Top Places to Visit in Istanbul - New City (Taksim Area) | Istanbul Guidance
galata tower bosphorus view
31 Mar

CONTENTS of  Top Places to Visit in Istanbul – NEW CITY  / Taksim Area

Taksim Square
Golden Horn
Galata Tower
Chora Church
Miniaturk Museum
Pierre Loti hill Istanbul
Istanbul Prince’s Island



Taksim Square

istanbul taksim tour guide
istanbul taksim tour guide

Taksim square area has busy nightlife, shopping and dining area. Istiklal Street is Istanbul’s main pedestrian boulevard.
While passing from historical peninsula you feel in time machine because suddenly you already left the historical constructions and you reached the modern side of Istanbul. Taksim square is considered as the central point of Istanbul. The groups and the locals meet in this square they spend time around there.

Moreover the square has a street where just next to it named as Istıklal Avenue (pedestrian st.)which is 3 km lenght. It is not allowed driving on the street, there are many kind of restaurants,bars,stores,shopping malls,etc. You can spend long time by walking, having lunch or diner,shopping… do not forget your camera.

istanbul istiklal street and taksim square walking tour guide


Taksim Square area has famous shops and well know restaurants. Book your Taksim Tour guide and visit Galata Tower, taste famous local foods and exlore Istiklal street and vicinity.



This is the best place to find cheap bars and clubs for every kind of entertainment.

Street Art

A stroll around Taksim in the evening will convince you of its majesty

Turkish Delight

In case you need something more refreshing, taste an ice cream that is thick and almost chewy

Try Some Food

After a tour in Taksim square, take a break to enjoy a meal at one of the numerous eating spots that surround it

Buy Some Souvenirs

Taksim is one of the best places in the entire city to buy some souvenirs


Golden Horn

This horn-shaped estuary divides European Istanbul.

One of the best natural harbours in the world, it was once the centre for the Byzantine and Ottoman navies and commercial shipping interests.

Today, attractive parks and promenades line the shores, a picturesque scene especially as the sun goes down over the water.

At Fener and Balat, neighbourhoods midway up the Golden Horn.

There are entire streets filled with old wooden houses, churches, and synagogues dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times.

The Orthodox Patriarchy resides at Fener, the Golden Horn at Eyup are some wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture.

Muslim pilgrims from all over the world visit Eyup Camii and Tomb of Eyup.

The Prophet Mohammed’s standard bearer and it is one of the holiest places in Islam.

The area is a still a popular burial place and the hills above the mosque are dotted with modern gravestones interspersed with ornate Ottoman stones.

The Pierre Loti Cafe, atop the hill overlooking the shrine is a wonderful place to enjoy the tranquility of the view.


Beyoglu and Taksim: Beyoglu is an interesting example of a district with European-influenced architecture, from a century before.

Europe’s second oldest subway, Tunel was built by the French in 1875, must be also one of the shortest offering a one-stop ride to start of Taksim.

Near to Tunel is the Galata district whose Galata Tower became a famous symbols of Istanbul.

From the Tunel area to Taksim square is one of the city’s focal points for shopping, entertainment and urban promenadin.

Istiklal Caddesi is a fine example of the contrasts and compositions of Istanbul’s;

fashion shops, bookshops, cinemas, markets, restaurants and even hand-carts selling trinkets and simit (sesame bread snack)

ensure that the street is packed throughout the day until late into the night.

The old tramcars re-entered into service which shuttle up and down this fascinating street, and otherwise the street is entirely pedestrianised.

There are old embassy buildings, Galatasaray High School.
The colourful ambience of Balik Pazari (Fish Bazaar) and restaurants in Cicek Pasaji (Flower Passage).
Also on this street is the oldest church in the are;
St Mary’s Draperis dating back to 1789, and the Franciscan Church of St Antoine, demolished and then rebuilt in 1913.


Galata Tower

Galata Tower first was built a lighthouse by the Roman emperor Anastasius (528 A.D).
The Latin armies destroyed the Tower in 1204 then the tower was built by Genoese in 1348 after the conquest.
the tower owned by the Otomans and renovated in 1453.
it was the highest building in Istanbul.

Galata tower tours are not operated in regular therefore best way will be to get galata tower tour guide.


