The magnificent city of Istanbul has a lot to offer, and visitors often face difficulty in choosing which ones to visit first. Being a city situated in two continents, Istanbul serves as a vital trade center and continues to be a major contributor to Turkey’s finance and culture.
What makes Istanbul a place worth visiting? Here are some of the experiences that you shouldn’t miss while in this extravagant city.
The Bazaars of Istanbul
You’ll find yourself immersed inside one of Istanbul’s bazaars. Armed with your wallet and a huge amount of patience, visit those ancient shopping malls to experience how it was centuries ago. The country has Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar, two of the famous bazaars that allow you to experience all things Turkish.
The Sultan Ahmet Cammi, more popularly known as the Blue Mosque, is a multi-domed mosque located in the city’s main historical district. This mosque welcomes a large number of worshippers each day inside its well-decorated interiors. As this is a ‘working mosque’, the visiting hours are controlled, however the entrance is free.
River Bosphorus Boat Ride
Another activity you shouldn’t miss is a River Bosphorus boat ride. This boat ride will make you cruise past a lot of forts, palaces, huge suspension bridges and traditional wooden Ottoman homes. The ride will reveal the beauty of the city as well as those other attractions hidden from the usual street view.
One of Turkey’s most famous attractions is the Hagia Sophia (Turkish: Aya Sofya). This domed monument was first a church during the Byzantine empire, then a mosque during the Ottoman empire. This could be considered as the city’s best symbol, being the center of three majestic empires.
Hotels Worth Visiting
Your visit to Istanbul will be incomplete without a nice accommodation in Istanbul Hotelsduring your stay. You can choose among these properties to spend the nights of your Istanbul vacation.
The Aziyade Hotel is one of the most recommended properties due to its location. It’s one of the most convenient hotels: it’s a 10 minute walk to Blue Mosque, and less than 1.5 Kilometers away from the Grand Bazaar. Guests are offered a free welcome cocktail on the early hours of the evening, and can spend their time in the roof-terrace restaurant.
Ramada Istanbul Grand Bazaar
The Ramada Istanbul Grand Bazaar is a boutique hotel located in the Sehzadebasi district. Situated around the central old Istanbul area, the property is known for its elegant and functional spaces. This is an ideal accommodation as it’s just a short walk to the Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, Topkapi Palace and other famous Istanbul sights.
Pierre Loti Hotel - Special Class
The Hotel Pierre Loti is a property with a modern façade and adorned with French balconies. It’s a nice place to unwind while witnessing the views of known landmarks such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Bosphorus and the Marmara Sea. The property has been given a ‘Special Class’ certification by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, hence making it stand out from the other properties in the area.