Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, is a hub of economical and cultural growth. One of the most populous cities in Europe, it has historical significance as well. Tourists from across the world flock over to this place to have a glimpse of the wonderful scenes that it has to offer. The place and the food have an aura of their own, something that’s completely unmatched.
Owing to its travel appeal, it also is one of the world’s most visited tourist locations. It has tourist spots, from historic to modern, and has world-renowned markets including the spice market since 1660.
Let’s look at a few places that one cannot miss paying a visit to when in Istanbul, Turkey!
The Blue Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque or the blue mosque as it is called was constructed by Ahmed I. The most attractive feature of the mosque is the blue tiles, all hand-painted that cover the interior walls. It consists of six minarets, five main and secondary domes. The ceramic tiles in the interiors, made in Iznik have over fifty designs of tulip. The small glass windows on the top let the light enter and lit up the entire interior.
Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofia
The church of Hagia Sophia was built in 537 and stands to be one of the largest church in the roman empire. One of the architectural marvels, the building was designed by Greek geometers. Adorned with marble pillars and mosaics, it has a very rich and detailed history. The interior has a very complex structure with around 40 arched windows. The dome of the building is carried on four triangular pendentives and is 32.6 m thick. The floor is made of Proconnesian marble and attracts tourists who are lovers of intrinsic architecture.
The Grand Bazaar
This market in Istanbul is one of the oldest and most sought after marketing in the world. It is fully thriving and generates employment for over 26,000 people. Often referred to as the World’s most visited place, it opens every day except Sunday’s and has over 60 streets. Isn’t that insane? It is a roofed complex with thousands of shops selling various amenities. It will give you a taste of Turkey during the Ottoman era and you will love it.
The Basilica Cistern
Located very close to Hagia Sophia is the Cisterna Basilica. It is the largest cistern living beneath the city of Istanbul. The underground chamber can hold 80,000 cubic meters of water. It was created to supply water to Constantinople’s Great Palace and also used for water filtration for those buildings. The interior of the palace gets you walking on a raised wooden platform letting you feel the water dripping from the ceilings and give you an atmosphere of its own.
One of the stone towers of medieval area, it is cylindrical in shale with a cone-shaped top. It is nine-storied and has an observation deck. Build-in Romanesque style, it looks starry especially at night time when the lights are lit up and the building stands tall amidst the other building around the place.
How can I not forget the beautiful İstanbul seagulls! They are the joy of every ferry ride, they love to catch bread crumbs and simit pieces the passengers throw to them so they travel all the way from Europe to Asia and Asia to Europe following the ferry ride.
Istanbul has so much to offer in terms of a tourist attraction. The vivid structures, the food, and the people would provide warmth to your soul and you would not mind revisiting it.