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Top Things To Do In Istanbul 2017

Istanbul city located on Asia and Europe. This unique location makes it a bridge between the two ancient continents. This strategical location determined the destiny of city as well. It’s been a home to great empires. First the Emperor Constantine the Great discovered its unique beauty and made it his own capital, by naming it Constantinople. From then on the city became the capital of Roman Empire. Afterwards capital of Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire. Altough it’s not a capital anymore, Istanbul is still the most important city of Turkey.

Since the Istanbul functions as a natural bridge between Asia and Europe, its culture is neither Asian nor European. Istanbul is just perfect blend of the two cultures. It’s a unique experience to see and feel the one of a kind atmosphere of Istanbul city

Places To See And Things To Do In Istanbul

It’s best to take some advice from insiders. Here is my list of favorite places to see and must things to do in Istanbul from the eyes of an expert.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is simply the gem of Istanbul. Built in 537 by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. A marvelous engineering feat. It’s a museum to visit and enjoy the wisdom of ancient architecture.

Hagia Sophia Museum Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia Museum Istanbul, Turkey © Serhat Engul

Blue Mosque

Most popular mosque of Istanbul due to its location. Famous for excellent blue tiles. The mosque is built by Ottoman Empire in 1616.

Blue Mosque Of Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque Of Istanbul, Turkey © Serhat Engul

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace is a unique of a kind building. It’s a completely different palace concept comparing the ones in Europe. The Palace has a magnificent view of Bosphorus from its courtyards. It had been a residence to Ottoman Sultans for around 400 years.

Topkapı Palace Museum Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapı Palace Museum Istanbul, Turkey © Serhat Engul

Fener And Balat

Fener (Phanar) and Balat (Palation) areas are off the beaten path Istanbul. Fener had been a home to Greek (former Byzantine) population of  Ottoman Istanbul, whereas Balat had been a home to Jewish community of Turkey. Non-muslim population of Istanbul was 1/3 of the city during the Ottoman time. Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Ohrid Synagogue are the highlights of this areas.

Fener And Balat Neighborhoods Istanbul, Turkey
Fener And Balat Neighborhoods Istanbul, Turkey

Galata Tower

A hitoric tower built by Genoese Italian trade colony during the Byzantine Empire period. It’s a perfect spot to take great photos of Istanbul. The square that circles around the Galata Tower, great place to enjoy your afternoon tea or coffee.

Galata Tower Of Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Tower Of Istanbul, Turkey

Istiklal Avenue

Longest and liveliest pedestrian street of Istanbul. Surrounded by lovely 19th century buildings. Baroque, Neo Classical and Art Nouveau structures adorning the sophisticated aura of neighborhood. Istiklal Avenue stretching across 1,5 kilometres between the Galata Tower and Taksim Square.

Istiklal Avenue or Street of Istanbul, Turkey
Istiklal Avenue or Street of Istanbul, Turkey

Bosphorus Cruise Tour

Attending to a Bosphorus tour via nostalgic ferry of Istanbul excellent journey. Your Istanbul trip would go missing if you would not catch one of the boats and enjoy the beauty of Bosphorus shores.

Bosphorus Cruise Tours In Istanbul, Turkey
Bosphorus Cruise Tours In Istanbul, Turkey © Serhat Engul

Bebek And Ortakoy

Bebek and Ortaköy are two cozy neighborhoods of Istanbul. Bebek is a trendy village to have a coffee or a fancy dinner. Some of the best restaurants and cafés are located in Bebek neighborhood. Ortaköy is more lively and bustling with local people all the time. Ortaköy’s adorable location help you get some of the best pictures of Istanbul with the Bosphorus Bridge on the backgroung.

Bebek Neighborhood Istanbul, Turkey
Bebek Neighborhood Istanbul, Turkey

Turkish Bath

Going to a Turkish Bath (Hamam) and being scrubbed and washed by local masseur makes you feel as if you were reborn. It’s definitely recommended to go to one of historic Turkish Baths of Istanbul.

Historical Turkish Baths In Istanbul, Turkey
Kılıç Ali Paşa Turkish Bath In Istanbul © Kilic Ali Pasha Hamami

Istanbul Guided Tours

Doing these activities in a perfect itinerary is possible with a well ornanized tour. A local expert can help you use your time much efficiently. Please note that the tour guides are very well educated and knowledgeable in Turkey. Because it’s a professional field. People go to University to take their guidance license.

I recommend you to work with official tour guide Serhat Engul. You can take his assistance by contacting him through this website. You can ask him any question to plan your personal trip in Istanbul.

Istanbul Guided Private Tours By Serhat
Istanbul Guided Private Tours By Serhat © Serhat Engul

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© Marked photos taken by the author. Source unknown for the unmarked photos.

Written By Serhat Engul

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