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Best attractions to visit in Istanbul

21. Little Hagia Sophia - Istanbul

Little Hagia Sophia

It's another eminent church enclosed by lavish Green Park in the town. Little Hagia Sophia is made up of stone and well preplanned church already eminent for it architecture. Tourist can enjoy musical concert here. Being of the same architectural period, and with an expansive arch, it resembled a study for Justinian's awesome Church of little Hagia Sophia, henceforth its name, which it appears to have taken when it was changed over to a mosque around the year 1500. Broad reclamation work-inside, outside and auxiliary-was finished in 2007 so the feeling of respectable desuetude that had it for such a variety of decades is no more. Both outside and inside look for all intents and purposes shiny new, with smooth mortar and new paint. The Ottoman-style embellishment inside is lovely for a mosque, yet looks to some extent like what the building looked like in Byzantine times when gold mosaics gleamed in the arch and shaded marble shined on the walls. In 1504, the structure was altered over into a mosque. In the 1950s, the territory before the town walls close to the structure was claimed from the ocean and opened to traffic movement.

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22. Maiden's Tower - Istanbul

Maiden's Tower

The Maiden’s Tower or the Kiz Kulesi is one of the oldest sites in Istanbul that is conveniently located on the Strait of Bosphorus. It is said that the tower is more than two centuries old. It was originally made from stone, but when the Turks took control, they added a wooden support to the structure. The building was affected by fire in the 1700s, but it was renovated in the 1800s and a light was added right at the top. The building covers an area of 220 yards and is on the coast of Üsküdar. There are several stories about the tower, but the most famous one is that it was made to hold a beautiful princess in order to save her from the prophecy that she would die on her 18th birthday from a snake’s bite. The princess was only visited by her father. On her 18th birthday, her father bought her fruits in order to celebrate. However, an asp was hiding in the basket and bit the princess, after which she died. Today, the tower has a bar and a restaurant and is one of the most visited places by locals and tourists. The only way you can reach the Maiden’s Tower is by a boat ride, which usually takes 20 minutes.

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23. Miniaturk - Istanbul

Miniaturk

Among the most visited places in Istanbul is Miniaturk, which is one of the largest miniature parks in the world. It is located on the Golden Horn and covers a massive area of 60,000 meters. The park was opened for general public on the 23rd of April, 2003, and has several architectural works from the Ottoman era. There are 105 structures in total, and they have been divided into three sections, namely Istanbul, Anatolia and other Ottoman territories. The Istanbul section has 57 structures, and all of them are 1/25th of their original size. These structures include Aya Sophia, Beylerbeyi Palace, Galata Tower, Rumeli Fortress, Suleymaniye Mosque, and the Tomb of Sinan. The Anatolia section has 51 structures and includes the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, the Great Mosque in Diyarbakir, the ruins of Mount Nemrut and the houses made from stone in Mardin. The rest of the structures include the Mostar Bridge, the Mehmet Ali Pasha Mosque, and other tombs. There are other things that you can enjoy at the museum, which includes a play ground, a gift shop, an amphitheatre, and a large sized chessboard. Miniaturk is open every day from 9 to 5 and one can reach there by getting a taxi or bus from Eminonu.

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24. Beylerbeyi Palace - Istanbul

Beylerbeyi Palace

The Beylerbeyi Palace is located near the Bosphorus and was the residence of Ottoman sultans during the summer season. The palace was constructed back in 1863 on the order of the then ruler, Sultan Abdulaziz, but the work took two years. The place was used to entertain foreign diplomats, and catered to Nasireddin, the Shah of Iran, Emperor Joseph of Austria-Hungary, Empress Eugenie of France, and the Crown Prince Oscar of Sweden. This palace also has great historic importance because Sultan Abdulhamid II was held in captivity here, where he died in 1918. The Beylerbeyi Palace is beautifully constructed, and consists of two storeys. It has one bathroom, one hamam (bathing area), six halls, and twenty-four rooms. The architects took an eclectic approach and amalgamated Ottoman designs with neo-classical art, where most of the furniture was imported from Europe. The grandiose of the Beylerbeyi Palace can be seen from its main hall where there is intricate wood paneling. In the centre, there is the Blue Hall and the Hall with Pool that has several columns and a huge pool. Make sure you visit the grounds of this palace as from there you will be able to see beautiful terrace gardens, stables, annexes, and bathing houses. The Beylerbeyi Palace is in the Beylerbeyi neighborhood and you can reach the place via a ferry. It is open for visitors from 9.30 till 4 every day except Mondays and Thursdays.

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25. Istanbul Modern Art Museum - Istanbul

Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Istanbul is the city of art, architecture, and museums. One of the must visit places in the city is the Istanbul Modern Art Museum. It was inaugurated on the 11th of December in 2004, and since then has been featuring the work of famous Turkish artists. It is located on the shores of the Bosphorus and has a cinema (which shows art films), a gift shop, and a restaurant in the vicinity. The museum has two floors. The first floor contains the shop and restaurant, in addition to the permanent collection of the museum. On the ground floor, there is the temporary collection, along with the arts library and the cinema. The Istanbul Modern Art Museum includes the work of Turkish painters Migurdic Givanian, Hoca Ali Riza, and Nuri Iyem. Not only this, it also contains the work of international artists like Julian Opie, Tony Cragg, and Monica Bonvicini. The Istanbul Modern Art Museum is located near the Nusretiye Mosque, so in order to reach the place people can take a tram. The museum is open from 10 to 6 from Tuesday till Sunday, and from 10 to 8 on Thursdays.

