best things to do in istanbul

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Istanbul is famous worldwide for its scenic beauty and fun activities that you can do there. So here the some of the Best Things To Do in Istanbul, Turkey

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10 Best Things To Do in Istanbul

Whirling Dervishes

The Whirling Dervishes may be a tourist place, but they are Mevlana's followers' worship services. At the ceremony, the Dervishes become through a transition induced by prayer, a bridge between God and man.

While high in many Istanbul visitors, many people had to skip the list at the end because there were no seats available. Don't make the same mistake. Book your seats well beforehand.

Hagia Sophia

One of the world's most outstanding architectural achievements is this magnificent Church-turned-mosque-turned-museum. The Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) is finally free from screening after years of restoration work and allows us to absorb its splendour as it was supposed to.

Standing under the 43 metres high dome 65 metres above your head in the centre of the beautiful expansive nave challenges confidence – and this is physical. Go up the ramp to the gallery, look upon the magnificent Byzantine mosaics of Emperor Constantine IX and his wife, Zoe.

Topkapi Palace

It is rightly a sight you cannot afford to miss when in Istanbul, Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayı). This kiosk and pavilion complex, which includes four green courtyards, has been home for generations of sultans for almost a half-century.

The Harem, decorated cage of sultan's women, the treasury that stores the crown jewels (which contain the famous Topkapi dagger), and the arms room improved Ottoman craftsmanship even when it came to making swords and bows were among the essential attractions in Topkapi Palace.

Also, do not forget to go through the beautiful views of the Marmara Sea, the Bosporus and the Golden Horn until the end of the day.

Bosphorus Cruise

A tour to Istanbul cannot complete without a ride at Bosphorus cruise. It offers an excellent overview of the region, but there are also several European and Asian coastlines on the famous waterway.

You can take several ships, a short one (to the second and back suspension bridge), along one (to and from the Black Sea) and a sunset trip in the summer.

She was my favourite formerly, but she was a victim of her success. These days, if you need time, I prefer to take a full-day tour of Bosphore or the shorter version.

Basilica Cistern

Not just above the ground is Istanbul fascinating, but the Basilica Cistern also is underground (Yerebatan). This beautiful piece of Byzantine engineering is a magnificent cistern, which once carried drinking water from present-day Bulgaria to Istanbul.

Some people find it romantic, while others perceive it subtly spotted with its dim light and classical sounds to the background.

Cross the paths and watch the fish swim between the 336 columns supporting the ceiling. Walk to the end to see Medusa's head, which is situated as the cornerstone for one column upside down.

Grand Bazaar

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar bargain hunting. More than 500 years old but one of the world's biggest covered bazaars. There are no less than 5000 shops in 60 streets; there are 60 restaurants, 18 fountains, 12 mosques and a kindergarten.

It is not, as some suggest, a tourist trap. Every day local shops here, but the chances are that trade is higher than you are. The Bazar is renowned for its tapestries, leather and ceramics.

It is difficult not to lose in this mess, so try to remember where you walked.

Archaeology Museum

The Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi) is mostly missed, and this is a shame. It is a real Istanbul hidden gem which displays one of the wealthiest classical collections in the world.

The highlights here are Alexander the Great's marvellous sarcophagus representing significant periods in his life, Karaman the Mihrab the blue-tiled, the elegant Tiled Pavilion and Kadesh Treaty - the earliest surviving peace treaty in the world. Not a children's option? Wait until you see in the children's segment the model of Trojan Horse.

You can reach the archaeology museum via the first courtyard of Topkapi, or through Gülhane Park, on the left of the hill.

Süleymaniye Mosque

I prefer the less well-known Süleymaniye Mosque instead of the iconic Blue Mosque. I guess the most beautiful and impressive Mosque in Istanbul is not invaded every day by thousands of visitors.

The Mosque of Süleymaniye was built for Süleyman Magnificent by the renowned architect Sinan, and both are great homages. It is far more than an adoration spot. It is an architectural complex that consists of a hospital, kitchen, school, etc.

Don't forget to visit the graveyards behind Suleyman and Roxalana, the tomb outside the house and eat kuru fasulye in a restaurant in the Alley of Addicts.

Chora Church or Kariye Museum

It's a little off the road, but worth a visit, the Church of the Chora, St. Savior's or Kariye Museum! It is one of the most majestic religious buildings Istanbul can bring, in Chora/Edirnekapi, next to the old town walls.

This church's walls and ceilings are decorated with exquisite Byzantine mosaics and fabulous frescos. Some in the Christian world is considered the most significant.

While there you can enjoy the ruins of the city's walls of the fifth century and the wooden Ottoman homes.

Galata Tower

One of the city's best locations to see the Galata Tower over Istanbul with its 360 scenic views. On a bright day, from that 60-metre high tower, you can even find the Princes' Isles. 

Go on one of the many terraces instead along the cosy streets of Galata that surround the tower and have a drink or a meal. You will not only enjoy it a lot; you will get a much better price as well.

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So enjoy these Best Things To Do in Istanbul and for getting a visa for Turkey visit Tourist Visa Online.

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