Top Places to Visit in Istanbul - OLD CITY | Istanbul Guidance
istanbul old city
31 Mar

CONTENTS of  Top Places to Visit in Istanbul – OLD CITY  

Hagia Sophia
Topkapi Palace
Grand Bazaar of Istanbul
Underground Basilica Cistern
Blue Mosque
Istanbul Hipporome of Romans
Istanbul Spice Bazaar
Istanbul Archeology Museum
Suleymaniye Mosque
Panaroma 1453 Museum
Turkish Islamic Art Museum



Hagia Sophia

The eighth wonder of the world ! which means “the holly wisdom” named by the Roman emperors. It was built by the Roman emperor Justinian the I. between the years 532-537 A.D as catedhral. It is the most well preserved Roman construction that still standing, in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia was construsted by including the late Roman architecture and the best architects designed it according to basilica plan. After the emperor completed Hagia Sophia he entered with the words; “Soloman, i have surpassed you!”. He achieved the build the biggest construction on earth in that age.

Hagia Sophia Ticket
Book your hagia sophia tour guide to jump all queue as well as your tour guide will help you to get tickets.

No need to wait at the entrance for Hagia Sophia entrance ticket.

After the conquest in 1453, Hagia Sophia was turned into mosque by the Ottoman sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. Ottomans added some islamic elements in Hagia Sophia such as minaretes, minber, mihrap? ottomans covered the mosaics and added calligraphies instead. When you enter the museum you admire it by looking at the dome (55.60 m./182 ft high.-diameter 31.20 m/102 ft) also the Roman mosaics,paintings and frescoes can be seen.

Hagia Sophia Tour Guide
Hagia Sophia was used as a church for 916 years and as a mosque for 481 years. In 1934, by the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, it was made a museum and has since been open to visitors. Book your tour guide for Hagia Sophia visit and explore all hidden sites and learn all history by experienced tour guide.

istanbul hagia sophia museum tour guide


Topkapi Palace

Doubtless the Topkapı palace is located in the most beautiful point of Istanbul that facing toward the Golden Horn, sea of Marmara, Europe, Asia and islands….

Topkapı Palace Museum was built by sultan Mehmet the Conqueror between 1465-1478. The palace is the second residence of the Ottoman Sultans where they lived and ruled the empire. The Topkapi Palace was a city -palace with a population of approximately 4,000 people. It covered an area of 70 hectares / 173 acres. 25 sultans lived in the palace from Mehmet II to Abdulmecit. The palace is abondoned when the Dolmabahce palace were built.  In 1924 it was turned  into a museum.

There are Bab-ı Humayun entrance where security control done, after the gate, you need to walk around 300 meters till the second gate and you will see the crowded waiting in the queue but your tour guide can easily jump all queue.

The palace was divided into two parts (Birun and Enderun), it has three Gates (Divan-i Humayun, Babus Selam, Babus Sade) and Harem section where the sultan’s familiy lived with the concubines. After passing trough to the first gate you enter the museum and you visit the exhibitions room one by one. Such as treasury room, islamic relaics room, Baghdad pavilion, sultans portraits room, library, clocks gallery, army collection room, imperial parliment and also 86 carats diamond (kasikci) can be seen. Topkapi palace can be best visit by tour guide who knows each hidden secrets. Book your Topkapi palace tour guide.

It takes around 2.3 hours to visit all palace apart from Harem Section where has 300+ rooms, 9 baths, Mosques and Hospitals inside as well as world famous tiles on the walls.

There are lots of tour options as regular/group tours which starts mostly on afternoon.

Also, some tours are available on morning time.

Best way to explore palace in totally is to book a local tour guide whom can escort your during whole visit that visiting Topkapi palace with Harem takes around 4-5 hours (at least!)


Grand Bazaar of Istanbul

istanbul grand bazaar tour guide

The oldest and biggest closed grand bazaar in the world.

The Grand Bazaar has around 4000 shops and over 60 alley way covering a huge labyrinth in the city centre.

The original two structures covered with a series of domes and remains of the 15th century walls.

a shopping area by covering the surrounding streets and adding to it over the following centuries. In Ottoman times this was the centre of trading, and a vital area of town.

The Sandal Bedesten was added during Suleyman’s reign, to cope with the rising trade in fabrics, during the 16th century. Traditionally the more valuable goods were in the old central area, called Ic Bedesten, because it was more secure. As quite typical of the area, most streets are laid out and devoted to a particular trade, for example gold on Kuyumcular Caddesi, leather on Bodrum Han and shoes on Kavaflar Sokak.

The trade has also spilled out onto the surrounding streets and it is very common to see Russian traders buying up huge sacks of leather jackets or shoes outside the main entrance. Book  a professional grand bazaar tour guide to find out all secret shops and best discounted ones.

