Istanbul will enthrall you with its multi-ethnic architecture, grand mosque and enthralling nightlife.
The eastern capital of the ancient Roman Empire, Istanbul has been a major travellers hub since the early days. Get inspired by Istanbul’s multi-ethnic architecture, grand mosques, sprawling market scene and enthralling nightlife. Here’s a list of things you must do on your trip to this mystical city.
1) Visit the majestic Hagia Sophia
The historic cathedral and museum served as a cathedral for almost a thousand years until the Ottomans converted it into a mosque in 1453 after their conquest of Istanbul. Due to its religious significance, architectural beauty, and rich history, Hagia Sophia has been listed tenth in the largest travel guidebook publisher, Lonely Planet’s must-visit list.
2) Take a picture with the Blue Mosque
Istanbul’s most photogenic building, this mosques conspicuous blue Iznik tiles gives the building its unofficial but commonly used name. The mosque's magnificent rounded exterior features a cascade of domes and six svelte minarets.
3) Cruise the Bosphorus Strait
You haven’t had a proper visit to Istanbul until you taken an evening cruise through Bosphorus. It gives a magnificent sight of the promenades, historical buildings, and the breathtaking city skyline. The cruise allows you to meet people from different countries; get a taste of Turkish food and culture through exotic belly dances, Sufi music, and clubbing.
4) Shop at the Grand Bazaar
The largest and oldest market in the world, colourful and chaotic grand bazaar receives almost 400,000 visitors daily. You need at least three hours to look around this huge shoppers paradise. Don’t forget to try the world famous Turkish tea, Turkish delight and Baklavas. Be sure to compare the prices and bargain!
5) Explore the Topkapi Palace
Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the mid-1400s, this vivid palace was a home and workplace to the lascivious sultans, ambitious courtiers, beguiling concubines and conniving eunuchs. A visit to the palace's luxurious pavilions, jewel-filled treasury, and straggling Harem gives a captivating insight into their lives.