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26. Museum Of Turkish Islamic Arts - Istanbul

Museum Of Turkish Islamic Arts

The Museum of Turkish Islamic Arts is a must visit place if you are in Istanbul. It was built back in 1534 by Suleyman the Magnificent for his friend İbrahim Paşa. The building holds a beautiful collection of arts and artifacts, and has an amazing collection of carpets. The building originally had several rooms and a courtyard, but some of it was destroyed by fire. Fortunately, the building was reconstructed in stone. The artifacts in the museum are really old and some of them date back to the 8th and 9th century. The collection consists of Islamic calligraphy, paintings, contemporary and abstract art. Other than this, there is a section that educates tourists about the Anatolian life. Some of the must see things in the museum includes the carpet collection and the carvings from the Selcuk era. In addition to this, there is the folk art collection by Yoruk that must not be missed. The entry fee for the museum is twenty Liras, and the museum is open from 9 to 5 from Tuesday to Sunday. The museum is conveniently located near important landmarks like the Arasta Bazaar, Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sophia. In order to reach the museum, you can catch a tram from the station, which is at Sultanahmet.

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27. New Mosque Istanbul - Istanbul

New Mosque Istanbul

Istanbul has some of the most beautiful mosques in the world. One such mosque is the New Istanbul Mosque (Yemi Cami) that is more than 400 years old. It was built in the year 1597, and the architecture was inspired by the Süleymaniye Mosque and the Blue Mosque. Its construction was commissioned by the mother of Sultan Mehmet III, Valide Sultan Safiye. However, the mosque was completed much later and that too on the order of the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV. The mosque is inspired by Ottoman architecture and has a beautiful interior with a large courtyard, and has sixty six small domes that surround the grand dome, which are arranged in the shape of a pyramid. All these domes are decorated with marble and tiles. The mosque has large plates that have the names of the first four caliphs of Islam. As a tourist, you should know that the mosque gets really crowded during the prayer timings. One of the easiest ways to get to the mosque is from the Eminonu waterfront or the Spice Bazaar. Remember to remove your shoes before you enter the mosque, and it is recommended that you dress decently.

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28. Suleymaniye Mosque - Istanbul view 360

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Suleymaniye Mosque

If you love old architecture, then you must visit the Suleymaniye Mosque as it is an important landmark in Istanbul. It was built in the 16th century (1550-1558) by Sultan Suleiman, and is known to have survived several earthquakes, without any harm being inflicted to its structure. Mimar Sinan, the architect of this beautiful building, built the mosque with white marble that adds to its grandiose. If you will look at the interior of the mosque, then you will see that it has intricate calligraphy work, and the pillars are adorned with beautiful arches that are red and white in color. The mihrab (prayer platform) is made from stained glass and faces the Ka’abah in Makkah, whereas the minbar (staircase) is made of marble. The mosque has a beautiful garden with a domed fountain. Not only this, it also has four magnificent minarets and ten balconies. You must visit the terrace behind the garden as it will give you a beautiful view of the Golden Horn. There are several things that you will see in the complex of Suleymaniye Mosque, such as a madrassa (Islamic school), a library, a soup kitchen, and many tombs. In order to reach the mosque, you can take a tram from the Grand Bazaar. It is important you know that the mosque is closed for tourists during prayer timings, but is open for exploration from 9am and 6pm.

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29. Sultan Ahmed Mosque - Istanbul view 360

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Sultan Ahmed Mosque is, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful buildings in Istanbul, and the mosque was made by Sultan Ahmed himself. If one visits this beautiful building, then they will see that the Sultan’s tomb is on the north of the mosque and faces the Sultanahmet Park. One can’t help but be amazed by the beautiful interior, which was the work of architect Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa. The mosque was built in the early 1600s and has a beautiful interior that consists of a blue dome and walls. More than 20,000 tiles have been used in order to decorate the mosque, which adds to its overall beauty. If one looks closely, then they will be able to see that there is latticework and marble used for its interior decoration. The beauty of the mosque lies in the cascading domes and the six minarets (which are decorated by hand drawings) that can be easily spotted from a distance. Not only this, the mosque has one of the biggest courtyards out of all the mosques that were built during the Ottoman era. In order to admire the beauty of the Blue Mosque, it is highly recommended that tourists enter the building from the Hippodrome.

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30. Topkapi Palace - Istanbul

Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is also known as the Seraglio, and is actually a large palace in the city of Istanbul in Turkey. This amazing site is a must visit for all tourists, as it holds great historical value, being one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans. The royals lived here for a period of around 400 years, out of their total reign of 624 years. The palace was a royal residence and that is why, it is the main attraction in the city. Tourists can find a lot of things to distract them in the museum, as it served as the site for different royal entertainments and state occasions. One of the main reasons why this palace turned museum is a major tourist attraction is because it houses some of the most important holy relics of the Muslim world. Along with great historical significance and architectural beauty, the palace is also one of the monuments, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage site list for Historic Areas of Istanbul, in 1985. The UNESCO criterion describes the palace to be one of the best examples out of the numerous palaces, which had been built in the Ottoman period. There are a total of 4 main courtyards, and in its peak time, the palace had the capacity to accommodate around 4,000 people in total. The palace contained mosques, bakeries, hospital and a mint. It is a sight for someone who wants to enjoy the architectural beauty of the Ottoman period and sneak a peek into the annals of history.

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