There is so much to do in Istanbul. It might take months to capture the true flavor of this wonderful city. The lavish buildings and the splendid mosques of Istanbul are the manifestations of the awe-inspiring Ottoman architecture and culture.
The busy bustling bazaars retain the charm of the medieval markets of the Middle East. Besides its historic quarter, Istanbul also has a pulsating nightlife. On a brief sojourn, here is a list of the most impressive places in Istanbul that you should not miss.
The Ottoman rulers of Turkey had built several majestic mosques in this city. The Blue Mosque is the largest and undoubtedly the most famous mosque in the city. The colorful Iznik tiles adorning the interior of the mosque create a regal atmosphere. Aya Sofya is another stunning building in the city. This is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture. The first church in this site was built by Constantine in 326AD. Emperor Justinian constructed this huge building between 532 – 537AD. After the Turk conquest, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque. After the foundation of Turkish Republic, Hagia Sophia has been converted into a museum. Another mosque worth visiting in Istanbul is the 16th century Suleiman Mosque.
Palaces and architecture
The Dolamabahce Palace is an example of the Turkish Renaissance architecture. This palace was the residence of the Sultans. The Galata Tower is a prominent landmark of Istanbul. You can take a walk along the adjacent Galata Bridge and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The Fountain of Ahmet is a wonder of medieval Istanbul. The Cannon Gate Palace and its surrounding scenic gardens exemplify the extravagant lives of the Sultans.
Shops lining the narrow meandering lanes comprise the bazaars of Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar should be your shopping destination in Istanbul.
The night hot spots of the city are world apart from the conservative Istanbul. This city is dotted with bars, restaurants serving authentic sumptuous Turkish cuisines and some hot dance clubs. Before heading to the sizzling clubs to watch the dancers display their belly dancing skills, you could enjoy some traditional Turkish music and Dervish performance in the CafÃ© Mesale located behind the Blue Mosque. Various music and dance shows are specially organized for tourists in several places including Orient House.