Even the streets leading to the Golden Horn are lined with outdoor stalls, which have traditionally been controlled by strict trading laws to reduce competition between traders. Apart from the usual grand bazaar shops selling clothes, textiles, jewellry and carpets, there are small workshops where craftsmen cast and beat silver or brass, in a skilled trade handed down through the generations.

If all that shopping, bargaining and fending off persuasive salesmen is a little too tiring, there are also traditional cafes dotted inside the bazaar in which to relax, eat and sip tea.

There are also money-changing booths inside and out.

Bazzar is less crowded during weekdays as most locals shop at weekends.

Bakırcılar (Copper Smiths)Bazaar Lesser known and smaller but nonetheless just as interesting is this market in Beyazit; under the north and east walls of Istanbul University.


Underground Basilica Cistern

istanbul basilica cistern tour guide

Book your Istanbul Basilica Cistern Tour guide and start to enjoy in this marvellous museum, Learn the history of Medusa and witness the History.

Early Hagia Sofia is the 6th century Byzantine underground Basilica cistern.

Basilica Cistern with 335 massive Corinthian columns supporting the immense chamber’s fine brick vaulting. This is one of several buried into the city’s foundations and the first to have been excavated and renovated.

Thought to have been built in the 4th century by the emperor Constantine then enlarged two centuries later,

The water carried from Belgrade Forest and supplied it to the Great Palace and Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul Basilica Cistern Tour Guide

It fell into disuse and was then restored in 1987 with the mud and water removed and narrow raised pathways providing easy access for visitors.

It is the largest covered cistern in the city, measuring 140 by 70 metres.


Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque is located in center of sultanahmet.

The mosques are where the muslims pray five times a day and come together.

The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) is the one of the most important mosque of the muslims in Turkey

. It was built by Sultan Ahmet I. between the years 1609-1616.

Despite it is not the biggest mosque in Turkey, It shows of the Ottoman architecture on the other hand shows Ottomans’ hand arts such as calligrapies and the blue Iznik tiles, surrounding walls inside of the mosque moreover it is the only Ottoman mosque has the six minarets.


There are more than two thousand mosques in Istanbul and none of them is museum.

The mosques are still active because of it is required that shoulders and hairs must be covered for woman. Take it your memories!!

To learn the truth, book a Blue mosque tour guide and visit historical Blue Mosque.

Special Note: For Blue Mosque Tour

Please ignore and avoid people who offer you to enter mosque without queue up.

Those people mostly will try to sell you something! and take you to the some shopping place.

Best way is to line up and enter Mosque just like other tourists. Don’t worry if line looks very long, it will move very fast for sure.


Istanbul Hipporome of Romans

At one’s first glance there are two things that are particularly remarkable in the ancient monuments of the Ottomans.

The choice of the site and the perfect unity of the whole.

Whether or not it is in a raised place, the site always has a view of vast open spaces and however far one may look, one may see the sky.

The structure as a whole is broad and imposing.


All details of the monument, however charged with multiple ornaments it may be, simultaneously contribute to a general effect that is always simple and always unique. In 324 A.d , Emperor Constantine moved the seats from rome to Byzantium and renamed city as New roma but public said the city of constantine as ” CONSTANTINOPOLIS ” , ordered to built Hippodrome which means Hippos; horse, Drome; Square, with 456 meter long and 128 meter wide.

It is ”U” shaped , with 100.000 spectators capacity and Kathisma( lodge of Empire ). Decorated with Obelisk, Serpent Column, Walled Obelisk, German Fountain.

During your Istanbul Hippodrome Tour , There had been no major change in the disposition of this place during the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman palaces are situated here. Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) was built here.

Hippodrome was converted to At Meydani (Horse Square) where jereed (a special old Turkish horseman competition with javelin) games were held.

Also the most important historical monuments of Istanbul like;

Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum and the Basilica Cistern surrounds the square.



Istanbul Spice Bazaar

Also known as the Egyptian Market;
this is Istanbul’s second biggest bazaar, constructed in the same complex as Yeni Camii (or New Mosque).
There are six gates, which make it an attractive exterior.

The Bazaar is most visited place in Istanbul tours as named Grand Spice Market visit.

The L-shaped market,together with the mosque were built for the mother of Mehmet IV.

Apowerful woman who ruled the harem and, some would say, much of the empire.
Although no longer the prime spice trading area of the city.
there is still the aroma of ginger, cardamom, pepper and saffron from the piles of spices sold from many stalls.


Istanbul Spice bazaar tour guide can easily help you to best-buy and direct you to genuine products.