The tower is 69.90 m.
It is quite popular among the tourist groups.
From the top ever part of Istanbul can be seen also the top floor is used as a restaurant and cafe. It is open everyday.

Galata Tower tour guide

4th century, by the Genoese colony as part of the defense wall surrounding their district at Galata directly opposite ancient Constantinopolis.
They called the tower as “Christea Turris”, or “Tower of Christ”.
The Genoese were involved in trade with the Byzantines and the tower was used for the surveillance of the Harbor in the Golden Horn.
After the conquest of Constantinople by Mehmet II, it served to detect fires in the city.

Hezarfen Ahmet Celebi was the first flying Turk during the Ottoman Empire of the 17th century.
He copied bird wings and studied air flows than jumping from the Galata Tower.
He overflew the Bosphorus and landed at Uskudar district on the Asian side around 6 kilometers  in distance.

After the Republic, Galata Tower was restored and opened to the public in 1967.
The tower houses a cafeteria on top, there was also a night club which is closed down after the last restoration in 2013.
A small souvenir shop is located inside the tower just across the ticket office at the entrance level.


Chora Church

The Chora Church is located in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul and called the “Chora Museum” (Kariye Muzesi)

Chora is a church building that constitutes the center of the Chora Monastery.

Kariye was a great building complex in the Eastern Roman Empire period.

It was dedicated to Jesus Christ.

Since it stood outside of the city walls built by Constantine,

The building was called “Chora” which means “in the country” or “outside of the city” in Greek.

Although the exact construction date of the building is unknown.

According to the description of Symeon the Metaphrast an author and saint who lived in the late 10th century.

The region where the Chora monastery was located began to gain importance as a holy cemetery (necropolis)

When the relics of Saint Babylas who had been martyred in the early periods of Christianity, in 298.

Together with his 84 disciples, in Nicomedia (İznik), were buried here in the early 4th century.

The Chora monastery was rebuilt in the 6th century, in 536, by the Emperor Justinian (527-565).
On the cemetery that was considered holy, on a chapel that had been ruined.

On the other hand, according to the unproven claim on the page 229 of the calendar of Byzantine feasts written by Manuel Gedeon.

The construction of the monastery had been initiated by Theodoros, the uncle of Justinian’s wife Theodora.
In the 6th century but it had been devastated by an earthquake that occurred on October 6, 557.
Following the emperor had built a larger monastery on the site of the former one.

Afterwards, the monastery was used as a burial area for prominent persons.
When the Patriarch Germanus who died in 740 was buried here.

The monastery appeared for the first time in written sources and its degree of holiness increased.
when Theophanes, Metropolitan of Nicaea, who died in the 9th century, also was buried here.

The building was destructed in the Iconoclastic period (711-843) and it was reconstructed in different periods.
According to archaeological studies carried out between 1947 and 1958, there were five different construction periods here.
Those periods witnessed in the 11th, 12th and 14th centuries should have been the periods of large-scale constructions or restorations.

The only surviving element originating from the earliest period of the building that lasted until the 9th century is the substructure on the east side.

This substructure, which originates from the 5th or 6th centuries as indicated by its masonry, had not been built as a crypt but it was used later as a burial place as indicated by the tombs uncovered.

At the end of the Iconoclastic period, after the Council of Nicaea in 843, Michael of Synkellos who was appointed the high priest of the monastery, rebuilt the monastery completely by organizing a large construction campaign.

The remains of this structure built in the 9th century can only be seen today at the eastern end of the church.
The tomb covered by a barrel vault beneath the naos covering dates from this period.

During the Comneni period (1081-1185), since the Great Palace was abandoned and the religious ceremonies were held in the Chora Monastery Church that was close to the new imperial residence at the Palace of Blachernae.

In the last quarter of the 11th century, Maria Doukaina, the mother-in-law of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos built a new church upon the ruins of the Chora Monastery.

The remains of this building can be seen at the lover parts of the naos walls, under the marble coverings.
Since almost no part of its superstructure has survived, the exact form of the building is unknown.

Isaac Komnenos, the younger son of Alexios I, rebuilt a large part of the monastery in 1120.
The former three apses were replaced by a single and large apse
The relatively small dome supported by four columns was enlarged and supported by four corner pillars, the arches were narrowed, and thus, a more monumental interior space was created.

