Istanbul Guide

Ayasofya

This ancient Basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century is one of th earchitectural marvels of all the times.

Sultanahmet

One of the best examples of classical Turkish Art, built between 1609 and 1616 by the Architect Mehmet. The mosque takes its name from the blue Iznik (Nicea’s) tiles which decorate splendedly its walls.

Hipodrome

The ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races was the center of Byzantine political life, standing in the open space in front of the BIue Mosque, the area is now called as Sultanahmet. Of the Monuments which once decorated it, only three remain, the Obelisk of Theodosius, the Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.

Grand Bazaar

In this labyrinth of streets and passages there are more than 4.000 shops with each trade having its own area; selling mostly gold and silver jewelery, copper and brass items, leather coats, carpets and many other beautiful Turkish art and handicrafts such as handpainted ceramic plates etc.

Topkapi Palace Museum

The great palace of the Ottoman Sultans from the l5th to l9th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver and China porcelain, caftans worn by the Sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.

Spice Bazaar

The Spice Bazaar, next to New Mosque (Yeni Camii) in Eminönü, transports you to fantasies of the mystical East. The enticingaromas of cinnamon, caramay, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice fill the air.

Bosphorus Cruise by Boat

Visiting Istanbul is not completed without the traditional and unforgettable excursion by boat along the Bosphorus, the mindingstrait separating Europe and Asia. This voyage is a delightfully surprising mixture of past and present, grand splendor and simple beauty. The shore is lined with modern hotels, yalı (old woodenhouses), palaces of marble, fortresses and small fishing villages. Zigzag along the shores starting from Kabataş Port up to Rumeli Fortress. Excursion takes about 1.5 hours.

The Tower of Leander

From the sea (no interior visit). Known as Leander’s Tower, it is one of the romantic symbols of İstanbul. It is constructed in the l2th century on a tiny islet at the entrance to Istanbul Harbor, the present building dates from the l8th century.

Rumeli Fortress

From the sea (110 interior visit). It is situated on the European side of Istanbul Bosphorus. It was built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 to prevent aid from black sea to the Byzantines. it took four months to build with 1000 masons and 2000 workers.

Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe was the first Palace built in the European style by Sultan Abdulmecid between 1843 and 1856. The World’s largest Crystal Chandelier sent by Queen Victoria is placed at the center hall, the Chandelier has more than 700 lamps and weights 4.5 tons.

Bosphorus Bridge

Fourth longest suspension bridge in the world built between Asia and Europe was inaugurated in 1973. 1560 meter long, 64 meter high from the sea level, 33 meter wide it’s taking six lines of the traffic and 600.000 vehicles cross the bridge everyday.

Çamlıca Hill

One of highest points of Istanbul. Where you can enjoy the magnificent panoramic view of the city and of the Bosphorus as welI as the beautiful landscape gardens.

Princess Islands

Drive by boats to the Princess lslands, an archipel of nine islands on the Marmara sea, where Byzantine Princess were exiled. Today, during the summer months, İstanbul’s people, escape to their cool sea breezes and elegant l9th century houses. Büyükada is the largest of the Islands. Here you can enjoy a ride in a horse drawn carriage (phaton) among the pine trees. Swimming possibility depending on the weather condition.

The Underground Cistern

The interior of Underground Cistern is breath taking. It is 138 m, 452 ft long by 65m, 213 ft wide. There are 336 columns in the cistern. Most of the column capitals are either in Corinthian or Doric Style. At the far end of the Cistern, there are two heads of Medusa which are put upside down or side ways. The Medusa Heads are taken from an ancient Pagan site but they completed the pillars very beautifully and add a different taste to the building.

Galata Tower

The tower was built as Christea Turris (Tower of Christ) in 1348 during an expansion of the Geneose colony in Constantinople. The Galata Tower was the tallest building in Istanbul at 219 feet (66.9 m) when it was built in 1348. İt was the apex of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata.

St. Antoine

St Antoine Church is the biggest Catholic church in İstanbul. Despite it takes place in the middle of İstanbul, it hardly draws the attention. İt is situated on İstiklal street near Galatasaray high school.