Istanbul is a very mysterious city that has embraced different cultures and possesses a long and gloriously rich history. What you have now is a modern city with a lot of influences blended together.
Visit Istanbul with these five sites in mind:
1. Galata Tower
Standing more than 200 feet high in the air, the Galata Tower dominates the city’s skyline and gives you great views of the old city.
2. Basilica Cistern
The Basilica Cistern once brought water to the city from Thrace. Today, you can tour the cistern, which comes complete with music and lights. Check out the marble columns here that feature recycled materials. One has an upside down Medusa head.
3. Aya Sofya
Aya Sofya or the Hagia Sophia is a museum that used to be both a church and a mosque. Be sure to go up the upper floors where you would find the galleries and the exhibits. You could also find the tombs of Ottoman sultans here.
Built in the 530s, it was once regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in the world, as well as one of the biggest and oldest. Be sure to check out the many mosaics here that depict different religious themes.
4. Istanbul Archaeological Museum
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is actually three different museums: the Ancient Orient Museum, the Tiled Kiosk Museum, and the Archaeological Museum. These three museums have more than a million artifacts and objects from different civilizations across time.
5. Topkapi Palace
The Topkapi Palace is the home of many generations of sultans, including the wives they keep in their harems. It gets bonus points for being one of the biggest and oldest palaces in the entire globe.