Although the most popular and best of the historical places to visit are located in or near the old city area of Sultanahmet, there are many activities you can do even in the far parts of the city. Below is a list of the best tourist places to visit and things to do in Istanbul.

Spice Bazaar

A visit to Istanbul would not be complete without stopping by the Spice Bazaar, famous for its ethnic atmosphere. This spice market in Istanbul wins the award for being the most visited place for being the most colorful, fragrant and often the most fun – plus, you can taste the spices you want to buy. You can smell all kinds and flavors of spices in the historical corn bazaar, a part of the Grand Bazaar.

This private covered market area was built in 1664 as part of the New Mosque (New Mosque) complex. It is known as the Spice Bazaar in Turkish and is sometimes translated as "Egyptian Carsisi" or "Egyptian Carsisi" (Egypt means both maize and corn in Turkish). If you love to cook, you will love this place.

Topkapı Palace

The magnificent Topkapi Palace, built after the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in the 15th century, was located on the shore of the Bosphorus, where the sultans of the Ottoman Empire lived and ruled. Topkapi fascinates visitors with its special design and splendor, connects courtyards covered with handmade tiles, magnificently decorated rooms, all surrounded by crenelated walls and towers, and offers a dazzling display of Islamic calligraphy. To take a journey to the magnificent ottoman, we recommend you to visit Topkapi Palace!

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is one of Istanbul's most different and unusual tourist attractions. 336 columns in 12 rows support the cistern, and the palace-like underground hall once met the water needs of the Byzantine emperors. The Basilica Cistern has pedestals that have been transformed into different appearances with decorative carvings made of classical stones, which offer a visual feast. The most famous of these are the column bases known as Medusa stones in the northwest corner and known for their Medusa head carvings. Basilica Cistern, just a few steps from the Blue Mosque, the underground cistern was built on the site of a basilica built in the third century.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a masterpiece of Roman engineering, with its huge dome covering the world's largest enclosed area for over a century. The name of Hagia Sophia is the Greek word for Sacred Wisdom. It refers to Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity.

Serving as a Roman Catholic cathedral built between 532 and 537 at the behest of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia was an Eastern Orthodox cathedral until 1453, except for about 60 years in the 1200s. Now it serves as the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul.

Dolmabahce Palace

Turkey's most glamorous palace blends traditional Ottoman architecture with Europe's Neoclassical, Baroque and Rococo styles. Dolmabahçe Palace, which is likened to the Palace of Versailles with its luxurious appearance, was built in the 19th century using 14 tons of gold leaf. Dolmabahçe Palace is a building used as the residence of six sultans from 1856 to 1924. it is also home to the world's largest Bohemian crystal chandelier, a gift from Queen Victoria. The setting of Dolmabahçe Palace is stunning: it was built along the Bosphorus coastline

Frequently Asked Question

How to get to Dolmabahce Palace?
Most foreign visitors to Istanbul prefer to stay in hotels near Sultanahmet. The easiest and most comfortable way to reach Dolmabahce Palace from this area is by taking the Bagcilar “ Kabatas tram. The tram is very quick and air-conditioned. After reaching the last stop, take the tram to Kabatas district. It takes around 10 minutes to walk to Dolmabahce Palace from this area. If you don't want to use the tram and walk a long time, you can catch a taxi to reach the palace from nearby Sultanahmet. Many buses are available in Besiktas and Taksim to take you to the Dolmabahce Palace. You can also catch a taxi from Taksim square. Getting to the palace is 15 minutes from Taksim. The cruise port in Istanbul is located in the Karakoy district and is 3 kilometers away from Dolmabahce Palace. Getting to the palace in 6 minutes using a taxi.
How to get to Hagia Sophia?
You can reach Hagia Sophia using the Light and Metro tram lines. The closest tram station to the palace is Sultanahmet. If you go by yourself, try to buy IstanbulTouristPass online so that you don't have to wait in line. If you're coming with the cruise ship, you can exit from the port using the tram lines. If you're planning on visiting multiple museums after Hagia Sophia, then an ITP is very important.