museum and a major tourist attraction. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers as it was home to as many as 4.000 people, but only the most important rooms are accessible for tourists. The palace contains a large collections of porcelain, weapons, robes, jewelry..

Topkapi palace jewelry

Aya Sofia

Aya sofia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica (church), later an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul. It served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Blue Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque..

Blue mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

The Blue mosque is a historic mosque in Istanbul, it's popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built by Sultan Ahmed I to reassert Ottoman power, after the unfavorable result of the war with Persia. The Blue mosque is still used as a mosque, but tourist can visit it outside prayer times.


Once you're in the Bosphorus, you'll see a beautiful building thats look old but modern. This is the Dolmabahçe Palace! Sultan Abdülmecid I ordered his building and wanted it to be inspired from the European architecture, which is the reason he looks different from all other Ottoman buildings. The Dolmabahçe palace is extensively decorated with gold and crystal. Fourteen tonnes of gold in the form of gold leaf were used to gild the ceilings, and the world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier is in the Ceremonial Hall!!

Dolmabahçe Palace

Süleymaniye Mosque

The Süleymaniye Mosque is the largest one is Turkey. It will not be really impressive if you know that the one who ordered his building was the Sultan Süleyman or as many call him Süleyman the Magnificent, the sultan which under his rule, the Ottoman fleet dominated the seas from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and through the Persian Gulf! The responsible for the construction of this mosque was the architect Mimar Sinan who was the chief Ottoman architect (Turkish: mimar) and civil engineer for sultans Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, and Murad III.

Princes' island

It's a popular destination for day trips from Istanbul during the summer.

Bosphorus cruise

A cruise on the Bosphorus is probably the most overlooked Istanbul tourist attraction. Once you are in the sea, you'll have a global view of both the Asian and the European side.

Grand bazaar

It's one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily.

Taksim square

Taksim square is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network.

Forum Istanbul

It's the biggest shopping center in Istanbul, and the best one!! you can find there hundreds of shopping stores, restaurants, coffee shops, an amazing ice museum and an aquarium. Once you're in forum Istanbul, you can't go back to the hotel before it's closed!! ^^

PS: For shopping, you can also visit Osmen bey, Laleli, Fatih..

Turkish food

The Turkish food is really delicious, you can find fast foods everywhere and eat kebab! There is something else you must try, which is the Turkish ice cream, Taksim is full of those ice cream stores!

Turkish ice cream


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    • Haj09 profile image

      Hajer 3 years ago from Tunisia

      Hope you'll do it soon ;)

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I heard many great things about Istanbul, so it is on my list for many years now ... Thanks for reminding me to start following the plan;)

    • Haj09 profile image

      Hajer 3 years ago from Tunisia

      I visited Istanbul 3 times, and I'm planning for the 4th :D Every time I go there I discover new places!! It should really be one of your next destinations :)

    • yasirchohan profile image

      Yasir chohan 3 years ago from Reisterstown

      Is that truly Istambul? It seems like a place in a dream. I wanna go there!

    • Haj09 profile image

      Hajer 3 years ago from Tunisia

      One of the most beautiful cities I've ever visited! ^^

    • V Kumar profile image

      V Kumar 3 years ago

      Great Hub ! Great City !!