Sights and Attractions
in Istanbul

Istanbul is full of sights and attractions worth spending equal time on each. The city is over-abundant of exquisite architecture, cultural diversity and extraordinary sites.


Istanbul is a city to be enjoyed both day and night. There are so much to see and so many things to do. Well, be warned; you might feel dizzy trying to figure out what to choose and don’t know where to begin.

But after reading these pages you will be relieved, you will be able to decide easily...


Most important parts of the city that you should see;

  • Historic Peninsula; nearly all of the top sightseeing places and attractions are located on or around Historic Peninsula. You will find a lot about the places like Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque, Spice Market, Grand Bazaar and so on...
  • But it’s good to look outside of the peninsula too…

  • Beyoglu, consists of several parts like; Taksim square, Istiklal Street, Çukurcuma neighbourhood, Galata Tower and neighbourhood, Tünel and Asmalimescid neighbourhoods.
  • Beyoglu neighborhood is a place where you can watch while you walk the 19th-century ambassadorial mansions, apartments, passageways, 16th-century waterhouses, churches, modern galleries and museums. Beyoglu is the Istanbul of Orient Express-era. It was called Pera then and it was the European trade center of the city.
  • Neighborhoods along the Golden Horn; Balat, Fener and Sütlüce are on the rise again, after a long time. These are among the oldest neighborhoods of Istanbul. They are very close to Historic Peninsula, Eminönü and Beyoğlu.

Old City behind the ferry
Photo: By Mine Beyaz / Flickr

  • The Nisantasi district is a good choice for strolling around chic boutiques, having a lunch in chic eatiries and seeing Art-Nouveau architecture. This neighborhood has its unique atmosphere which will surround you immediately…
  • Bosphorus cruises… One of the best ways to feel the athmosphere of Istanbul is a leisurely boat ride along the Bosporus. You can see both continents at the same time. You can watch the Ottoman palaces, waterfront mansions, houses, ancient fortresses and fishing villages on the European and Asian shores while feeling the soft breeze of the Bosphorus.
  • Ortaköy is the most well-known fishing village. It is very close to Beyoğlu and you should definitely make time for it.
  • Visiting “Fishing villages” along the Bosphorus are a good way to have a leisurely walk on the streets full of old houses. These neighborhoods still have the unique feeling of old Istanbul.

5 Most significant parts of Istanbul;

  • Historic Peninsula highlights
  • Galata and Karaköy
  • Pera: Taksim, İstiklal Street, Çukurcuma, Tünel
  • Ortaköy
  • Along the Bosphorus

These are only the most important sightseeings in brief.

Other very significant parts are;

  • Other parts of Historic peninsula (other than the Hagia Sophia I mean.)
  • Halic (Golden Horn): Fener, Balat, Sütlüce
  • Nişantaşı
  • Fishing villages along the Bosphorus
  • Belgrad Forest
  • Anadolu Kavaği at the Northern edge of the city

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