Local Attraction

grand bazaar
Grand Bazaar (Covered Market) 2 min. walk

The Covered Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with more than 58 streets and 3500 shops, and has 250,000-400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for jewelery, pottery and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of good, with areas for leather coats, gold-jewelry and souvenirs.The bazaar contains two bedestans, or domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping, the first of which was constructed in 1464. It underwent a major restoration after an earthquake in 1894.The Bazaar has eight different entrances, each of them facing one of the city's most important historic monuments. Major sections: Inner Bedestan : It was the first building to rise in the Bazaar, actually it is Old Bedestan which forms the backbone of the bazaar. Name of the gates are : Bouquinistes, Hat Shops, Jewellery Shops and Costume Shops. Sandal Bedestan : It has the most number of domes in the present it can be accessed through two gates, one is through main gate and the other is through Nuruosmaniye district. Other Sections of the grand bazaar: The architectural design of roads making up other sections apart from two bedestens is not symmetrical and geometrical, it has a scattered nature due to reflect its formation and the catastrophes it has gone through. In this way, it stays away from the closed bazaar style of the West and has a character of an Eastern bazaar. This laid back settlement; this scattered nature prevents the bazaar from being dull and at the same time gives it a romantic flavor. Such a complicated structure and settlement not only maintains the monumental state of the bazaar, but also makes it a palace for shopping.

St. Sophia Museum 10 min. walk

Hagia Sophia, (the Church of Holy Wisdom), now known as the Ayasofya Museum, was an early Christian Church and later an Eastern Orthodox church which was transformed into a mosque in 1453 , and converted into a museum in 1935. It is located in Sultanahmet. It is regularly considered one of the greatest, and most beautiful buildings in history. Its conquest by the Ottomans at the fall of Constantinople is considered one of the great tragedies of Christianity by the Greek Orthodox faithful. The name comes from the Greek name, meaning "Church of the Holy Wisdom of God. It is also known as Sancta Sophia in Latin and Ayasofya in Turkish. Although it is sometimes called "Saint Sophia" in English, it is not named after a saint named Sophia the Greek word sofia means "wisdom."

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque 10 min. walk

The mosque is famously known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.It is located in the oldest part of Istanbul, in what was before 1453 the centre of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.Seen from the sea, its domes and minarets dominate the skyline of the old part of the city, as was its builders' intention.The mosque became known in the west as the Blue Mosque because of the predominantly blue coloring of paintwork of the interior.The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the only mosque in Turkey that has six minarets. At its lower levels the interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik (the ancient Nicaea).More than 200 stained glass windows with intricate designs admit natural light.

Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace 10 min. walk

The former imperial residence from where the great Ottoman Empire was ruled. Today a spectacular museum that has one of the largest collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain and very famous treasury of the Royal Family. This enormous palace was the Imperial residence of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. Although much of the palace is not accessible, the daily tours of the Harem are of great interest to tourists. The palace is located on the Seraglio Point between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara in Istanbul, having a splendid view of the Bosphorus. It consists of many smaller buildings built together and surrounded by four courts.The palace is full of examples of Ottoman style architecture and also owns large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armors, Ottoman miniatures, calligraphic manuscripts and mural decorations, as well as a display of accumulated Ottoman treasures and jewelry.

Underground Cistern
Underground Cistern (Basilica Cistern) 5 min. walk

Located opposite of Hagia Sophia, it is the last cistern constructed by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus the first in the 6th century.The cistern having dimensions 70x140m.and with a depth of 8 m.covers 28x12 that is 336 colums totally,each of them having aCorinth style capital. Known as Yerebatan Sarayi or Sunken Palace, this giant well once held water for the city residents. Today, it is a major tourist attraction, complete with piped-in music and pulsing lights.

Spice Bazaar
Spice Bazaar 15 min. walk

The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey (also known as the Egyptian Bazaar) is one of the oldest bazaars in the city. Located in Eminonu, it is the second largest covered shopping complex after Grand Bazaar. It is so named because various spice types from the Orient were offered here in the past. Located just behind the Yeni Mosque in Eminonu is the second covered bazaar in Istanbul. The Spice Bazaar was built in 1660 for the mother of Sultan Murat IV, Hatice Turhan Sultan as a part of the foundation of Yeni Mosque It is L shaped in plan, and a building that borders two sides of the park beside Yeni Mosque. It gains its name Egyptian Bazaar, from the fact that it once received income from taxes levied on Egypt.The English name hails from the days when the Bazaar specialised in the sale of herbs and spices, medicinal plants, and drugs.The Present structure was restored in 1943 .The Bazaar has 6 gates and 86 shops. Spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds are among the many treasures to be found at this bazaar also known as the Spice Market.

