Things to Do in Istanbul
Those traveling to Istanbul end up in an exotic and chaotic city wedged in between the continents of Europe and Asia. Istanbul is a city that breathes the beauty of ancient civilizations and at the same time impresses with the latest of the newest. Here are the best places to visit in Istanbul.
6. Hagia Sophia
One of the first stops during your discovery tour through Istanbul is the Byzantine church and mosque (now a museum), the Hagia Sophia. On the outside it looks like any other building, but inside lies the treasure of ancient history built from marble stones and mosaic-lined walls that were hidden behind stucco for centuries. It is well-worth the pricey entrance fee.
5. Grand Bazaar
Collect a lot of patience, money and energy to wander through the Grand Bazaar – an absolute must when visiting Istanbul. From the moment you set foot here, you are in a chaos with owners of small shops asking for your attention. Your eyes glide over all kinds of clothing and craft products that are piled up from floor to ceiling, hidden in the soft hues of the corridors that resemble a labyrinth. The Spice Bazaar is smaller and more organized and still has the same sparkling atmosphere.
4. Boat trip on the Bosphorus
Not many people go to the Asian side of Istanbul and stay in the European, western part of the city. And yet it is definitely worth a visit! Take the ferry to Kadiköy (near Galata) or Eminönö (near Sultanahmet) and you end up in a completely different world. Here you will find streets filled with tasty restaurants, fish markets, street artists, cafes, boutiques and artists. Stroll through the waterfront park and the corresponding promenade and take a look at the deserted but oh so beautiful Haydarpasa train station.
3. Blue Mosque
During a city trip in Istanbul you can not get around to visit the eye-catching Blue Mosque, the city’s religious landmark. In the past there were many blue tiles on the inside of this mosque, hence the name blue mosque. The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616. There are 6 minarets, which used to be an indication of wealth. The wealth continues on the inside. With 20,000 hand-painted tiles, the mosque has an unique interior.
2. Topkapi Palace
This oriental palace is situated on a very large piece of land and consists of four different courts. Through Imperial gates you enter a small village. There is a bakery, hospital, horse stables and of course the palace with its gardens and nowadays terraces. Today this palace is a very special museum and is therefore open to the public.
When you visit Istanbul, then it is recommended to visit a hammam. A wonderfully relaxed experience that makes you feel reborn and gives you a soft and well-groomed skin. The age-old tradition of hammam visits is becoming increasingly popular and is a good introduction to Turkish customs and Turkish culture. One of the most beautiful bath houses in Istanbul is the Cağaloğlu Hamami. This bathhouse is more than 300 years old. It feels like you are back in time. There is a special atmosphere, which many celebrities and royals have already experienced. There are various treatments available.
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