Hagia Sophia: A recognised historical and architectural wonder of the world, the Hagia Sophia is one of Istanbul's most venerated and exalted monuments. It is admired for its architecture, grandness and size, and is considered to be one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture to have survived. A visit to the monument should be on the top of any sight-seeing itinerary to Istanbul.
Blue Mosque: Also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque is one of the most historic mosques in Turkey and was built during the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the 1600s. The magnificent building structure features a massive dome and a total of six minarets and eight secondary domes. It serves at a mosque even at present.
Topkapı Palace: The majestic Topkapı Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well known for being an excellent example of palace complexes of the Ottoman period. Built in the mid-15th century, the palace was the former residence of Ottoman sultans and a setting for royal events and functions. At present it is a museum and attracts numbers of tourists throughout the year.
Basilica Cistern: Travellers visiting the Hagia Sophia should also spend some time to visit the Basilica Cistern, which is located just a few feet away, beneath the city. The enormous ancient cistern complex and underground chamber date back to the 6th century CE when it was built to provide water to the city.
Süleymaniye Mosque: Istanbul's largest mosque is one of the best-known sights in the city. The mosque was built in the 16th century under the orders of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire – Suleiman the Magnificent. The complex also encompasses a hamam, medrese a hospital and a caravanserai that can be visited.
Grand Bazaar: Offering over 3,000 shops across 61 streets, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world's largest and oldest markets and attracts around 400,000 visitors each day – making it the most-visited attraction in the world. Items at the shopping complex range from local crafts to clothes ad textiles to antique items, providing endless shopping opportunities for shoppers.
The wondrous city of Istanbul is where the East meets the West. Its wealth of attractions offer an incredible cultural experience for visitors, with rich heritage and years of history emanating from every corner of the city. We have listed a few of the highlights and must-visit attractions for travellers in Istanbul.