Blue Mosque
Commissioned to be built by the Architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga on the historical peninsula of Istanbul by Sultan I. Ahmet between the years of 1609-1616. Named by Europeans, the “Blue Mosque” derives its name from the green and white Iznik tiles decorating the semi-domes and the interior decoration of the large dome, which is made up almost entirely of blue engraving. When the Hagia Sophia mosque became a museum in 1934, the Blue Mosque became Istanbul’s primary mosque.
Suleymaniye Mosque
Built by Mimar Sinan in Istanbul between the years of 1551-1558 and commissioned by Sultan Suleyman. Characterised as being a work built during Mimar Sinan’s apprenticeship period, Suleymaniye Mosque was built as a part of Suleymaniye Social Complex which contains a medresa, library, hospital, Turkish bath, poor house, burial area and shops.
Hagia Sophia
Originally used as a church for 916 years, Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque upon the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1453 and remained a mosque for 482 years. Hagia Sophia, opened its doors to the general public as a museum in 1935 upon the command of Ataturk and as ordered by the Council of Ministers.
Topkapı Palace
Topkapı Palace was used as the headquarters of the state for 400 years of the Ottoman Empire’s 600 year reign and was home to the Ottoman rulers. Topkapı Palace was converted into a museum upon the command of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on April, 3rd 1924 after the Ottoman monarchy was ousted in 1922.
Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce Palace was built between the years of 1843-1856 and combines different European artistic styles. It is the work of Karabet Balyan,the architect of Sultan Abdulmecit. The Ottoman Sultans had many palaces. And on its completion Dolmabahce Palace became the main residence of the Sultans, replacing Topkapı Palace. Dolmabahce Palace is 3-storey structure and is symmetrical in design. It has 285 rooms and 43 living rooms. It has also a quay, which is 600 meters above sea level, as well as 2 ornate monumental gates at its entrance. The waterfront palace is surrounded by neatly kept and beautiful gardens and it boasts its own ceremonial hall and ballroom.
Spice Bazaar
The Spice Bazaar is located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district; it is the second largest covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar. It is one of the oldest covered bazaars in Istanbul. In addition to such traditional products as medicine, spices, flower seeds and the roots and shells of rare plants, nuts, charcuterie and other foods are sold in this bazaar that is famous for its herbalists.
Beylerbeyi Palace
This palace is situated in the Beylerbeyi district of Uskudar in Istanbul and was built by the architect Sarkis Balyan between the years of 1861-1865 and commissioned by Sultan Abdulaziz. It is built on a historical site, and an area of settlement that dates back to the Byzantine period.
Grand Bazaar
The foundations of the Grand Bazaar were laid in the year of 1461. The Grand Bazaar is a unique focal point of Istanbul, and is a sight not to be missed, with its 66 streets in a 30,700 m2 area and its huge labyrinth of approximately 4,000 shops. Reminiscent of a city, the covered bazaar has grown and expanded over time. Until recently, it included 5 mosques, 1 school, 10 water wells, 1 public fountain, 1 water tank, 24 gates and 17 public houses. Fatih Sultan Mehmet commissioned the construction of the Grand Bazaar.
Maiden’s Tower
The tower lies on a small islet off Salacak located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Üsküdar and has been the subject of many legends and folklore. A symbol of Uskudar, the tower is the only work of its kind existing from the Byzantine period. With a historical background dating back to 24 B.C., the tower was built on a small islet where the Black Sea and Marmara Sea converge. Some European historians refer to the structure as Leander’s Tower. There are many legends about the tower.
Cemberlitas (Column of Constantine)
It is a column erected on one of the seven hills of Istanbul and is located on the hill that is currently called Cemberlitas, built in honour of Emperor Constantine in 330 A.D. The column was constructed by means of superimposing 8 columns in total, and weighs 300 tons. The columns were linked by means of rings with a diameter of 3 meters and a bedplate.
Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern is the largest underground cistern in Istanbul. The entrance to the cistern is via a small building situated to the west of the Hagia Sophia building. The ceiling of the structure is made up of a forest of marble columns. The name of this subterranean structure derives from a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed.
Archaeology Museum
Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane, Eminonu 0212 5207742 Visiting hours: Between 9:00-18:00 every day excluding Mondays.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Sakıp Sabancı Cad. No: 42 Emirgan 0212 2772200 Visiting hours: Wednesday: 10:00-22:00, Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00-18:00 excluding Mondays.
Istanbul Modern Museum
Mebusan Cad. Liman İşletmeleri Sahası Antrepo No:4 Karakoy 0212 3347300
Visiting hours: It is closed on Monday, open on Thursday between 10:00-20:00, and Tuesday-Sunday between 10:00-18:00.
Rahmi M. Koc Museum
Haskoy Caddesi No: 5 Haskoy 0212 3696600 Visiting hours: It is closed on Monday, open Tuesday-Friday: 10:00-17:00, and Saturday-Sunday: 10:00-22:00.
Chora Museum
Kariye Mah. Kariye Sok. No: 26 Edirnekapı, Fatih 0212 6319241 Visiting hours: It is closed on Wednesday, open Thursday-Tuesday: 9:00-16:30.
Imrahor Caddesi, Sutluce 0212 2222882 Visiting hours: Between 9:00-18:00 every day.