July 18, 2024

Happy Travel & Tour

Specialists Travel & Tours

6 Top Sights to See in Istanbul: Mosques, Palace with the World’s Largest Chandelier, and Underground Museum 

6 Top Sights to See in Istanbul: Mosques, Palace with the World’s Largest Chandelier, and Underground Museum 

Prepare for an unforgettable journey full of exciting history, stunning temples, and bargaining at bazaars. Discover the unique connection between Europe and Asia across the famous Bosphorus Strait, experience the beauty of Turkish palace interiors, and explore the numerous mosques of Istanbul. These Istanbul tourist sights are a must-see.

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, combines a rich history with oriental charm and the bustling pace of a metropolis. There are around 300 mosques here, which wake their inhabitants to prayer every morning. Explore Istanbul to discover the largest Turkish mosques (because visiting mosques in Istanbul is a must-have), bargain at bazaars, and taste Turkish specialties. We have listed for you six top sights to see in Istanbul.

1. The Historic District of Sultanahmet in Istanbul

The historic district of Sultanahmet is the heart of old Istanbul. This area is home to some of the most significant and beautiful landmarks not only in Istanbul but also in the whole world.

In the historical district of Istanbul, you will find two mosques:

  • Hagia Sophia: This mosque was formerly a Byzantine church of Holy Wisdom and served as a museum during the 20th century. Since 2007, it has been serving again as a mosque.
  • Sultan Ahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, is the largest mosque in Istanbul and serves believers. It was built in the 17th century by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I, who is buried there. It is the only mosque in the world with six minarets; only the mosque in Mecca has more.

Also worth seeing in the old city of Sultanahmet is Topkapi Palace, which used to be the seat of government and home to the Ottoman sultan. Inside, you will find the Sultan’s bedroom, kitchen, treasury, and other treasures of the Ottoman Empire.

2. Basilica Cistern

Yes, you’re thinking right; it’s a water reservoir. One of the most significant is precisely the Basilica Cistern, inside which you’ll now find an underground museum. This basilica houses a massive main chamber capable of holding up to 80,000 cubic meters of water.

The water was brought here through aqueducts, which carried it from a reservoir near the Black Sea 20 kilometers (12 mi) away. This water formerly served as a water source for the palace and basilica built above it.

3. Bosphorus Strait

Istanbul is a city of two continents—Europe and Asia—separated by the Bosphorus Strait. When visiting Istanbul, it’s worth crossing the Bosphorus to the other side. Don’t worry, you won’t be swimming; you’ll take a ferry instead.

4. Dolmabahçe Palace

In this palace, you will find some of the most magnificent interiors in Istanbul. Ottoman rulers drew inspiration from prominent palaces in Europe during its construction. And what else might captivate you during your visit? Undoubtedly, it will be the world’s largest crystal chandelier, weighing 4.5 tons (9,000 lb) and crafted in the Czech Republic.

5. Galata Tower

The Galata Tower ranks among the most significant monuments in Istanbul. It symbolizes the turbulent history of this metropolis. From its heights, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the entire city. Also worth visiting is the Galata Tower Museum.

6. Grand Bazaar

If you visit Istanbul, you must not miss the traditional market. It covers an area exceeding thirty hectares and offers a unique opportunity to explore numerous stalls and get lost in their diverse offerings. While shopping, don’t forget that bargaining is an essential part of the experience.