Istanbul is a unique city that spans two continents – Europe and Asia. With a history that dates back 2500 years, it was once the capital of three powerful empires – the Roman/Byzantine, the Latin, and the Ottoman. Istanbul played a pivotal role in shaping the development of Christianity and Islam, making it a fascinating destination for those interested in history and culture.
Where is Istanbul?
Istanbul is a large city in northwest Turkey, divided into 39 districts. The Golden Horn separates its European side into old and modern areas, with famous landmarks like the Hagia Sophia and Grand Bazaar. The Asian side is mostly residential, with historic sites like the Maiden’s Tower and Beylerbeyi Palace.
Istanbul’s Top 10 Things to Do
Istanbul offers a variety of things to do for visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the most popular attractions and activities in Istanbul:
visit the Hagia Sophia.
This impressive structure was once a church built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century CE, then later converted into a mosque by Sultan Mehmed II in 1453 CE, and finally transformed into a museum by Ataturk in 1935 CE. The Hagia Sophia is an iconic symbol of Istanbul and a true masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Visitors can appreciate the stunning dome, mosaics, minarets, and marble columns and learn about its rich history and significance.
the Topkapi Palace
served as the home and administrative hub for Ottoman sultans for over four centuries. The palace boasts four main courtyards and numerous buildings that house a diverse range of collections including art, jewelry, weapons, costumes, and relics. Visitors can also appreciate breathtaking views of the Bosporus and the city from the palace’s gardens and terraces.
The Grand Bazaar
is among the world’s oldest and biggest covered markets, housing over 4000 stores. Visitors can find a variety of items there, from carpets and ceramics to spices and souvenirs. Taking a stroll through its labyrinthine alleys, bargaining with vendors, tasting local delicacies, and immersing oneself in the lively Turkish commercial atmosphere is an unforgettable experience.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
is renowned for its stunning blue tile interior. Commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century CE, it was designed to rival the nearby Hagia Sophia. With six minarets, a grand courtyard, and a prayer hall that can hold up to 10,000 people, it remains an active place of worship. To enter, it’s important to dress modestly and remove your shoes as a sign of respect.
Istanbul’s scenic beauty
Visitors can experience Istanbul’s scenic beauty and historical landmarks from a unique perspective by cruising along the Bosporus. They have the option of taking a public ferry or a private boat tour that will take them along both shores of the strait. Along the way, they can stop at charming villages and towns like Ortakoy, Bebek, Kanlica, and Anadolu Kavagi, and pass by historic landmarks such as palaces, castles, bridges, and fortresses. It’s an unforgettable experience!
The captivating Whirling Dervish show
The captivating Whirling Dervish show is an extraordinary display of Turkish culture and spirituality. The performers are part of the Mevlevi order, a Sufi branch of Islam that practices meditation through circular spinning. Adorned in white robes and tall hats, they dance to the harmonious melody of flutes, drums, and chants. Visitors can catch this enchanting show at several locations in Istanbul, including the Galata Mevlevi House, Hodjapasha Cultural Center, or Sirkeci Train Station.
- Istanbul is also known for its diverse and rich culinary heritage. Visitors can indulge in classic dishes like kebabs, mezes, baklava, kofte, borek, dolma, and lahmacun, or explore regional specialties, including fish, mussels, chestnuts, pickles, and street food. They can also savor Turkish coffee and tea and treat themselves to local drinks such as raki, ayran, and boza.
- Istiklal Avenue is a 1.8-mile pedestrian street boasting shops, cafes, restaurants, bars, cinemas, theaters, galleries, and museums. Visitors can take a leisurely walk or catch a ride on the nostalgic tram that runs along the boulevard. It’s a cultural hub for events and festivals year-round.
- The Galata Tower is another must-see attraction in Istanbul. Built by the Genoese in the 14th century CE as part of their defensive wall, this medieval stone tower stands on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn. With a height of 67 meters (220 feet), it boasts an observation deck that offers breathtaking views of Istanbul.
- Visitors can also visit a Turkish bath in Istanbul for a cleansing and relaxing experience. The hammam has three sections: hot, warm, and cool, each offering a variety of treatments including steam baths and massages. Additional services like aromatherapy and facials are available for an even more indulgent experience.
Our Istanbul offer
The Istanbul package offers a 8-day trip to Istanbul with a choice of 4-star or 5-star hotel accommodations. The package includes round-trip flight tickets and the freedom to choose your activities and adventures. There are many things to do, such as tours of the Hagia Sophia, cruises on the Bosphorus Strait, and Turkish baths. Prices start at $940 per person; specific dates are available upon request. Contact the provider to customize your package and book your adventure today.
Discover the unique blend of history, culture, and beauty in Istanbul – a vibrant city that has something for everyone. With stunning landmarks, bustling markets, and delicious cuisine, Istanbul is a must-visit destination. Choose the Istanbul package to experience the city at your own pace, whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply enjoying a new adventure. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable travel experience.