40 Best Must-See Attractions in Istanbul

As Kingsman Estates, we have prepared an incredibly detailed guide to attractions in Istanbul so tourists and our property clients can find out all the details about attractions in Istanbul and tour the city like a seasoned professional does. 

Over the centuries Istanbul has hosted the greatest civilizations of the world making the place a melting pot of cultures which  engraved the word “All roads lead to Istanbul”, and has indeed been the center of the world’ for a long time, there are so many intriguing places to see, and so many things to do. 

Exploring Istanbul in a holistic manner within a few weeks is rather challenging let alone a couple of days. Tourist guides and places to visit are abundant in  Istanbul, where a different history and a different story come to light from every stone turned and every place visited. 

Istanbul was the home to two empires as well as two Abrahamic religions. The remains of this magnificent history can be seen throughout the city. Istanbul is one of the best locations in the world to see the gems of Islam and Orthodox Christianity as it hosted the best times of both Byzantian and Ottoman Empire. Most attractions in Istanbul are with the walking distance as the old city is in a much smaller location to what Istanbul is today.  

It means Istanbul; sometimes the course of mimosa and sometimes the discovery of historical remains. Many places and things to do from the Anatolian Side to the European Side from natural, calm, historical places are on this list. Regardless of your background, interest or your budget, Istanbul has something to offer for everyone. Embrace this adventure and important points, whether with your lover, your spouse or your family. Let’s explore it together …

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Arasta Bazaar

Located at the back of the Blue Mosque, the Arasta Bazaar is a touristic bazaar that has the status of a mini-covered bazaar. Here you can find all kinds of tourist items from jewelry to carpets, rugs, leather, handicrafts and souvenir shops.

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Hagia Sophia

No explanation required for this wonderful building. One of the most important buildings ever constructed in the entire world.

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Basilica Cistern

The largest and the most famous ancient cistern among hundreds in Istanbul that was used to provide drinking water for Istanbul throughout the history.

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Besiktas Carsi

One of the prime locations of Istanbul. Besiktas is full of life with restaurants and shops. Not to mention the fact that it is the home to Besiktas Football team.

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Beyazit Square

A vibrant square of Istanbul full of hustle and bustle with many interesting shops around. It is only a walking distance from Grand Bazaar.

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Blue Mosque

Built in the early 1600s Blue Mosque is one of the most iconic buildings in Istanbul. The interior design is made out of blue tiles. Must see!

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Caferaga Medresesi

15 different art workshops, a large hall and a peaceful courtyard, it serves as an art center where Traditional Turkish Arts are taught, produced and exhibited and welcomes guests.

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Camlica Mosque

Camlica is the biggest mosque in Turkey with a capacity of 63000 people praying at the same time. This mega project with 16 minarets is a must see!

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Church Of St Stephen Of The Bulgars

An active Bulgarian Church in the heart of Istanbul. Today, the Iron Church Sveti Stefan remains one of the greatest symbols of the Bulgarian religious belief.

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Cicek Pasaji

Home to plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes also known as the Flower Passage is a must see location in Istanbul.

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Column Of Constantine

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Divan Yolu Caddesi

Tramway road between Sultanahmet Square and Beyazıt Square, was opened during the time of Roman Emperor Constantine, and became a ceremony road where the sultans who returned to their lands.

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Dolmabahce Palace

In addition to its historical importance, magnificent architecture, Dolmabahçe Palace contains valuable items, innovative crystal artifacts, carpets, tile stoves and many more in its rooms and halls.

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Galata Bridge

The 490-meter-long Galata Bridge, located at the entrance of the Golden Horn and connects Karaköy and Eminönü, is famous for its unique history. One of the iconic places in Istanbul.

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Galata Tower

One of the icons of Istanbul, Galata tower was built in 500 A.D to defend the city from invaders and served as a watch tower.

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Grand Bazaar

One of the icons of Istanbul, Galata tower was built in 500 A.D to defend the city from invaders and served as a watch tower.

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Gulhane Park

One of the most beautiful parks in Istanbul. Gulhane means home of roses in Turkey, come here to see a lovely scenery of flowers and green.

