For first time visitors of Istanbul!
Hagia Sophia Museum: The magnificent Hagia Sophia was originally built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 537AD, and it was used as a church for almost 1000 years. After the conquering, they turned it into a mosque for 481 years, and Turkey's first President, Ataturk, declared it a as museum in 1935.
Blue Mosque: Foreign tourists call this Blue Mosque because of the color of its tens of thousands of interior blue iznik tiles. This masterful early 17th century building with its many domes and six minarets was built to compete with the Hagia Sophia across the street that had been erected almost a millennium earlier. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of its wide courtyard which is the largest of all the Ottoman mosques. Free to visit except praying times.
Topkapi Palace: This great palace was the imperial residence of Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years. Although much of the palace is not allowed to access, the daily tours of the Harem are of great interest to tourists. Open Wednesday to Monday from 09.00am to 17:00 pm.
Grand Bazaar: Lost in the crowd in the narrow streets of The Grand Bazaar. This huge market place started out as a warehouse and named as shopping Mecca for shopaholics – the largest covered bazaar in Turkey which comes from old times. Haggling for anything from rugs to jewels to pottery is part of the culture and it is rumored to contain over 4,000 small stalls.The bazaar is open Monday to Saturday from 08.30am to 07.00pm. You may enjoy the authentic shopping experience by personal shopper Istanbul, while exploring the secrets of this timeless city.
Spice Bazaar: Take a deep breath in the heady mix of colorful spices and herbs in the vivid Egyptian Bazaar.
Dolmabahce Palace: Located on the best shores of the Bosphorus. May translate as filled garden, an imperial building that for the first time looked like Western style rather than to the more traditional Ottoman style of structures. The chandelier in the Throne Room is one of the largest in Europe at about 4.5 tons definitely worth to see.
Underground Cistern: The Basilica Cistern Sunken Palace, Sunken Cistern is located in opposite of Hagia Sophia. It is a nice, mysterious place, in which you feel you are in old epochs you will be amaze. It is a Roman building made 532 AD. There are lots of columns and different column heads. The Romans recycled those columns from the temples of Pagans. However many of the travel agencies don't put the underground cistern into their schedule.
Sema ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes: Sufi whirling ceremony called Sufi spinning, Persian is an active meditation which originated among sufi dervishes, and which is still practiced by the Sufi's of the Mevlevi order. It is a customary dance performed within the Sema as worship ceremony, through which sufi dervishes aim to reach the source of all perfection named kemal.
Istanbul by night at dinner enjoy the Turkish Night on Galata Tower: Galata Tower is one of the oldest tower in the world history, which is one of the most important landmarks and a symbol of Istanbul for hundreds of years. It was constructed by Justinianus in the 6th century to monitor the harbors and the city. This outstanding building was controlled by Genoese during 13th century. From the upper side of the tower there is a panoramic view out over the whole city can be seen. Enjoy the opportunity of watching authentic Turkish Show. Harem entertainments in old Ottoman houses, rich folklore dancing of Anatolian and Caucasian, various shows and opportunity of dancing at the roof of Istanbul.
Enjoy the unique Bosphorus: This waterway passes along the shores of Istanbul is about 20 miles in length and is the physical divider between the continents of EuroAsia. Catch a ferry from Karakoy (from Eminonu) to Kadikoy. This way you can enjoy a romantic night-time by a nostalgic ferry over the waters while taking in the unique view of the Old City. Thus you may get a chance to see genuine wooden ottoman mansions and summer palaces.
Princes' Islands: No doubt that one of the best place to experiment the resort life of Istanbul. The Princes Islands are where Istanbul's mainly non Muslim elite built their summerhouses, pleasure palaces and resorts. Buyukada is one of the largest islands of marmara sea where royalty were exiled during the byzantine times and later during the Ottoman period, no autos are allowed and various ferries leave from the European side and Asian side to the Island. A good day out to walk around, after a nice meal take a horse carriage around the Island enjoy its tranquility. Learn the Schedule of the ferries, If you miss the last ferry keep this in mind or else you may have to swim back.
Keep in mind one more thing to do;
At the end of the Turkey break, before leaving the country don't forget to relax in one of famous Turkish Baths (Hamam) you may choose Cagaloglu Hamam or Cemberlitas Hamam.
Enjoy it! See you on next Turkey travel tips!