14 Remarkable Attractions Around Istanbul You Must Visit

14 Remarkable Attractions Around Istanbul You Must Visit

Grand Bazaar

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul &  Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and biggest marketplaces in the world. Even though it has been welcoming people for more than 500 years, the crowd and the exciting atmosphere here is still the same, breathing life into Istanbul. This historical place continues to thrive with its 22 gates, 61 streets, and around 4000 stores on a land of 47,000 square meters.

Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar

Another city wonder that is a must-see is the magnificent Egyptian Bazaar. Rumour has it that because the goods coming here from Egypt are relatively greater in number, people started to call it the “Egyptian Bazaar” in the 18th century, although the construction for the bazaar started in 1660. Colorful spice stores give off the iconic scent of the Bazaar while bringing the trademark colors of it. 

Dolmabahçe Palace

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul &  Built on a 110,000-square meter space in Beşiktaş between 1845-1846, Dolmabahçe Palace is perhaps the most magnificent Ottoman palace. Its facade facing the Bosphorus is 600 meters long, and there are 285 rooms, 44 saloons, 68 bathrooms, and 6 Turkish baths. While the interior and exterior decoration are mostly in the Western style, the general architecture is eclectic. 

Hagia Sophia

Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had Hagia Sophia built between 532 and 537. Given the size of the building, 5 years is quite a short period for construction -however, there were 10,000 workers providing labor. Upon the conquest of Istanbul, the building was turned into a mosque with interior details symbolizing Islam added and 4 minarets built in different periods.

There are many legends on the construction of Hagia Sophia. Some of them state that there are secret tunnels underground, the camels of Prophet Solomon carried the columns, and the gates here are charmed.  

Sultanahmet

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & The number one tourist areas in Turkey are the Historical Peninsula and Sultanahmet for sure. The Historical Peninsula is thought to be a settlement since 685 BC, and it has been the most significant center of the city in every period. The peninsula is surrounded by city walls to protect the town against enemies. People started to call it the “Walled City”, particularly after the Ottoman Empire’s reign. 

Today, thousands of tourists visit the Historical Peninsula that covers Eminönü and Fatih every day. Hosting the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapı Palace is one of the buildings in the area that is worth seeing. 

Topkapı Sarayı

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul &  Reigning for 600 years, the Ottoman Empire was governed in this place for approximately 400 years. The palace sits on an area of 80,000 square meters -but when it was first built, it was 700,000 square meters. When the court moved to Dolmabahçe Palace and Yıldı Palace, Topkapı Palace became some sort of a museum where the foreign statesmen were shown around and were opened for the public visit in 1924. 

Basilica Cistern

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & Situated on a 9,800-square meter of land, this gigantic building was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in the 6th century to meet the water needs of the public living around and has a capacity of storing 100,000 tons of water.

When the Ottomans conquered Istanbul, they used it to water the gardens of Topkapı Palace for a short period. However, because they thought the water used should be running water and not dead water in order to be healthy, they established their own water facility, and the cistern was forgotten in time, losing its function. 

The dark world of the Basilica Cistern was rediscovered by the Dutch traveler Petrus Gyllius in the mid 16th century. Having arrived in Istanbul to research the ancient texts, the traveler found out there is a hole on the ground floors of the houses around Hagia Sophia, and people draw water from these holes and fish. When he discovered the road to go down, he wandered around the cistern with a torch and sandalwood, becoming the one to introduce this magical place to the Western world. 

Maiden’s Tower 

Having a history of 2500 years, this unique building has survived ancient times, the ancient Greek period, the Byzantine Empire reign, and the Ottoman reign. With its mysterious history of thousands of years, Maiden’s Tower opened its doors to visitors in 2000 after being renovated. Maiden’s Tower is built on a small island in the Bosphorus and within the borders of Üsküdar. Visitors get on boats on the coast of Üsküdar and arrive at the tower in 5 minutes. Proposing marriage in Maiden’s Tower has become a tradition in Istanbul. 

Pierre Loti Hill

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & Pierre Loti Hill overlooks the Golden Horn in the Eyüpsültan district. The hill is named after the French author and oriental scientist Julien Viaud who settled in Istanbul in 1876 and is known for frequently visiting a coffee house on this hill. The hill and the tea garden located here is a popular destination among tourists exploring Istanbul. You can access the hill via TF2 Eyüp – Pierre Loti. 

Galata Tower

Named after the neighborhood it is located in, Galata Tower was built by the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century and reconstructed by the Genoese in the 14th century. After the conquest of Istanbul, Turks repaired it many times. Today, it is one of the most beautiful places to admire the panoramic Istanbul view. 

Rumeli Fortress

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & Built-in 90 days to prevent the help the Byzantine Empire may receive from the Black Sea during the conquest of Istanbul, Rumeli Fortress is right against the Anatolian Fortress, in a location where the two coasts of Bosphorus are closest to each other. The fortress is open for visiting today as a museum where the cannons, cannonballs, and a piece of the chain that is told to close the Golden Horn’s entrance are displayed. 

Sultanahmet Mosque

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & If you ask people the name of the most famous mosque in Istanbul, many of them will answer “Sultanahmet Mosque”. Renowned by the world as the “Blue Mosque”, Sultanahmet Mosque is celebrated for its 6 minarets and the blue İznik tiles adorning the interiors. 

The Ottoman Emperor Ahmet I had the architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa built the mosque between 1609 and 1617. It is facing the Hagia Sophia and challenges the beauty of it with its magnificent architecture. 

Fener Rum Patriarchate

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & Also known as Rum Orthodox Patriarchate, Fener Rum Patriarchate is located in Balat on the coasts of the Golden Horn. It took its current shape after being renovated in the 1880s. 

Halki Seminary

İstanbul natural attractions, Around Istanbul attractions, Beautiful places around Istanbul & Even though it is not operating as an educational institution recently, the historical Halki Seminary in Heybeliada has been surviving for centuries without losing any of its magnificence is one of the leading historical buildings you must see. Most of the time, it is not open for the visit -however, during summertime when there are concerts or events, people can visit the seminary and admire its beauty. 

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