Top 5 Must Do's in IstanbulEdit This
Istanbul boasts an abundance of attractions that display remarkable
architecture as well as Istanbul's rich history. Here is a list of places which should be visited while visiting Istanbul.
Topakapi Palace was built by Mehmet the Conqueror. The buildings served as a palace for the Ottoman Sultans. The Palace is located on a hill which offers spectacular views over Istanbul including the Bosphorus River and the Golden Horn. The building was inhabited by 3000 people including the royal family. The buildings are connected by courtyards. Inside the Palace walls was a harem, state administration, military barracks, the palace school, hospital and bakery. The harem was home to 300 women and their children. The Palace is extravagantly decorated and has beautiful fountains and gateways. The treasury has a plenitude of treasures which is a reflection of the wealth of the sultans. The Palace is now a museum which offers a glimpse into the lives of the sultans. The Sultan left the palace in 1853 and it was converted into a museum in 1924. Tickets can be bought at the museum and a separate ticket is needed for the harem. There is a discount for students. Tours or an audio guide system is available.
Turkish and Islamic Art Museum
This Museum displays a large collection of Turkish and Islamic Art. The museum was a palace in the 16th century. The palace overlooks the Hippodrome. Other Islamic artifacts on display include textiles, metalwork and manuscripts. There is an extensive collection of prayer rugs. The urkish and Islamic Art Museum is open everyday excluding Mondays.
Kapali Carsi otherwise known as the covered bazaar is a vibrant enclosed bazaar. Here you can explore the 65 streets that make up the bazaar and amongst the shops there are delightful treasures to be found. There are more than 4000 shops as well as mosques, fountains and storehouses. The tea houses offer a place to rest in between shopping and are also a good place to negotiate with store holders for better prices. The bazaar is a good place to buy souvenirs as well as jewelry, spices, clothing and ceramics. The bazaar was built in 1461 by covering over shops and streets. It is open every day excluding Sundays. Admission is free.
The blue mosque was built from 1609 until 1616 and was named after Sultan Ahmet. It's prominent features are domes, courtyards and minarets. The mosque is still a place of worship and there is a separate area for tourists.
The Galata Tower
The Galata Tower boasts magnificent views over the surrounding area. It is available for conferences, as well as having its own restaurant and nightclub.