The best thing to do in Istanbul is to get lost in the huge Grand Bazaar. On my second visit to Istanbul’s great bazaar, founded after the conquest of the city by the Ottomans,: I had it pretty well under control, but there’s no map or sign. It’s just a walk through a maze, a nice one but none of the shining ones. I managed to take a closer look at Istanbul tour guides services and I found a perfect guy that showed me around the most wonderful places.
Places to visit in Istanbul
You will find many great places and vantage points from which to enjoy magnificent views of Istanbul and historic sites such as towering mosques, palaces, roofs, terraces, forests and hills. The Big Four (Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar) give plenty of time to explore other sights.
From baklava to large mosques, Istanbul has a wealth of wonderful things to do. Istanbul has more to offer than just the old city known as the city the world wants if you stroll through the ancient city walls, haggle in the historic bazaars, soak up the sanctity of an Ottoman mosque, sip a beer in a rooftop bar, watch the sunset over the golden horns or relax in a Turkish bath.
Experience Istanbul with Hagia Sophia If you have only one thing to do in Istanbul, it is Hagia Sofia. Get an Istanbul museum pass and skip the queue in the popular museums of Hagia Bulgaria, Sofia, Topkapi Palace, Harem, Grand Palace and Mosaic, which can all be found on the Istanbul Guided Tour app.
Istanbul is magnificent with its choice of mosques, its colourful tiling and its dramatic architecture. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is probably the most famous mosque in the city and one of the most popular destinations in Istanbul.
Blue Mosque on the Bosphorus
Another nice place to have a good view of Istanbul is the Blue Mosque on the Bosphorus near the Golden Horn. Look out for rows of friendly fishermen who like to chat with families on a walk and enjoy the beautiful views. The most photographed monument in Istanbul is the so-called blue mosque also known as the Sultan Ahmet mosque, which is an active mosque, so it is important to visit during prayer time.
Sultanahmet Square courtyard
If you want to spend some time in Sultanahmet Square courtyard, where there are plenty of photo opportunities, take a tour of the blue mosque Hagia Sophia and its sister mosque Hagia Sophia. A short walk through the green fountains that adorn the square will take you to the dome-shaped Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii), built by Hagia Sophie to emulate the wonders of her sister mosque.
Technically named after the Sultan Ahmed mosque, this blue mosque (so-called because of its stunning blue tiles and interiors) was built in the 17th century and is a distinct part of the Istanbul skyline and one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks.
Enter Hagia Sophia and photograph a monument called the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Süleymaniye Mosque may not be as well known as Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, but it is still a striking landmark of the Istanbul skyline, perched high on one of the city’s seven hills. The mosque occupies a dominant position on Istanbul’s third hill and offers the best view of the entire city.
Sultanahmet is the unavoidable center of the old town and is home to some of Istanbul’s biggest attractions, including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and the Grand Bazaar. The Sultanahmet district is home to the city’s most visited historic and tourist attractions, such as Sultanah Metals Square, Hippodrome, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Cistercian Basilica of Istanbul, Archaeological Museum, and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art. If you are interested in buildings, explore Rustem Pasha, the Kilic Ali Pasha Mosque, and the secret activities in Istanbul.
A taxi from Sultanahmet to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Seraglio Point, and Topkapi Palace is an area that is the least populated and touristy part of the city but has its advantages. In Istanbul, you can purchase an Istanbul Welcome Card, which includes a $10 public transportation ride and a guide to visit Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace.
The museums included in the passport are the Chora Museum, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Topkapi Palace Museum, the Archaeological Museums of Istanbul, the Mosaic Museum of Istanbul, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, the Galata Mevlevi House Museum, the Yildiz Palace Museum and the Rumeli Hisar Museum of History, Science and Technology.
During our journey through Istanbul in October 2021, we explored Hagia Sophia Museum, the Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaars, the Topkapi Palace, Suleymaniye Camii, Chora Kariye Camii, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Bosphorus Strait, and much more.
Once you have ticked off the best things you can do during your stay in Istanbul, you are well on your way to making the most of a short time in this amazing city.
Sultanahmet is also home to two other architectural masterpieces such as Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, both of which are major attractions in Istanbul. While covering every neighborhood in Istanbul would require thousands of words, visitors to some neighborhoods should remember that these are places you should visit as you work your way through all the fun things you can do in the city.
In the end
Built-in the 14th century, the Galata Tower overlooks Sultanahmet’s Bosphorus Strait and from the top of the tower can see the features of the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque. Visiting the tower and enjoying the view is one of the funniest activities in Istanbul and allows you to appreciate how vast and huge the city is.
We took part in two different local tours in Istanbul: On the other tour we met our guide mom, booked one of your guides, and then at night a private guide visited the Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque.
Article prepared with the help of showaround.com.