Istanbul is a combination of vibrancy and great variety. Whether it is arts, culture, food, or shopping, anything can be found in Istanbul. For the love of history, it offers multiple cultural heritage sites. If you are into history and culture, Istanbul has multiple offerings for you such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. Istanbul food is famous around the globe. Give your taste buds the yummy smokey kebabs taste and try different tomato, onion flavored minced meatballs. For entertainment, don’t miss out on the chance of witnessing stunning whirling dervishes performance at Cultural Center. There are many other places to visit in Turkey. Let’s find out what else Istanbul has for you.
1.Begin your journey from Sultanahmet Square
Sultanahmet Square aka Hippodrome was built on the orders of Constantine the Great. He is known for giving Istanbul the status of the capital of the Roman Empire. This place has a very interesting history. During Byzantium times, races were used to place here. The one who completed seven rounds of Sultanahmet square was considered the winner. Today, this historical site is visited by thousands of visitors. When you will land in Istanbul, the first thing which will please you will be the pleasant Istanbul weather. This place is the connecting point for all the famous Turkish historical landmarks i.e. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts.
Wandering around Sultanahmet Square, you can find museums, Classical Churches, Mosques, and beautiful fountains. Stop at the cafe and eat some snacks to boost your energy!
2. Blue Mosque-The Classical work of Art
This Mosque is considered not only the most beautiful Mosque of Istanbul but also of the world.
Blue Mosque is unique as it has six minarets. Usually, Mosques have four Minarets. Known for its ‘’Iznik tiles’’, Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century depicting Islamic architecture. The interior walls have more than 20,000 hand-painted blue tiles. There are 200 windows in the entire Mosque which gives a breathtaking view.
This is a practicing Mosque where 5 times a day prayers are offered. Tourists are not allowed to visit during prayer time. But this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Turkey.
3. Hagia Sophia
Known as the 8th wonder of the world, Hagia Sophia is a church turned into a mosque and finally transformed into a museum. This place has a rich cultural history with extraordinary architecture. You can get panoramic views by reaching the top and getting stunned by the gallery.
The ticket price for this museum is 72 TL or 1470 PKR. It is advised to visit this place early to avoid crowds. You will be given two hours to explore.
4 Visit Turkish Bath ( Hamam)
The best gift you can give to yourself is rejuvenating your body by getting a scrubbing treatment at a Hamam. When you are fully tired, your feet are paining due to long walks at Sultanahmet square, this is the thing you need the most. Lie down on hot marble, bless your ears to the rhythmic music of running water. It is time to say bye to body fatigue by getting a traditional sultan’s massage. This will result in smooth and baby soft skin!
5. Witness Whirling Dervishes
This is one of Istanbul’s main attractions. The most phenomenal Dervish performances are the bridge between humans praising God and the Divine power of the creator (God). These performances regularly take place under a high dome ceiling. These vibrant dance performances are performed under the magnificent Rumi poetry.
Don’t miss your chance of witnessing this performance and get your tickets early!
6. Delicious Local Food
Istanbul has multiple options for meat lovers. Your taste buds will be delighted to taste the different flavors of Istanbul food. Starting from kebabs which are made by marinated lambs minced meat, different veggies including tomato and onions, these ingredients give these kebabs mouth-watering taste. These are cooked by using a huge skewer and then sliced into small portions. These small smoking kebabs have our hearts!
Ayran is the most trendy beverage in Turkey. Ayran recipe is very easy to make as it includes very simple ingredients.
7. Shop ’til You Drop
Are you a shopaholic? Do you have great bargaining skills? Grand Bazaar is the place that will excite you! With more than 5,000 shops offering thousands of things related to daily life use, you have so many options to choose from. In the past, merchants from Africa and Asia used to bring their best products here to sell them. This market is extended to 60+ streets. You will find ceramics, rugs, evil eye souvenirs, and many more things. This is the world’s oldest and largest market which only requires the art of bargaining!