Istanbul is absolutely full of photo opportunities. There are more things to point your photo camera at than some cities have. The city is full of history and culture and the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents.
Istanbul is one of the world’s most exciting cities, but where would you shoot the ultimate photos; you know, ones that people will actually want to look at.
If you want unique photos, avoid the tourist spots. Go to the Sultanahmet area (surrounds the Blue Mosque) and just walk round all the side streets. Istanbul is a great city for walking, and in my experience, is quite safe.
The Underground Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayi) is truly unique. Also nearby around the ferry terminal area on the water side is a great spot and of course Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi). They are all close to each other with the places mentioned above in the Old City.
Keep in mind that in many museums and mosques in Istanbul they don’t allow the use of tripods or flash because of security.
Take a boat tour on the Bosphorus also known as the Istanbul Strait. You will be able to shoot beautiful pictures of the palaces along the Bosphorus. For only around $120 dollars you can rent your own boat and just float along the Bosphorus. The best place I found to rent boats, is in Bebek. Walk past the town of Bebek, along the coast and you will see tons of boats with “For Rent” signs. You can go the day you want to rent, or you can go earlier and reserve a boat.
All the captains are very accommodating and will design the trip around you, then give you a price depending on your needs, if you want food, alcohol, or whatever. You can also provide your own alcohol. The captain will then take you out whenever you want and drive you up and down the Bosphorus, so you can see all the lights of Istanbul and take great photo shots. The tour will last as long as you want, but two hours is a good amount of time to see everything.
If you really aren’t into spending that amount of money on a boat and want to go the ultra budget route, hop one of the ferries from Eminonu to Uskudar, walk around Uskudar for a bit, then hop the ferry back to Besiktas. This will cost you only a few bucks, will be shorter and less comfortable, but it is cheap, and you get great views of the city. So whichever you choose, a cruise on the Bosphorus during the day or at night is an experience not to be missed.
Ulus Park is one of my favourite place in Istanbul and I like going there to take great panoramic shots. You have an amazing view of the Bosphorus from the hill and there is a small cafe in the park to drink a nice turkish wine or tea. The park located on one of the hills that faces the Bosphorus and the first bridge. See a video of Ulus Park below.
Leave a comment below, if you know any other good photo spots in Istanbul.