Istanbul is the most populous as well as the most popular city in Turkey. It is a transcontinental city in Eurasia because its commercial and historical centre lies on the European side whereas its population lives in suburbs on the Asian side. It has great cultural and historical places to visit. While today it is modern, the remains of its historic heritage sites like mosques, basicillias, cathedral, and ancient markets still flourish, which not only offer good perfumes but also charms and great mats. The sweet summer weather and the charming summer breeze makes summer the best time to visit Istanbul.
Places to Visit in Istanbul
There is no shortage of heritage and great places to visit in the city. To make the best of your time and the experience as a whole, here are the best place to visit in Istanbul.
1. Galata Tower
Galata tower is a 67-meter tower made as an observation point to spot fire, but today this medieval age tower functions as a view point and people view the old city from this tower. Even after many years of the its construction, the tower is one of the highest in the city. Today there are many cafés and restaurants in the upper part of the tower which offer the best view with a cup of coffee.
2. Sulaymani Mosque
The Sulaymani Mosque is as beautiful as it is spiritual. People claim that with just one view of the mosque you can achieve tranquillity. Even after facing heavy damage during World War I, the mosque has been restored and today people visit this beautiful place to see the architecture of the Ottoman time.
3. Grand Bazaar
Visiting a new country comes with the responsibility to buy souvenirs for your friends and your loved ones, if that’s the case then the Istanbul grand bazaar is the place for you. There are nearly 5000 shops in there which make it largest indoor shopping market place in the world. The bazaar features many items like jewelry, spices, mats, and lots of things to buy.
4. Hagia Sophia
This building was once a place of worship but today it stands tall as a beautiful museum that narrates tells not only its own story but the story of city Istanbul and its ruler. In the beginning, it was made as a Greek eastern orthodox basilicia then a catholic church and then a mosque until 1931.
In and around the Hagia Sophia, there are some breathtaking tourist attractions and sightseeing locations which you can also enjoy during your Istanbul visit.
5. Basilica Cistern
This place is one of the most surprising places for tourists because of a huge underground hall with support of 336 columns of the pillar in 12 rows. It was developed for the storage of imperial water supply but today is popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.
6. Spice Bazaar
If you are a connoisseur of spices and dried fruit this place is for you. You can visit the Spice Bazaar and explore the colourful extravagant views it offers.
7. Istanbul Modern
This place proves that Istanbul is not just meant for old historical places but it is also modern. It is home to marvelous Turkish modern art with a change of exhibition and artists with the calendar. Even if you have little aptitude for art, this place is sure to give you the chills.
It is located on Istanbul’s Asian shore and can be easily reached by the ferry from Eminonu dock. The major sightseeing interests in this city are the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and Yeni Valide Mosque.
9. Blue mosque
This place is a very famous mosque in Istanbul, known for its attractive architectural design and breathtaking tomb. But if you are planning to visit, keep in mind that in this place the people pray five-time salat resulting in its frequent closure. Make sure the mosque is open when you are planning to visit.
An Ideal Summer Destination
The best time to visit Istanbul is in summer during April and May when days are drier, longer and sunnier. These months also have fewer crowds which make it serene and fun for you. During this summertime you can also enjoy seafood restaurants and special Turkish coffee. This time, especially in June there are many opera and jazz festival taking place in there which you can enjoy with your family.
During your Istanbul visit you can also do many things like interacting with local people and dining with them. Many local families are friendly and invite tourists for dinner. The local food in the city is also delicious and you can savor these cuisines on the streets next to Cleopatra beach.
You can also sip on Turkish coffee in a tiny handmade cup sculpted with a lot of effort. Finish your coffee without leaving a drop in it in order to reap the maximum benefits the mud glasses. Istanbul has great cuisines and filling dishes like the mezze, cacik and tabbouleh salad which are very fun to eat.
Places to stay in Istanbul
There are a large variety of hotels in Istanbul where you can stay during your visit. If you are short on money or want a minimal stay, Jumba hotel is ideal for you, providing a splendid view over the city. You can also visit Basileus hotel known for its excellent location in the city.
Sumahan hotel is also a great stay next to the water for water. It used to be an Ottoman Era distillery which was changed into a hotel.
Pera palace hotel is also one of the best hotels in Istanbul with its history including many famous people like Agatha Christie and Ernest Hemmingway.
If you are a party-loving person and don’t want to spend your whole night in a hotel room, the nightlife in Istanbul is ideal for you.
You can visit many night clubs and bars in Istanbul like:
This nightclub is famous for lavish parties and posh crowd. Some famous star like Bon Jovi, Kylie Jenner, Daniel Craig also visit this night club.
This place is known for its romantic ambiance and has become a favorite place of top-notch socialites.
The places mentioned above are not enough to describe this stunning city. From its brilliant Ottoman architecture to its watering cuisines, the city has a lot to offer. Istanbul is the ideal getaway for you with your family and loved ones to experience a trip of a lifetime.