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Istanbul Tourist Places

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Istanbul is a dazzling city where the opposites; orient and occident, ancient and contemporary comes hand in hand. It has been the muse of poets, cause of contentious wars, centre of the arts, the refuge of lovers, the apple of the eyes of empires throughout the history. Istanbul is, without doubt, an aesthetically pleasing city with its Bosphorus, architectural masterpieces, famous buildings, colourful streets and glorious history. It is alive, bright and always dashing at both day and night. There are infinite number of things to do in Istanbul and also, sine qua non places to discover during an Istanbul visit.

Climb Up Galata Tower and Discover the Region

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The first answer to the question “What to do in Istanbul?” is, of course, climbing up the Galata Tower. It is one of the building stone in Istanbul’s astonishing silhouette. Galata by far is the most famous building in Istanbul, is located in one of the finest neighbourhoods of the city, is one of the oldest of towers in history and is almost 70 meters tall. After enjoying a good Turkish coffee at one of the small cafés around the tower, preferably Velvet Café, you can climb up to the tower to enjoy Istanbul’s unforgettable landscape. You can also enjoy a meal or tea at the restaurant on top of the tower, take perfect panoramic pictures of Istanbul, observe the streets of the city through binoculars and be the witness of an unbelievable moment in history; the flight of a human being. It is also a great place for romantic proposals since the legend says the first person you climb the tower with is the person you will marry. After the unforgettable experience at Galata Tower, you can walk through Istiklal Street or experience the iconic historical tramline’s journey towards Taksim Square.

Taste the Pompous Istiklal Street

On the Istiklal street there are many shopping places, historical passages, cinemas, restaurants and cafés. Atlas Passage, Avrupa Passage, and Aznavur Passage which carries the essence of Italian baroque architecture are perfect places for souvenir shopping. For literature fans, especially second hand book store diggers should visit Aslihan Passage’s second hand bookstores. The architectural marvel of Cicek Passage should not be missed, “Beyoglu chocolate” from the tiny Beyoglu Chocolatier and smoked chestnut cooked on the small carts must be tasted. For art enthusiasts Pera Museum is always filled with new exhibitions periodically and is a great place to feed your soul. Night time is when the city awakes so there are great places to drink, dance and listen to music around Beyoglu. “Meyhane”s are suitable for drinking traditional alcoholic drink raki accompanied with live Turkish music. For sea food lovers, one of the things to do in Istanbul is to taste Marmara Sea fishes at the restaurants of Galata Koprusu which are located right above the sea where you can observe ferries coming and going. For more local and daily experience, you should try fish-bread and pickle juice at Eminonu Port.

Avoid Istanbul’s Crowd and Take a Peaceful Moment to Yourself

If you are more interested in a peaceful environment to avoid citie’s rush, Pierre Loti Hill is where to go in Istanbul. It is one of the most beautiful locations in Istanbul to enjoy the sea view of Halic, accompanied by a cup of tea and forget everyday stress. Its name is originated from the French poet Pierre Loti who once lived in Istanbul and was a true Istanbul lover. Today, Pierre Loti Hill is restored in order to form the original Turkish neighbourhood experience. It contains cafés, the Historical Café, a hotel, a shisha place and more. The visitors also have the opportunity to stay at hotel which are restored from original Turkish mansions. If you prefer someplace greener where you can picnic or take long walks under various trees and scented flowers Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden is where to go in Istanbul. It is an underrated attraction in Istanbul however is the finest garden full of different botanic species. If you want to relax, leaving the crowd of the city behind these two are the perfect places to go in Istanbul.

Discover Cisterns, Palaces and Mosques

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blue masque in Istanbul Turkey during sunset

One of Istanbul’s most gracious and famous constructions is without dispute the If you wish to be awe-stricken and discover another mystical level of Istanbul this is where to go. The grand underground cistern was built by the great Byzantium Emperor Justinius and used to meet the water requirements of Byzantium Empire. 336 columns supporting the cistern apply the illusion of an endless hall that floats above water. The two mysterious Medusa heads that are thought to be the supports of marble columns are one of the fascinating attraction factors. It has a captivating, mystical and groovy atmosphere worth experiencing. The Istanbul visit is incomplete without the Basilica Cistern tour. Basilica Cistern, are all located on the Historical peninsula and are the most famous buildings in Istanbul. Sultanahmet area is famous with its traditional meatball so the visitors should try, after being amazed by the beautiful architecture of the Blue Mosque. Topkapi Palace is the perfect example of Ottoman royal life style and also contains an item collection from the palace. Beylerbeyi and Dolmabahce are the two of most famous palace buildings besides Topkapi in Istanbul. If you are interested in royal architectures these two are perfect. construction is based on western techniques of architecture without losing the essence of old traditions. It is counted as the largest palace complex in Turkey and is significant with its symmetrical design.

Enjoy an Intellectual Journey Through Istanbul’s Museums

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Istanbul is packed with museums and galleries. Istanbul Museum of Archeology is a composition of three main units, is the first museum in Turkey and is the most beautiful and appealing example of neo-classical architecture. It contains in its collections nearly a million of works from various cultures. Rahmi Koc Museum and Istanbul Modern are more artistic museums of Istanbul as opposed to Archeology museums. Rahmi Koc Museum is dedicated to history of transport, industry and communications whereas Istanbul Modern Museum of Art is more concerned with more abstract and contemporary visions of art collections and exhibitions. Istanbul Maritime Museum is also a place to go in Istanbul if you are a fan of history of marine wars and maritime devices. Istanbul Toy Museum and Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam are also interesting museums to go during your Istanbul visit.

Istanbul as a whole is a memorable experience of a lifetime with its marvellous palaces, towers and bridges; interesting museums, one of a kind tastes and pretty streets. Therefore, it has an infinite number of choices on where to go, where to eat and what to experience. It is always best to plan your trip to Istanbul beforehand.

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