Famous Buildings in Istanbul

Discovering a city starts in the streets and continues to visit its famous buildings. Istanbul has many famous buildings to visit and it means there are so many stories to listen to. You may even be confused about where to start your Istanbul journey and find many alternative lists.

Here an amazing list for the famous buildings in Istanbul!

Galata Tower:


It is in Taksim and you can go there by walking from Karaköy or Taksim Square. The Genoese colony built the tower for defense in the 14th century. They called it “Tower of Christ” and to see their traces you may attend to Galata- Geneose Walks. It was also used for the detection of the fire during the Ottoman Empire. It stands on one of the Istanbul hills like a mysterious guardian of the city for a year. A city legend about the Galata Tower says that if you visit the tower with your lover, you will marry him/her. A real story about the tower is that Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi flew to Üsküdar from Galata Tower by using his wing-like apparatus. Today, when you visit the tower, you can climb its terrace and enjoy one of the best views of Istanbul. Besides, you may have your meal in its restaurant, yet you need to make a reservation before.

Maiden Tower:

It is in the middle of the Bosphorus and you can visit there by getting in little boats from the seaside of the Üsküdar. It was built around B.C. 410 and used for many purposes such as defense tower or lighthouse. According to an old legend, a Byzantium king built the tower for his daughter since she was cursed and would be killed by a poisonous snake. Unluckily, the princess could not escape from her curse and a poisonous snake came to the tower within a basket of fruit. You may spend your day in Üsküdar and finish your day by visiting the Maiden Tower. There are a museum side and a restaurant side within the tower. You may enjoy your dinner by watching the Istanbul sky and busy ferries.

Hagia Sophia:

It is in Fatih district and you can go there by getting in the tram from Eminönü. It was built at the beginning of the Middle Ages and used as a cathedral. According to a legend, when Byzantium emperor Justinian opened the Hagia Sophia, he said “Solomon, I have surpassed you.” by referring to king Solomon who had an enormous wealth as it was mentioned in the Bible. During the Ottoman Empire, it was used as a mosque and repaired many times. Today, it is a museum and when you entered there, you were amazed by its magnificent atmosphere. It has lovely figures and scenes from the bible on its walls. Besides, it is an architectural miracle in the world with its huge dome. When you visit there, you can see Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) stands nearby the Hagia Sophia as its companion for many years. You can attend to Blue Mosque Area- Ottoman & Byzantine Heritage as well and finish your day by listening to other stories about those lovely buildings.

Ortaköy Mosque:

Visiting Ortaköy Mosque and taking a photo with this magnificent view is a must to prove you visited Istanbul. This mosque was built during the last centuries of the Ottoman Empire. At that time, Ottomans were interested in the art of Western countries. This mosque is one of the symbolic buildings you can see traces of this interest. It has magnificent details and craftsmanship on its walls. Another fact makes this mosque famous is that it is built just nearby the Bosphorus and the bridge of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM). You can visit there along the day or at night. There were so many little stores to buy some souvenirs for your loved ones. If you were hungry, you should try “kumpir” as a tasteful lunch. Besides, you should also try the Ortaköy waffle as a dessert.

Discovering Istanbul starts in its lovely streets and continues to visit its famous buildings. There are so many buildings wait for you to tell amazing stories. Galata Tower will tell you the story of Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi and present a wonderful Istanbul view. Maiden Tower will welcome you in the middle of the sea and tell the legend of the unlucky princess. Hagia Sophia will appear as an old fairy to tell stories of the Byzantium emperor and Ottoman Sultans as well. Ortaköy mosque will appear as a gorgeous nixie nearby the Bosphorus.

Visit Istanbul to learn other mysterious stories and legends. You can visit istanbul.com to learn more about Istanbul before you came.