Istanbul – Best Places to Visit in this Magnificent Metropolis
Istanbul is one of the world’s great metropolises with a history rich beyond wonder. These remnants of the past have drawn people from all around the world but with so many to see, it’s good to start with the best on offer.
The Blue Mosque
This beautiful mosque, now known as the Blue Mosque, was Sultan Ahmet I’s grand architectural gift to his capital. The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 and featured six minarets, with its interior decorated with tens of thousands of Iznik tiles, earning it the nickname “Iznik Mosque.” The interior’s overall spatial and colour effect elevates the mosque to one of Ottoman architecture’s pinnacles.
In the past, this was the epicentre of Byzantine public life, with magnificent games and chariot races, as well as factional rivalries.
Today, however, except for a small section of the gallery walls on the southern side, there isn’t much of the Hippodrome left to see, but the At Meydanı that now stands on the site contains a variety of monuments.
A fountain on the northwest side was given to the Ottoman sultan by German Emperor William II in 1898. Then, to the southwest, there are three ancient monuments: a 20-meter-high Egyptian obelisk, the Serpent Column, and a stone obelisk that was originally clad in gold-covered bronze plating.
The Istanbul Archaeology Museum
This significant museum complex houses a diverse collection of artefacts from Turkey and the Middle East, spanning the region’s vast history. The museum complex is divided into three sections, each of which is worth seeing.
The Museum of the Ancient Orient houses a collection of pre-Islamic art and heritage from the Middle East. The main Archaeology Museum houses statuary and tombs, including the famous sarcophaguses.
The Istanbul through the Ages exhibit room is also located here, and it helps you visualize the city’s vast and epic history. The Tiled Pavilion, the museum’s third structure, houses a diverse collection of ceramic art.
The opulent and ornate Dolmabahçe Palace demonstrates the Ottoman Empire’s 19th-century influence on European decoration and architecture. You’ll find fountains, ornamental basins, and blooming flower beds punctuating the formal gardens.
Inside, a dazzling Turkish Renaissance style of sheer splendour and pomp is created by combining Rococo, Baroque, Neoclassical, and Ottoman elements with mammoth crystal chandeliers, liberal use of gold, French-style furnishings, and frescoed ceilings.