Istanbul’s many attractions include towering minarets and exotic monuments of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. Below are Istanbul’s most amazing attractions to visit.
Turkey’s biggest metropolis has recently been voted the European Best Destination to visit. With a city as rich in history, it should come as no surprise that some of its most popular attractions are buildings built by royalty in centuries past.
To help, we’ve rounded up attractions in Istanbul that belong on any visitor’s to-see list. Many of the attractions in the top 10 are free: there’s no better place to soak up some culture. Whether you prefer history or art, you’ll find it here.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbulread more
The Hagia Sophia was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand yearsread more
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is one of the world’s largest covered markets, spread over 60 streets and containing over 3000 shops of jewelry, textiles, pottery, glazed tiles, bronze, leather and carpets. The Grand Bazaar is also one of the oldest of its kind, with roots stretching back to the 15th century. Its first ‘bedestan’ (domed building) was built in 1455 on the orders of Sultan Mehmet I. In the 16th century, it was expanded by Suleiman the Magnificent. During its history, the Grand Bazaar has seen damage from fires and most...read more
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı) is Istanbul’s most unexpectedly romantic attraction which offers an insight into the complicated system that once brought drinking water into Istanbul.read more
The Kariye Museum in Istanbul among the top 30 must-see museums in the world.read more
Dolmabahce Palace known as “the Versailles of Istanbul” is an impressive European-style residence that was the centre of the Ottoman Empire for the last 60 years of its existence.read more
The Süleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii) is the largest mosque in Istanbul. The mosque crowns one of the seven hills dominating the Golden Horn and provides a magnificent landmark for Istanbul.read more
Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) is a medieval stone tower situated in the bustling Istanbul district of Galata. This medieval attraction occupies a prominent place in the city’s history and rewards visitors with stunning views if they climb to the top. Galata Tower’s roots stretched right back to the sixth century when the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius built the Lighthouse Tower. Originally, the tower was made of wood, but when the Genoese took it in 1348 and rebuilt the tower with stone and named it the Tower of Christ. At the time, Galata was a...read more
Maiden’s Tower (Kiz Kulesi) stands in the middle of Bosphorus where the two continents Europe and Asia meet.read more