Turkey is a unique place where you can experience both Asia and Europe. Its largest city, Istanbul, has so much to offer.
We’ve compiled a list of picture-worthy spots in the city, rich in history and design.
1. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul’s most famous structure, was a church before it became a mosque, and now it’s a museum. From the outside, Hagia Sophia’s distinct pink colours are striking. Today it stands as one of the last remaining examples of Byzantine architecture.
From the inside, a majestic dome painted with golden colours shine bright as sun rays pass through the windows, shining like a fountain of golden glitter. The mosaic of the cupola (the smaller dome) show two seraphs: Archangels Gabriel and and Michael. The nave is worth admiring too. Head to the second floor for a closer view of the dome!
2. Blue Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, still serves a as a place for muslims to worship today. From the outside, its trademark blue hue will catch your eye from afar. Tall slender towers common in Islamic architecture, is another outstanding feature.
Inside, the ceiling boasts of 20,000 handmade Iznik-style ceramic tiles. It houses over 200 stained glass windows and gorgeous lowly-hung chandeliers.
3. Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is another one of the city’s beloved landmarks. This cylindrical medieval tower is made of stones. From the inside, the use of stone is even more evident. Come face-to-face with the stones as you walk up staircases.
4. Kadikoy (and sunsets)
Kadikoy is located in the Asian side of the Turkey and serves as the cosmopolitan district of Istanbul. Its seaside view offers an incredible look at the clear blue water and sky while overlooking the now defunct Haydarpaşa train station.
5. The view of Bosphorus
The Bosphorus strait is part of the boundary that separates the Asian and the European sides of Turkey. It played an important role in Turkey’s history and still does today. Many Ottoman structures such as the Topkapı Palace and Beylerbeyi Palace are visible from the strait. Other picture-worthy spots like theHagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and Galata Tower are also within view from the Bosphorus.
6. Maiden Tower
The Maiden Tower is a small tower located on the Bosphorus. Its best seen while traveling on a ferry crossing between the Asian and European sides. Legend behind the tower claims an emperor asked the tower to be built in order to protect his daughter from a prophecy until her 18th birthday. However, the daughter still died on the day of her 18th birthday, just as the prophecy foretold.
7. Istiklal Avenue
Surrounded by Ottoman-inspired buildings, Istikal is oe of the most visited avenues in Istanbul. Buildings here feature a wide range of designs such as Neo-Classical and Neo-Gothic architecture. The avenue has a rich history and is home to many distinct buildings including the world’s second oldest subway station and Turkey’s oldest secondary school. You’ll also find a variety of shops and restaurants around the area.
8. View over Galata Tower
From the top of the stone-built Galata Tower is a narrow circular observation deck that gives you a 360-degree view of the city. Peer over brightly coloured roofs on one hand and the Bosphorus on the other.
9. Grand Bazaar
Housing over 4,000 shops, the Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest indoor markets in the world. But it’s not just a place for shopping. It has a large variety of shops and features different architectural designs. The interiors have small arches, intricately designed ceilings, and an overall tone that offers you a trip back in time.
10. Random Neighbourhoods
It’s true. Every corner in Istanbul reveals a design of its own. Each corner worthy of a picture.