Canada Association of Tourism Employees

16 Well-known Landmarks of Istanbul That You Ought to Not Miss

Istanbul is one of the most popular travel destinations with many famous landmarks for travelers and vacationers with over 4 million visitors a year. With such a large number of people visiting the city, it’s no surprise that Istanbul has some of the most famous landmarks in the world. With an international airport, it is a gateway to the Middle East and a hub for travelers. It is also one of the most visited cities in the world.

The historical landmarks of Istanbul include:

1: Bosphorus Bridge

2: Hagia Sophia

3: The Topkapi Palace

4: The Blue Mosque

5: The Grand Bazaar, Spice Market

6: The Golden Horn

7: The Galata Tower

8: The Dolmabahçe Palace

9: Egyptian obelisk

10: Church of the Holy Redeemer in Chora

11: The Maiden Tower

12: The basilica cistern

13: Hippodrome of Constantinople

14: Gulhane Park

15: Taksim Square

16: German fountain

16 famous Istanbul landmarks not to be missed

1: Bosphorus Bridge

The Bosphorus Bridge is one of the most famous landmarks in Istanbul. It is a suspension bridge that connects the European and Asian sides of the city and crosses the narrow strait of the Bosphorus. It was designed by the famous French engineer Gustave Eiffel who also designed the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is one of the main tourist attractions in Istanbul and one of the main symbols of the city. The main span of the bridge is 1,050 meters and the total length of the bridge is 3,450 meters.

Bosphorus Bridge

2: Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is one of the most visited landmarks in Istanbul and a must see for visitors, the former Orthodox Christian Church and the Ottoman Imperial Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. Construction of the church began in AD 532 under Emperor Justinian I and was completed in AD 537 and consecrated to the first martyr Saint George (died approx. AD 303). The building was the largest cathedral in the world for almost 1,000 years. Hagia Sophia occupies a site that stretches on both sides of the Golden Horn and is now a museum, cultural center, and mosque.

Hagia Sophia Great Mosque Famous landmark of IstanbulThe Great Mosque of Hagia Sophia

3: Topkapi Palace

The Topkapi Palace is located in Istanbul, Turkey. The palace was first built by Mehmet II in 1478 and served as the main residence of the Ottoman sultans for about 400 years. The palace was then extended by his successors to the courtyard of the harem, with the imperial quarters (harem and selamlik) of Suleyman the Magnificent. The palace was damaged in the 18th century during the Ottoman-Greek War of Independence and was not restored until the first half of the 20th century. The palace now houses a large number of museums, mosques and schools.

The Topkapi PalaceThe Topkapi Palace

4: The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is one of the most famous landmarks in Istanbul. It was built by Sultan Ahmed I from 1609 to 1616. The mosque is considered a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The Blue Mosque was built in the 16th century by the architect Sinan, and the interior decorations and tiles were done by a number of leading artists of the time. The interior of the mosque is covered with blue Iznik tiles and the walls are decorated with mosaics. The Blue Mosque also houses a library with more than 70,000 books.

The Blue Mosque Istanbul TurkeyThe Blue Mosque Istanbul Turkey

5: Grand bazaar, spice market

The Grand Bazaar, dating from 1461, has been a trading center for centuries and is now home to over 4,000 shops. The bazaar is located on the historic Eminönü peninsula. The Grand Bazaar is one of the most famous shopping destinations in the world and a must when visiting Istanbul.

Spice market in the Grand BazaarSpice market in the Grand Bazaar

Istanbul Spice Market is a great place to buy spices from all over the world. There are so many different types of spice that you can’t decide which one to choose. You can find almost everything here, from the more common to the rarer spices. The market is open every day and you can shop until late at night. If you don’t have time to shop, it is a good idea to go there early in the morning. Just go through and get a thing or two from any store without paying any attention to the price.

6: The Golden Horn

The Golden Horn is a small bay that branches off from the Bosphorus and separates the European side of Istanbul from the Asian side. It is the most famous street in Istanbul, lined with many historical buildings and popular tourist attractions. If you want to explore this area, it is a good idea to walk the entire street from start to finish, starting at the Galata Tower, the first stop on the right as you exit the Galata Bridge.

The Golden Horn 1The area around the Golden Horn

There are two bridges on the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge and the Prince Islands Bridge. The Golden Horn is a very important place for the traveler as you can get to too many tourist attractions with just one ride on the Golden Horn.

7: Galata Tower

Istanbul is the only city in the world that still has a functioning tower from the Middle Ages. The Galata Tower was built to dominate the surrounding city and protect the port of Constantinople.

It was built in 1348 by the Genoese with a height of 55 meters as a watchtower, one of the city’s landmarks. The tower is located in the Galata district of Istanbul, on the northern tip of the peninsula opposite the Golden Horn. The tower is open to the public as a museum. The tower contains a church that has been open to believers since the 16th century.