These days it is also popular for great varieties of lokum (turkish delight), small souvenirs, flavoured teas and local delicacies including the dubious sounding “Turkish Viagra”.
Locals come here to shop for bed linen and towels as well as for fruit and vegetables, coffee, clothes, pots and pans in the surrounding cramped backstreets.
Outside the market on the Galata Bridge end, is this is the best place to choose olives from huge barrels, and many varieties of beyaz penir (white cheese).

istanbul Spice Bazaar Tour Guide

The Spice market covers an area of 384 city blocks.
The market was first established within the complex (Kulliye) of the New Mosque.
It is believed that the market got its name because it was built using funds from the Ottoman division in Egypt in 1660 and completed in 1664


Istanbul Archeology Museum

The Istanbul Archeology museum is the most important and the biggest including thousands of artifacts, antiquities and historical elements, in Turkey.
It is located near the Topkapi Palace and it is the most visited archeolgy museum in Turkey.
When you visit that museum you can check thousands piecies from the neolothic age to Ottoman period.


Explore most important historical site of Istanbul city where hundreds of statues and artifatcts exhibited.

Tour guide for Archeology museum is highly suggested due to all era of  Istanbul as well as Turkey shown.

Istanbul Archeology Museum tour guide


Tour in archeology museum takes around 2-3 hours depends on desire that tickets are provided in entrance.
Istanbul archeology museum tour guides have the privalage that you may jump the queue for fast visits.

The Istanbul Archaeological Museums;

is among the most impressive historical venues for your outdoor events and made up of three main units.
The Istanbul Archaeological Musuems, the Ancient Orient Museum and Tiled Kiosk Museum.

The collection of the Archaeology Museum Turkey’s first museum houses over one million artifacts belonging various cultures collected from the imperial territories. The Archaeological Museum was ounded in June 13, 1891 under the name of Müze-i Hümayun (the Imperial Museum).
Commissioned by archeologist, painter and curator Osman Hamdi Bey.

The museum met a need to display important artifacts such as the Sarcophagies of Alexander the Great and King Tabnit, both unearthed at the Royal Necropolis of Sydon (Saida, Lebanon), a site considered one of the most significant archeological discoveries of that era. The main building of the museum was designed by the renowned architect
Alexandre Vallaury a later took it’s current form with the construction of auxiliaries built in 1903 and 1907.
In addition to the Alexander and Tabnit sarcophagi, the permanent collection features numerous.
Remarkable artifacts including the Mourning Women Sarcophagus, also unearthed in the Sidon Royal Necropolis excavation, the Tabnit Sarcophagus, and the Brankhit Sculptures of the Didim-Milet Sacred Way, belonging from archaic period utill late-Roman period.
Besides archaeological artifacts, one can enjoy seeing various valuable objects from the pre-islamic Arabian Peninsula, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Anatolia in the Ancient Orient Museum as well as some outstanding tile and pottery samples by Seljuk and Ottoman in the Tiled Kiosk Museum.



Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque, rather than a mosque, is one of the symbols of Istanbul and can be seen from the every part of Istanbul.

It was built by Suleyman II the Magnificent between (1550-1557). The architect was the greatest of Ottoman architects, Mimar the Great Sinan. Like the other Ottoman mosques,were built by the sultans, the construction has some parts such as bath, education center, dormitories, fountaines etc. For the public.


The mosque was designed in classical Ottoman architecture, it has four minaretes, a huge dome (47 m./154 ft. High-27 meter/90 ft. Diameter). When the mosque was built there were 4,000 oil candles, the smoke from which could have been endangered the paintings on the walls. The architect avoided this, however by creating a system fort he circulation of air inside the building. Sultan Suleyman and Sinan are burried in their tombs in the complex.

istanbul tour guide
istanbul suleymaniye mosque tour guide



Panaroma 1453 Museum

In the museums you can see many historical stuffs from period to period. İn İstanbul there are severel museums, panoroma 1453 is one of them but only diffrence seperating from the others, the museum is next to city walls, shows you how Constantinopolis was conquered by the Ottomans.

It tells you with many descriptions and pictures. After you read everyting about Ottomans and Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror you walk through the exhibition hall and watch the panoramic Picture which shows you the city walls, Otoman Soldier,Mehmet the Conqueror, Roman soldiers. We suggest you visit the museum with a guide.


Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

turkish and islamic arts museum istanbul

It is unknown that whom and when this palace was built (?) only we know that the palace was used by the Grand vezier Ibrahim Pasha (1593-1536). He served as the Grand Vezier of Suleiman the Magnificant(1523-1536).. he used this building as his pavilion in 16. centuary.

The museum is next to the Hipodrom (at meydani) the another information about the museum is; it is the last museum, was opened by the Ottomans. The museum includes almost everything about Islamic art.

After the republic the building was turned into museum completely. The museum includes; the art of Abbasis, Umayyads,Timurids,Andalusias,Caucasians,Parsees,Ayyubids.Safavids. many kinds of calligraphis,carpets,kilims,sarcophagus from medivial and early islamis periods. According to some historians; the palace was more beautiful then the Topkapi Palace. İf you interest in arts and Islam you must not miss it…

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