Hippodrome15 min. walk

The Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultanahmet Meydani) was a horse-racing track that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire and the largest city in Europe.Built in 203 by Emperor Septimus Severus, it is estimated that the arena could accommodate up to 100,000 spectators.Today the area is officially called Sultan Ahmet Square,with only a few fragments of the original structure surviving; monuments of the spina (the middle barrier of the racecourse), the two obelisks and the Serpentine Column, now sit in holes in a landscaped garden.

Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque15 min. walk

The Suleymaniye Mosque is a grand mosque in Istanbul. It was built on the order of sultan Suleyman I (Suleyman the Magnificent) and was constructed by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557.It is considered to be a kind of architectural answer to the Byzantine Hagia Sophia, commissioned by the Emperor Justinian.

Kariye Museum
Kariye Museum ( St.Saviour in Chora )25 min. walk

The Chora Church ( the Chora Museum, Mosque or Church) is considered to be one of the most beautiful examples of a Byzantine church. was built outside of the city walls during the 4th century by Constantine.It remained within the walls later.In the 16th century, the church was converted into a mosque by the Ottomon rulers, and it became a secularised museum in 1948. The interior of the building is covered with fine mosaics and frescoes.The church is situated in the western, Edirnekapi district of Istanbul.

golden horn
Golden Horn20 min. walk

The Golden Horn is a flooded prehistoric estuary dividing the city of İstanbul. With the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn encloses a peninsula. It forms a deep natural harbor. The Byzantine Empire had its naval headquarters there, and walls were built along the shoreline to protect the city of Constantinople from naval attacks. At the entrance to the Horn, there was a large chain pulled across from Constantinople to the old Tower of Galata on the northern side, preventing unwanted ships from entering. This tower was largely destroyed by the Latin Crusaders during the Fourth Crusade, but the Geneose built a new tower nearby, the famous Galata Tower in 1348.

Galata Tower
Galata Tower25 min. walk

The Galata Tower also called Tower of Christ by the Geneose and The Great Tower by the Byzantines, is located in Istanbul to the north of the Golden Horn.One of the city's most striking landmarks,it is a huge,cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline on the Galata side of the Golden Horn. The tower was built in 1348 during an expansion of the Geneose colony in Constantinople. It was the apex of the fortifications surrounding the Genoese citadel of Galata. The current tower should not be confused with the old Tower of Galata, an original Byzantine tower, which controlled the northern end of the massive sea chain that closed the entrance of the Golden Horn. This tower was on a different site and was largely destroyed during the Fourth Crusade in 1204. The upper section of the tower with the conical cap was slightly modified in several restorations during the Ottoman period when it was used as an observation tower for spotting fires. In the 1960s the original wooden interior of the tower was replaced by a concrete structure and it was opened to the public. There is a restaurant and cafe on its upper floors which commands a magnificent view of Istanbul and theBosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a nightclub which hosts a Turkish show.Entrance to the tower costs 10 New Turkish Lira.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Istanbul Archaeology Museum10 min. walk

Located in Eminönü near Gülhane Park and Topkapı Palace, the Istanbul Archaeology Museum is one of the most important archeologicial museums in the world.It has actually consists of three museums. Those are the main Archeology Museum, the Old Eastern Works Museum and the Enameled Kiosk Museum. It houses over one million objects that represent almost all of the eras and civilizations in world history..Its collections posses number of unique objects from various past civilisations. There are 50.000 similar items in the collection of the museum. There are twenty large halls on the groundfloor and 16 on the first floor. The lower galleries displays examples of Greek and Byzantine architecture and sculpture.The most famous rooms in the museum are Salon VIII and salon IX.

the Obelisk
The Obelisk15 min. walk

An obelisk is a tall, thin, four-sided, tapering monument which ends in a pyramidal top.Two Obelisks facing one to another are still to be seen in Sultanahmet square. Hieroglyphics was brought to Istanbul from Egypt by the Emporer Theodosiusi in 390 and erected it inside the racing track and set up its present position in the Hippodrome.Theodosius had the obelisk cut into three pieces and brought to Constantinople. Only the top section survives, and it stands today where Theodosius placed it, on a marble pedestal. The obelisk has survived nearly 3,500 years in astonishingly good condition.

Dolmabahçe Palace Museum
Dolmabahçe Palace Museum20 min. walk

The Dolmabahçe Palace is a palace in Istanbul, located at the western, European, side of the Bosphorus. The palace served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1853 to 1923.Dolmabahçe Palace was the first European-style palace in Istanbul and was built by Sultan Abdülmecid at a cost of five million Ottoman gold pounds, the equivalent of 35 tons of gold. The palace housed Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of Turkey, in his last years, Atatürk died at 9:05 a.m. on November 10,1938 in Dolmabahçe Palace, now Atatürk's room is part of the museum. Dolmabahçe Palace Museum is open to public in weekdays from 9:00 to 15:00, except Mondays and Thursdays.


Before going to İstanbul

Please visit this page... click