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Hippodrome

This ancient hippodrome was the centre of life in Constantinople. It saw riots, political debates, horse races and theological discussions. It had a capacity of 100.000 spectators.

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Istanbul Archaeology Museums

This is the first museum in Turkey and one of the biggest and the best. It hosts a huge amount of Byzantium, Greek and Roman artifacts from history.

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Istiklal Caddesi

Istiklal Street is one of the first places that come to mind when it comes to Istanbul. It is surrounded by historical embassy buildings where nostalgic trams run along.

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Kariye Museum Chora Church

It is an impressive place where you can see the most outstanding examples of 14th century Eastern Roman and Byzantine painting art. It has the best preserved mosaics and frescoes.

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Kiz Kulesi

The Maiden's Tower, stands on a rock at the entrance of the Bosphorus, 150-200 meters off Üsküdar, is one of the most important and popular monuments and symbols of Istanbul.

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Kuzey Deniz Saha Komutanligi

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Museum Of Turkish Islamic Arts

In the museum, there are unique Turkish and Islamic artifacts such as handwritten Korans, miniatures, antique carpets in carpet, manuscript, wood, glass-metal-ceramic and ethnography sections.

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Obelisk Of Theodosius

It is an Ancient Egyptian obelisk located in Sultanahmet Square. It was brought from Egypt by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in 390 AD and erected in its current location.

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Rahmi M Koc Museum

A wonderful museum in Istanbul dedicated to the history of transport, engineering and industry including a military submarine you can visit.

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Rumeli Hisari

Built to block the supply routes to Constantinople during the siege. Absolutely stunning views and an important bit of history.

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Rustem Pasa Mosque

A lovely mosque built by Rustem Pasa in 1561 with absolutely fantastic tiling inside and outside the mosque.

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Seraglio Point

This location is called Sarayburnu and it is a headland where the Topkapi palace is located.

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Spice Bazaar

A trip to Istanbul is not complete without visiting the Spice Bazaar(Misir Bazaar). The most fragrant and colourful bazaar in Istanbul.

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Sublime Porte

Sublime Porte is where the governance of the Ottoman Empire and principal state departments were located.

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Suleymaniye Mosque

Located on the third hill of Istanbul, Suleymaniye mosque is one of the diamonds of Istanbul.

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Sultanahmet Archaeological Park

Excavations resulted in the revelation of the Grand Btzantian Palace, the park is now closed for the archaeological works to be completed.

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Tombs Of Suleyman Roxelana

Beautiful tombs of the family of one of the best sultans in the Ottoman Empire. The tiling work inside is to die for.

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Topkapi Palace

Home to Ottoman Sultans and their family for over 400 years. Although most of the palace is not accessible, visiting this place is an absolute must!

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Beyoglu

A prestigious and diverse part of Istanbul where most of the consulates are located. Visit this place to enjoy clubs, shops and a lovely traditional tram.

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Bazaar District

Bazaar district is the home to both Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, quintessential gems of Istanbul!

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Kadikoy

Located in the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadikoy is one of the prestigious parts of Istanbul. Kadikoy has lots of attractions as well as being home to Fenerbahce Football club.

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Sultanahmet

Old part of Istanbul and it is home to plenty of attractions such as Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque.

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Uskudar

Uskudar is on the Asian side of Istanbul overlooking the Bosphorus and the famous Maiden's Tower.

Frequently Asked Questions

Istanbul is famous for the fact that it is a melting pot of the western and the eastern world.

Hagia Sophia and the Dolmabahce palace is one of our favourites among hundreds of places you should see in Istanbul.

Three days in Istanbul will not be enough to get a good feeling of Istanbul, we recommend at least one week.

Most shop owners should speak English.

Unfortunately Uber is not available in Istanbul due to ongoing court cases.

Istanbul is a huge place and where you will find food for all budgets.

Compared to places like London, taxis in Istanbul are not very expensive.

You may choose public transport or taxis.

Most parts of Istanbul is safe to walk at night however, act with common sense and stay away from dark streets.

Yes, Istanbul has hundreds of nightclubs and bars you can visit.

Nisantasi is probably the most expensive neighborhood in Istanbul.

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