The Best Tourist Attractions & Things To Do In Istanbul

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See Below For Our Top Rated Things To Do In Istanbul!

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

A visit to the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) - located just inside the Walled City of Istanbul - is an absolute must do! The Bazaar has served the city since the fifteenth century and is enormous. As you enter, the kaleidoscope of colour and lights will amaze, and as you stroll down 60 domed alleyways, see how many of the 5000 stalls you can visit. The array of essential, quirky and fascinating wares on display, will leave you gobsmacked. What an experience!

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Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

The magnificent Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) - built in the sixteenth century - is a world-famous landmark that is an essential part of any visit to Istanbul. Admire the use of six slender minarets to guard the huge open courtyard, and be amazed by the large prayer hall - covered by a dominant dome - with the internal ceiling decorated with intricate blue iznik tiles. As you explore this mosque, absorb the history and respect its religious operation by avoiding prayer times and dressing in accordance with regulations.

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Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque

Visit the Suleymaniye Mosque and be taken back to 15th century Istanbul. This magnificent mosque was constructed from marble and granite and was originally complemented by a complex of buildings such as hospitals, schools and kitchens; these buildings now serve as libraries and restaurants. The interior of the mosque is a delight of intricate details, and as you meander through the gardens and admire the magnificent architecture of the mausoleums, stop at one the cafes or restaurants to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere.

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Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi)
Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi)

Built by Sultan Abdulmecid between 1839 -1861, a visit to Dolmabahce Palace (Dolmabahce Sarayi) is a visit to an opulent bygone era, when the Ottoman Sultans spared no expense in their extravagant residences. The palace is huge, and so full of grandeur that you will while away hours as you wander through the rooms. As you admire the detail - including the great hall and its use of domes - you will notice the western influence on the architecture, such as the world’s largest crystal chandelier!

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Ephesus (Efeze)
Ephesus (Efeze)

Ephesus (Efeze) is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and is a magnet for curious lovers of ancient history. Wander the ruins of a city that was once only second to Rome and had a reputation as a major trade centre, and as you stroll, absorb the history back to the tenth century BC, through the ruins of the Terrace Houses, the Temple of Artemus, and the Library of Celcus. Take a day trip from towns like Kusadasi or fly from Istanbul on a day tour!

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Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya)
Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya)

Originally constructed as a place of worship, Hagia Sophia must surely be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Located at Hagia Sophia Square, it is now a museum with fascinating displays of past church objects and artefacts from tombs. The architecture of the building is awe-inspiring, with extensive use of domes and minarets, and as you meander through the museum, you will see the magnificent mosaics and use of tiles. This is a building that just be seen to fully appreciate its beauty.

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Bosphorus Bridge
Bosphorus Bridge

As you tour Istanbul, take time to gaze upon the Bosphorus Bridge. Built in 1973 and spanning 1560 metres, it was the first bridge since 480BC to link Asia with Europe! Try to view it at night, when a kaleidoscope of colour lights up the bridge in a spectacular show. While an essential part of the city’s transport, the bridge is only open to pedestrians in October, for the running of the only marathon that crosses continents!

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Sultanahmet District
Sultanahmet District

Visit another world by immersing yourself in the Sultanahmet District of Istanbul. Here the modern-day world takes a back seat to the beauty and grandeur of the past. Of course, while in the district you will visit many iconic attractions, but also take time to just stroll and appreciate the atmosphere that this intense collection of marvels creates. Have a meal and a drink, go shopping, and maybe find that perfect memento to remember your trip with.

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New Mosque (Yeni Cami)
New Mosque (Yeni Cami)

It is a sign of the depth of Istanbul’s history when the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) is mere 400 years old. You will find this mosque at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, and you will be awed by its spectacular construction - designed using 66 domes and semi-domes up to 36 metres high in a pyramid formation. Stroll through the large courtyard and admire the interior decoration with blue, green and white Iznik tiles, as well as its extensive use of marble.

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Egyptian Spice Bazaar
Egyptian Spice Bazaar

Follow your nose to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul. This enormous covered market has served the city since 1660, and the flavours and aromas of the wares have infused and become one with the bazaar. Stroll row after row of stalls and take in the wonderful variety of the foods on offer. Relax and enjoy in the vibe of this great city, stock up on Turkish delight, and maybe find a memento to take home!

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Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace

Visit Topkapi Palace - near Sultanahmet Square - for a snapshot of the culture and lifestyles of Sultans dating back to the fourteenth century. Topkapi Palace was used as a residence for Ottoman Sultans for over 400 years, and as you take the tour you will see fascinating collections of weapons and utensils from this bygone era. Admire the intricate details of the furnishings these lavish palaces enjoyed, stroll through the squares and the gardens, and tour the Harem section on this magnificent day out.

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Anzac Cove
Anzac Cove

For people interested in history - particularly Australians and New Zealanders - Anzac Cove is a place to honour fallen soldiers. This small cove was the site of the bloody Battle of Gallipoli that started on 25 April 1915. The cove - just 600 metres long - was the base for the Australian and New Zealand troops, and symbolises both the tragedy of war the heroics of individuals. Take in the memorials and cemeteries that honour the fallen on both sides of the conflict.

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Rumeli Fortress
Rumeli Fortress

Sitting on the European side of Istanbul, the Rumeli Fortress is a testament to what can be achieved with strong will – the fortress was built in just four months for the siege of Constantinople in 1453. Today, the fortress is an open-air museum and it very much welcomes its visitors! As you wander through the museum, take in the magnificent views of the river and watch the vessels glide by.

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Beylerbeyi Palace
Beylerbeyi Palace

Take time out to see how the Ottoman Sultans spent their summer at the beautiful Beylerbeyi Palace, located on the Asian side of Istanbul. To really appreciate the history and stories behind the grandeur of this blend of western neo-classical and traditional Ottoman design, take a guided tour, or simply meander to view the furniture and decorations of the halls and rooms of the palace.

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Bursa
Bursa

Nestled beneath Turkey's Mount Uludag, most commonly known as the "Great Mountain", is the city of Bursa. Scattered with magnificent Mosques and traditional Ottoman architecture, the city is home to some of the most beautiful thermal spas in the country as well as its magical bazaars and marketplaces.

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