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Things to do in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the cities in Turkey. It is rich in culture and history and is known worldwide for its tourist activities. Istanbul has a lot to offer you from historic mosques, to delicious Turkish food and the physical remains of the different empires that all ruled Turkey before the Ottomans decided to take over. There is so much to see in this city filled with culture, romance, history and art. It is truly an experience of a lifetime.

Istanbul Turkey

There is much to do in this city and among the things to do in Istanbul is to firstly visit the beautiful grand mosques that are known as tourist attractions worldwide. The Suleymaniye Mosque is not one of the largest mosques in the city, but it is one of the Ottoman mosques that has preserved its buildings and architecture throughout the many years. Suleymaniye means the ‘magnificent’ and it truly holds up to its name. This was the 4th grand mosque that was built at the time. This mosque was built during 1550 and 1557. The mosque is absolutely beautiful from the inside where it has gardens, ablution fountains and a massive 3 sided courtyard. On the right side of the mosque as you enter, are tombs of Suleyman and his wife Haseki Hurram Sultan. Both of their tombs are built with exceptional tile work with jewel like lights shining through. Taking a trip to the Aya Sofya is one of the many things to do in Istanbul. What was once a Church, then a Mosque and then turned into museum in 1935 is now a worldwide tourist attraction. The building is rich in culture and history from both of the religions and beliefs. There is so much to learn from this museum to acknowledge the beauty, architecture and styles of each and every room, floor and artwork.


Places to visit in Istanbul


Topkapi Palace is one of the most stunning palaces to visit in the city. It is home to some of the world’s most historic and cultural stories, and more history than any museum around the world put together. So much has happened in this palace between the 18th and the 19th centuries when it belonged to the Ottoman Empire as their court. When you enter the main gate to the palace, you can see the decorative styled fountain that was built by Sultan Ahmet in 1728. There are 4 courts in the palace where you can walk around and take a look at the different areas where the Sultans would live, sleep, eat, pray, work and so on. The palace is a major tourist attraction all around the world and it is a great place to go with families and friends. Visiting the Grand Bazaar should also be on your list of things to do in your stay in Istanbul. It is located in Istanbul’s old city and has been there for centuries. Tourists come here to shop, enjoy the famous Turkish tea and try their hand at bargaining prices with shopkeepers. Inside the lanes, you will find more shops and many artisans who are at work. It is a lively and culturally open shopping space for people to enjoy and take back a little something to remember your time in Turkey.

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The Basilica Cistern is one of the most magical places we have ever been to. If you don’t know what a cistern is, it is a reservoir for storing water. This particular cistern is no ordinary cistern, as it was made in the 6th century during the Byzantine era. It is one of the most popular attractions in the city and it is easy to see why; there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Back in those days it is easy to see that practicality wasn’t really the main focus of things. Nowadays if a reservoir is built, it is very industrial looking.

The Basilica Cistern, on the other hand, is full of things to marvel at. The columns are absolutely beautiful and feature great art. The reason they look so magical is that they have been affected by water and have a green sheen on them, like submerged items often do. The green shine gives them a mysterious otherworldly look. Don’t be worried though, the cistern is very well maintained and has been renovated often, so there are no safety issues. We wouldn’t recommend missing out on a visit here if you are in Istanbul.

The Bosphorus Bridge is one of the best modern sights in Istanbul. In a city filled with so much historical beauty it is refreshing to see that the new things are beautiful as well. The bridge was always remarkable and was the 4th largest bridge of its kind when it was made. Nowadays the most outstanding aspect of the bridge isn’t its size, but rather its lighting. The whole bridge has a system of LED lights which are controlled by computers. These lights can change colors and show patterns.

Istanbul is already a beautiful city but the Bosphorus Bridge lighting up and changing colors is a sight to behold. What we liked to do was find a bench or spot which had a good view of the bridge, and just talk with our friends while eating snacks. The bridge looks like any other bridge in the day so we would recommend coming here in the night time, when the lighting is visible and active. It is also a great photo opportunity, as anyone who seen this bridge in the background of your photo is bound to ask you what that thing is. Videos work even better.

Nagoya is one of Japan’s major economic centers and the headquarters to the automotive giants Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi motors. It has a few historical points from the Tokugawa Shogunate’s period. You might be keen to visit the modern museums, like the Toyota commemorative museum and the SCMAGLEV railway park. The port of Nagoya aquarium is another wonderful spot that features Dolphins and Orcas.

Okinawa or Okinawa islands are a chain, which stretch to the south of Japan. The islands are home to some very beautiful beaches like Nishihama Beach and Yonaha Maehama Beach. Okinawa’s aquatic attractions such as aquariums and destinations such as Kabira bay and Iriomote Island are numerous. A beautiful stretch of road to take is the Irabu Bridge.

Historically there were 2 cities divided by the river line. The city’s port and railway lines are marked by the name of Hakata, the former city’s name. The city is modern and the tourist sites it offers are parks and the Hakata station. There are shopping malls and centers, and impressive landmarks including the Fukuoka tower and City subway.

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Kagoshima is a historical city that has sites from the Satsuma rebellions. Mount Sakurajima overshadows the city. It has museums and monuments dedicated to the region’s history. You may visit the Segan-en Garden and the Shiroyama observatory. There are shopping centers and lookout points that center around the city’s natural landscape. The city is the capital of the Kagoshima prefecture.

Sapporo is a very new city and lacks in traditional Japanese architecture. It is divided and organized by a strict grid system. The city’s organization makes it very ‘cyclable’, so go ahead and rent a cycle to get about. The city is still fairly large and is home to 2 million. There are also a number of parks and lookouts you can visit.

Sendai is a large city that is referred to affectionately by its people as not too big and not too small. The city has some history as well and it began to flourish with the arrival of Date Masamune who built a castle in the region. The city has covered walkways making it perfect for pedestrians. Jozenji-dori Avenue is one popular street with shopping.

Nagasaki has recovered from the atomic bomb blast that obliterated the city half a century ago. Its residents do not mention the event now and there are few memorials in the city that one will see. The city offers gardens and parks to its visitors themed on peace; Mount Inasa is one natural stop that presents an amazing view of the city.

Auckland is the largest metropolitan area in New Zealand. It is located in a temperate area that experiences neither cold nor hot weather extremes. Auckland’s most popular spots are the sky tower and the Auckland museum. Try visiting the islands, which are quite beautiful. The city also offers tours to the famous Lord of the Rings movie sets.