Istanbul sightseeing

City of the World's Desire

Istanbul sightseeing is a cultural contrast – as the capital on 2 continents of two successive, powerful empires; the first Christian and Greek Byzantine, the second Islamic and Ottoman.

Istanbul is a place unlike any other you will ever visit, where ancient cathedrals and blue-domed mosques and their minarets battle for control of the skyline.

Formally known to the world as Constantinople, there is so much to see in this city of culture and history that as a tourist you will never possibly see it all – well certainly not until you’ve worn out a good few pairs of shoes in the process.

Here are some of the top places to visit in Istanbul:

  • Basilica Cistern: A huge underground Roman water source held up with 336 marble columns covering 9,800 sq. meters.
  • Sultanahmet Square: A public square with remnants of an ancient hippodrome, plus prominent & historic buildings.
  • The Blue Mosque: A well-known site, also known as the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, built in 1616 & containing its founder’s tomb.
  • Galata Tower: A restored 14th-century tower and former prison overlooking the Bosphorus with a top-floor restaurant.
  • Dolmabahçe Palace: A grand, domed sultan’s palace, now a museum, including collections of art, calligraphy and carpets.

City Information

  • Language: Turkish
  • Population: 14 Million
  • Currency: Turkish Lira (₺)
  • Time: EET (+2)