Sightseeing & Things To Do in Istanbul

In Istanbul, there is a variety of sights, exciting places, and things to do for tourists. Istanbul is such a diverse city that there is always something nice to experience from young to old. There are numerous historical buildings, museums, places to shop, restaurants, and much more. 

Here you will find all the inspiration and information you need to make your trip to Istanbul unique. Whether you are interested in history or simply or just want to have a nice relaxing city break. Istanbul will impress you with its architecture, the Bosphorus, the food, its hospitality, and much more.

Most popular attractions in Istanbul

What makes the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) so special? 

Hagia Sophia, one of the most recognized buildings all over the world, is one of the must-visit points for foreign tourists coming to Istanbul. Of course, what makes Hagia Sophia one of the most important buildings in the world is its deep history, unique architecture, and many other remarkable features. Hagia Sophia, which was used as a basilica by the Byzantine Empire and converted into a mosque with the conquest of Istanbul in 1453, was turned into a museum during the Republican period. In 2020, it is possible to see traces of Pagan, Orthodox, Catholic and Islamic religions in Hagia Sophia, which was converted into a mosque again.

Why is the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) so famous? 

The Blue Mosque, also called Sultan Ahmet Mosque, is the first mosque that comes to mind when thinking about the best mosques in Turkiye. Built in the early 17th century, the Blue Mosque is since then admired by everyone who visits Istanbul and is one of the important symbols of the city. It is known as one of the largest buildings of the period it was built and is even visible from the Bosphorus. It is one of the structures that those who will visit the historical peninsula should see first. The Sultan Ahmet Camii also gives its name to the area, Sultanahmet, where it is located. Directly opposite you can see the Hagia Sophia Museum, which is also one of our very important historical monuments. 

What is so special about Galata Tower? 

Galata Tower, known for its imposing appearance, is counted among the oldest towers in the world and is present on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Located in Galata, the hippest area of Beyoğlu, this historical building offers a unique view and sheds light on the ancient history of Istanbul. The Galata Tower was built in 528 by the Byzantine Emperor Anastasius as a lighthouse. Over the decades the tower was severely damaged and restored in 1348 by the Genoese. In 1628, Hezarfen Ahmet Çelebi wore eagle wings made of wood on his back and flew from Galata Tower to Üsküdar. Engravings were made in England about this flight, which attracted the attention of Europe. The Galata Tower is now open for visitors and tourists can climb the tower by lift to enjoy the stunning panoramic view over the Bosphorus and Golden Horn.

Why should you visit the Maiden’s Tower (Kız Kulesi)? 

The Maiden’s Tower is not only an iconic figure of Istanbul which is located on the Asian side of the city but also attracts the attention of many local and foreign tourists and those living in Istanbul. The Maiden’s Tower and its architecture is also a popular subject of movies, poems, and books. In short, the ‘Kız Kulesi’ is one of the most popular historical buildings in Istanbul. 

Frequently asked questions about Istanbul

How many days do you need for sightseeing in Istanbul?

You need to stay at least two days to visit the most important sights in Istanbul. For a more relaxed trip with some extra time to see more places and do more activities, at least four days are recommended. You will also have the chance to enjoy the Bosphorus view and some nice food. 

What are the entrance prices for museums and sights in Istanbul?

There are some free museums in Istanbul but the entrance for the most popular sights is subject to a fee. You can enter almost all the museums with the Museum Pass. The Museum Pass costs 1.750₺ and is valid for 120 hours.

What are the top sights in Istanbul?

– Hagia Sophia (Ayasosya)
– The Blue Mosque
– Topkapı Palace
– Dolmabahçe Palace
Grand Bazaar
– Galata Tower
– And many more!