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An accommodation experience that suits you in the fascinating historical Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. Blu Ma'cel is the ideal Sultanahmet hotel for you.


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Discover the Best Places to Visit in Istanbul

Istanbul, a vibrant city straddling two continents, is a mesmerizing blend of history, culture, and modernity. Whether you're a history buff, food lover, or simply in search of breathtaking views, Istanbul has something to offer everyone.


Istanbul is a city that captivates with its unique blend of the past and the present, the traditional and the modern. Each of the places listed above represents just a snippet of what this grand city has to offer. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or returning, Istanbul’s best places to visit promise memories that will last a lifetime. Don't forget to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the delicious Turkish cuisine while exploring these top tourist attractions in Istanbul.


Here’s your guide to the best places to visit and the top tourist attractions in this historic city. 


A Traveler's Guide for 10 Best Places in Istanbul


hagia sophia


1- Hagia Sophia: A Testament to Architectural Grandeur

One of the most iconic tourist attractions in Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia. Originally built as a cathedral, it was later converted into a mosque and now serves as a museum. Its massive dome and stunning mosaics make it a perfect example of Byzantine architecture and a must-visit for anyone fascinated by history or architecture.


Learn About Hagia Sophia


Topkapi Palace


2- Topkapi Palace: A Peek into Ottoman Opulence

Topkapi Palace, once the court of the Ottoman Empire, offers a glimpse into the luxurious lives of the sultans. With its intricate Iznik tiles, lush courtyards, and the impressive Imperial Treasury, the palace is a key highlight for those exploring the best places to visit in Istanbul.


Grand Bazaar


3- Grand Bazaar: A Shopper’s Paradise

No visit to Istanbul is complete without a stroll through the Grand Bazaar. One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, it is home to over 3,000 shops selling everything from traditional carpets to handcrafted jewelry and aromatic spices. Engage with friendly local vendors and soak in the vibrant atmosphere that makes this market a pivotal tourist attraction in Istanbul.


Learn About Grand Bazaar


Bosphorus Strait


4- Bosphorus Strait: Scenic Views and Serene Moments

A ferry ride along the Bosphorus Strait offers panoramic views of Istanbul’s European and Asian sides. The strait not only provides a strategic maritime route but also offers some of the best photographic opportunities in the city. Make sure to catch a sunset cruise for an unforgettable experience.


Sultanahmet District


5- Sultanahmet District: The Heart of Historic Istanbul

The Sultanahmet District is the historical heart of the city, housing many significant attractions. Apart from the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, don’t miss the Blue Mosque with its striking blue tiles and the ancient Hippodrome, where chariot races were once held.


Learn About Sultanahmet District


Galata Tower


6- Galata Tower: Panoramic City Vistas

For the best views of Istanbul, head to the Galata Tower. This medieval stone tower, once used for spotting fires, now offers a 360-degree view of the city’s skyline. It’s the perfect spot to end your day, watching the city lights sparkle against the night sky.


Learn About Galata Tower


Basilica Cistern


7- Basilica Cistern: A Subterranean Wonder

Explore the depths of history at the Basilica Cistern, one of Istanbul’s most intriguing sites. Located just a short walk from the Hagia Sophia, this ancient cistern offers a glimpse into the city’s Byzantine past. The atmosphere inside is both eerie and mesmerizing, with the sound of dripping water and the soft illumination of red lights. Be sure to find the two Medusa head pillars, which add a mythical allure to this underground marvel.


Learn About Basilica Cistern


Dolmabahçe Palace


8- Dolmabahçe Palace: The Last Palace of the Ottomans

Situated along the stunning Bosphorus coastline, Dolmabahçe Palace is an architectural masterpiece blending traditional Ottoman style with European elements. It served as the primary administrative center of the Ottoman Empire in the last years and impresses visitors with its luxurious interiors, including a crystal staircase and the largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the world. The palace’s historical significance and breathtaking aesthetics make it an essential visit.


Istanbul Modern


9- Istanbul Modern: A Hub for Contemporary Art

For art enthusiasts and culture vultures, Istanbul Modern is a destination not to be missed. Located in the trendy Karaköy district, this museum showcases an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art from Turkey and around the world. The exhibitions are beautifully curated, offering insights into the vibrant art scene and the cultural dialogues shaping contemporary Turkey.


Chora Church


10- Chora Church (Kariye Museum): A Mosaic and Fresco Showcase

Though lesser-known than the Hagia Sophia, the Chora Church is equally mesmerizing for those interested in Byzantine art. The interior walls are covered with some of the best-preserved mosaics and frescoes in the world, depicting scenes from the life of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. This site provides a more intimate and detailed look at the artistic and religious history of Istanbul.