There is almost no information about the Chora Monastery during the Latin occupation between 1204 and 1261.

The monastery seems to have been devastated during the Latin occupation.

It is known that the huge earthquake of 1296 devastated the monastery.
Patriarch Athanasius I, who resided in the Chora Monastery in the early 14th century, mentions the very bad condition of the monastery.

During the reign of Andronikos II (1282-1328), although the empire experienced economic difficulties in general.
There was also a community of wealthy aristocrats, which supported artistic and scientific activities.

In this period, Theodore Metochites almost reconstructed the Chora Monastery and established a very large and rich library inside the monastery.
For the Byzantine aristocracy,

Building or repairing a religious institution was considered as a source of prestige in this world and as a very important investment for the afterlife, before God.

Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror (1451-1481) conquered Istanbul.

It was converted into a mosque during the reign of Sultan Bayezid II, by the Grand Vizier Atik Ali Pasha and a madrasah was added next to it.

In the Turkish period, the monasteries except this church were ruined and disappeared in the course of time.

Besides the reconstruction of the demolished dome and the repair of some damages caused by earthquakes, the windows of the outer narthex were covered largely and a mihrab was added to the naos.

The sarcophagi in the tomb arcosolia were removed.

According to the descriptions of travelers who visited this building, while it was serving as a mosque, the mosaics of the building were covered with removable wooden shutters.

In the first half of the 18th century, a school and a soup kitchen were added to the building by Kızlarağası (“Chief of the Girls”) Hacı Beşir Pasha.

The Chora Mosque was converted into a mosque upon the decision of the Council of Ministers dated 29/08/1945.
Chora (Kariye) Museum today, is a quite attractive Eastern Roman building with both its architecture and its mosaics and frescoes.


Miniaturk Museum

istanbul miniaturk tour guide

Miniaturk is one of the open air museum,located near the Golden Horn in Turkey. The museum was establish the Prime minister R.T.Erdoğan in 2003. totally the museum covers 60.000 m2 garden. 15.000 m2 for the models, 40,000 m2 for open area and garden, 3,500 m2 for covered section, 2,000 m2 for pool,fauntain and water way used fort he museum.

The museum includes the traces of Anatoian civilization constructions. By many historians the models had been choosed and placed in the museum. İt offers you a short and mystical journey among the models.



Pierre Loti Hill Istanbul

The name of the hill derives from French poet and author Pierre Loti.

Around the there were many Ottoman pavilions, baths, medrases…

Pierree Loti lived in Istanbul, walking the hill he completed his boks and poems.


During the world war one he wrote many things for Ottomans benefits.

After the war the new parliment named the hill as Pierre Loti.

The hill is famous for coffee, ( known as Pierre Loti Coffee) it is located on european side near the Golden Horn, the city walls.

The Golden Horn, three bridges of the Golden Horn,many mosques, shortly whole European side can be seen from the hill.

Book pierre loti tour guide and climb the hill by cable car and take a break at the coffee of french poet Pierre Loti.

The real name of Pierre Loti, who lived in Istanbul for long years and was a real Istanbul lover, was Julien Viaud.

The historical cafe is the most ideal place to watch this mentioned view.

Pierre Loti used to come this cafe often named as “Rabia Kadın Kahvesi”.  In those years and write his novel “Aziyade” overlooking Golden Horn.

The district is also mentioned in Evliya Çelebi’s Seyahatname ( travel book) as “Idris Köşkü Mesiresi”.


Prince’s Island of Istanbul

The island is on the sea of Marmara, it is one of the four islands of Istanbul. The island is closer Asian side of İstanbul. Emperor Justinian I had built a monastery and palace on the island in 569 A.D.There are several buildings on the island such as Aya Yorgi Church and monastery, the Agios Dimitrios Church and Hamidiye Mosque.

Today, about 7,000 people live on the island (Turks, Greeks and Jews). Except service vehicles, other vehicles with motor are forbidden.

Instead of driving or riding you can rent a bcycle or carriage,also you can take a short round-trip (45 min.) by horse carriages.There are lots of restaurants,cafes on the shore,you can spend time.

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