Galata TowerGalata Tower

8: Dolmabahçe Palace, Istanbul

Dolmabahçe Palace is one of the most beautiful and grandiose historical buildings in Istanbul. It is a symbol of the power of the Ottoman Empire. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud I in the 18th century. The palace is a large complex with several buildings and gardens spread over 14 hectares of land.

From 1856 to 1922 it served as the official Ottoman imperial residence. The palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmejid I and designed by the architect Sarkis Balyan. It is located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, on the European side of the Bosphorus.

Dolmabahce PalaceDolmabahce Palace

9: Egyptian Obelisk Istanbul (The Obelisk of Theodosius)

Istanbul is a city that has many famous attractions to offer. Whether it’s Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market or the Egyptian Obelisks, you are sure to have a great time exploring the city. The Egyptian obelisks are a must-see landmark. These obelisks were designed and made by the ancient Egyptians and later transported to Istanbul by the Romans.

The obelisk is a four-sided, tapered monument that tapers from its base to a pyramidal tip. The ancient Egyptians built it as a symbol of the sun god Ra and as a symbol of fertility and life. Originally it was made of red granite and topped with an iron cap. The Romans later moved it to its current location, where it still stands.

Obelisk of Theodosius(Egyptian Obelisk) Obelisk of Theodosius

10: Chora Church Istanbul (Church of the Holy Savior in Chora)

The Church of the Holy Savior in Chora (The Kariye Mosque) which is located in the old city of Istanbul is a place that attracts a lot of attention and tourists from all over the world. The church is located in the old town of Chora and has been a place of worship for over 2,000 years. The church is still in use today and is one of the most famous places of worship in Istanbul.
Chora Church This church, built in the early 5th century, is one of the most important and well-known landmarks of Istanbul. Not only is it beautiful, but it also contains some of the oldest mosaics in the world.

Chora Church in IstanbulChora Church in Istanbul

At the end of the Ottoman era, the Christian church was converted into a mosque; It became a museum in 1945 but was converted back into a mosque in 2020.

11: The Maiden Tower

The Maiden’s Tower is a medieval tower in the Beykoz district, Istanbul. It was built in the 15th century on the European side of the city. The construction was commissioned by a prince who wanted to build a watchtower for his wife. The tower is a popular place for both locals and tourists.

The best time to visit Maiden’s Tower is in spring when the weather isn’t too hot. If you’re visiting in the summer, bring a light jacket as the evenings can get quite cold.

The Maiden TowerThe Maiden Tower

12: Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is an underground water reservoir in Istanbul, Turkey. It was originally built by Emperor Justinian in AD 532 during the Byzantine Empire. The cistern is reached through a narrow, water-filled tunnel with vaulted ceilings that extends beneath the ancient city. The cistern contains a well that dates back to 532 AD and is still active today. The cistern is a popular tourist attraction and the last of its kind in Istanbul.

Basilica Cistern IstanbulBasilica Cistern Istanbul

13: Hippodrome of Constantinople (Sultanahmet Square)

The Constantinople Hippodrome was the center of Byzantine life. The Constantinople Hippodrome was an ancient arena for chariot races and horse races and was located in the city of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey), which served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

In addition to being a popular place for chariot races, the hippodrome also serves as a public space where citizens gather and take part in social and political debates.

General view of the Hippodrome of ConstantinopleGeneral view of the Hippodrome of Constantinople

14: Gulhane Park

The Gülhane Park is located on the European side of Istanbul. The park is a popular spot for locals to take in the views of the Bosphorus. Built on the site of Topkap Palace, the south entrance of Topkapı Palace, and adjacent to the palace, Dolmabahçe Palace is home to exquisite gardens and breathtaking views. The park was established in 1869 and is the largest park in Istanbul.

Gulhane ParkGulhane Park

15: Taksim Square

Taksim place is a large square in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is also a major transportation hub for Istanbul and is home to Taksim Square Metro Station, the M1 tram line and Ataturk International Airport. The square was originally dedicated to the memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic. In the past, the area was called Kuruçeşme and was a promenade where carriages stopped to pick up or drop off passengers. The name Taksim originated from two words: Tak and Sik in Turkish. The origin of the word Tak is unknown, but the word Sik is the Turkish name for a sea monster. The square was renamed Taksim on January 4, 1937 by order of Ataturk. The process of renaming took only 5 months and was completed on April 1, 1937.

Taksim placeTaksim place

16: The German fountain

The German Fountain is a popular tourist destination and a famous landmark of Istanbul that is well worth a visit. It’s a beautiful and elegant landmark that was built in 1873. It is located in the Eminönü district and is due to its large, open plan. fountain and surrounding park have become a popular tourist destination. The area around the fountain is often used as a meeting place for locals, especially during the day when it is filled with bright sunlight.

German fountainGerman fountain

Turkey is an ancient country with a rich culture and history. If you are looking for a vacation destination, Istanbul should be on your list. With so many famous sights in Istanbul, you won’t be disappointed.

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