Landmarks of Istanbul
Considered the eighth wonder of the world, this Byzantine Church is one of the largest ancient buildings to be found anywhere. It was completed in 532 during Justinian's reign. The vast building is one of Istanbul's best known landmarks.
Dating from the 17th century, this is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul. The only mosque in the world with six minarets, its real fame derives most from its beautiful interior tiles with flower and tree motifs.
Now one of Istanbul's leading museums, the Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence of the Great Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years. The palace houses a spectacular museum famed for its large collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.
Kariye Camii (St-Savior in Chora)
This is worth seeing for its famous mosaics which constitute one of the world's most important examples of early Byzantine pictorial art. The mosaics tell the story of the New Testament from the birth of the Virgin Mary to a scene showing the resurrection of Christ.
Yerebatan Sarayi (Sunken Palace)
The Yerebatan Sarayi is a large underground water reservoir. The floor is completely covered by water; the cistern contains up to 80,000m³ of water. This palace was used in the James Bond film, From Russia With Love.
Eski Sark Eserleri Muzesi (Archeological Museums)
The Archrological Museum was constructed between the years 1891-1908 by the architect, Valaury. The collection consists of archeological pieces from the period 2500 B.C. to 500 A.D.
The Whirling Dervishes, known for their famous practice of whirling as a form of remembrance of Allah, are Sufis, a spiritual offshoot of Islam. They can be viewed at the Galata Mevlevihanesi on the first and last Saturdays of each month throughout the year.
Kapali Carsi (Grand Bazaar)
The Grand Bazaar is Turkey's largest covered market offering shopping for Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, leather apparel, alabaster bookends and much more. Locals also shop here, lending a dose of authenticity.
A cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway, which separates Europe and Asia, is a must. Enjoy crossing from continent to continent as you travel up the famous waterway, lined with old Ottoman wooden houses, marble palaces and fortresses for a magnificent view of Istanbul.
Located on the Bosphorus shore, its a fitting symbol of the magnificence of the 19th-century Ottoman Empire. It has 285 rooms, 43 large salons, a 4-1/2-ton Bohemian glass chandelier and a Bosphorus-shore façade nearly a quarter mile long.