An extraordinary destination, Istanbul, Turkey will captivate you as soon as you set foot in this bustling and vibrant city. Home to bazaars and mosques, you’ll enjoy exploring this centuries-old metropolis. Therefore, you’ll want to include the following sites and activities on your itinerary.
1. A Visit to the Landmark Kiz Kulesi and its Restaurant
Also referred to as the Maiden Tower, the Kiz Kulesi is one of Istanbul’s most favorite landmarks. Constructed in 408 B.C. to control the ships entering and exiting the Istanbul Strait, the structure was rebuilt in 1110 as a fort to safeguard the shore. Also used as a lighthouse, the Kiz Kulesi is now home to a fine dining restaurant. The famous tower, which has served as a backdrop in a number of movies and television shows, was featured in the 1999 James Bond movie, “The World is Not Enough,” which starred Pierce Brosnan as the famous spy.
2. Shopping in the Grand Bazaar
No trip to Istanbul is complete without shopping in the ancient city’s Grand Bazaar. Filled with a diversity of items, it’s one shopping experience like no other. The world’s largest marketplace definitely lives up to its name as it features 5,000 shops located on 60 streets. Showcasing such items as ceramics, rugs, embroidery, jewelry, antiques, and spices, the massive covered markets have been featuring wares and goods since the fifteenth century.
3. Visiting the Blue Mosque
One of the most recognized architectural structures in Istanbul, the Blue Mosque is known for the large number of blue tiles that decorate its interior. Also referred to as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the religious monument was built by the Sultan in the 1600s.
4. Visiting the Topkapi Palace
Another architectural masterpiece, the Topkapi Palace has been a home to Ottomon Sultans for hundreds of years. The oldest section of the once-royal residence dates back to the 1400s.
5. Visiting the Istanbul Archaelogy Museums
To further experience the culture and history of Istanbul, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to view the exhibits at the Istanbul Archaeology Museums. See depictions of battles, a chronology of the city, and Ancient Oriental artifacts at the complex.
6. Take a Ferry Ride across the Bosphorus Strait
You can boast that you’ve stood on two continents by merely taking a ferry ride across the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Istanbul or European shoreline with the Asian continent. If you take the ferry at night, you’ll get to enjoy a pleasant view of the Unkapani Bridge, which looks rather magical when it is illuminated after dark.