Istanbul Travel: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace

Istanbul travel will take you to one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is the largest city of Turkey and the heart and soul of this wonderful country. The culture and historic atmosphere lures travelers from all over the world to experience Istanbul travel. There are many places to see like the amazing Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul is home to over 13.5 million people. A map of Istanbul shows that this wondrous city expands between two continents. The Bosporus, an exciting and busy waterway in Istanbul separates the city between Europe and Asia. The Europe side of Istanbul is filled with historic sightseeing that welcomes sight seers alike.

 

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia (image by David Spender)

The weather in Istanbul is best during the spring and summer months. The climate in Istanbul includes the four seasons. Although winter is usually mild, Istanbul can accumulate snow falls and the average temperature is 39-49 degrees Fahrenheit. Through the months of June and August precipitation is very low and the climate is very beautiful for Istanbul travel.

There are so many things to see and do in Istanbul. Here are some of the most popular destinations to visit.

The Hagia Sophia is a magnificent architectural monument in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia has gone through many transformations. It started as a church, later turned into a mosque and currently serves as a museum. The Byzantium and Ottoman Empire cultural elements is shown throughout this beautiful structure. The Hagia Sophia is a must see in Istanbul travel.

The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) is known for its blue interior tiles that lines the walls of this historical structure. The Blue Mosque was built in 1609 to 1616 and the architecture was influenced by the Hagia Sophia. The interior of the mosque is adorned with thousands of handmade ceramic tiles, with unique tulip designs. It is still a mosque where prayers can be witnessed and the serenity of beauty can be experienced by all sightseers.

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque (image by GoGap)

The Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarayı) is an underground chamber built to provide water for the city of Istanbul during the 6th century. Although it is capable of holding 100,000 tons of water, currently it is only filled with a few feet. The mystical atmosphere is heightened by the 336 marble columns and the famous Medusa columns. The Basilica Cistern is a sight to see.

The Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı) was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the years 1465-1856. It is a magnificent historical palace that is now used as a museum. The Topkapi Palace is a large complex of structures divided by four courtyards. It is a scenic sight with gardens and fountains in between the historical buildings.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace (image by gsz)

The Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı) is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. It a shoppers paradise because of the thousands of shops. The Grand Bazaar offers a wide variety of merchandises such as purses, jewellery, rugs, leather, lights, furniture, dishes and cultural souvenirs. The Grand Bazaar should be one of your stops in your Istanbul travel.

The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) was built out of stone in 1348 and offers panoramic views of Old Istanbul. Take an elevator up to the ninth floor of the tower for a breathtaking view of the city on the tower’s balcony. There is also a restaurant that is great for romantic dinners and also to enjoy a Turkish belly dance show.
Take a Bosporus cruise among the most beautiful waterways in Turkey. On a Bosporus cruise you can feel the sea breeze and experience the awe of the lining structures that Istanbul has to offer.

Istanbul hammam

Istanbul hammam (image by cercamon)

Hammams or Turkish baths are a great experience for relaxation while traveling in Istanbul. Bathers first relax in a sauna like room while the dry hot air surrounds them. They then splash cold water on themselves preparing for a full body wash, scrub and massage. It is a vitalizing experience that can’t be missed.

Istiklal Street is a bustling sight to see filled with shops, bars, and clubs. This street draws many tourists and is where young people love to gather to shop, dance and perhaps smoke some hookah. The lively street is always busy at all hours of the night and is an exciting place to have fun.

Istanbul travel opportunities are filled with cultural and historical treasurers that everyone should have a chance to experience. With all that Istanbul has to offer it is one of the leading vacation destinations in the

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar (image by Ijgunn)

2 Responses to Istanbul Travel: Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace

  1. Can I recommend you add Dolmabahce Palace to your list as well? It was used by the Ottoman sultans after Topkapi palace. There is the harem and Selanik to tour. Well worth a visit.

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