Top 10 things to see in Istanbul, welcome to Turkey

The ancient Constantinople boasts an incredible history but today has lost none of its splendor. Visiting it is equivalent to being constantly amazed. Here, the show is total. A cosmopolitan, popular and dynamic city, it attracts millions of tourists every year. Here are the essentials not to be missed!

1. The Grand Bazaar

As the name suggests, the Grand Bazaar is big. Really very big. There are around 4,000 stalls and its origins date back more than 500 years. Often destroyed, by fires or even by the earthquake of 1894, it is now once again looking good and allows you to buy clothes, jewelery or even various objects from local crafts. Locals and tourists meet there and even James Bond made a passage there in Skyfall.

2. The Blue Mosque

Really very impressive, this mosque is the starting point of the pilgrimage to Mecca. Known for its mosaics, it dates back to the 17th century and is ultimately remarkable in every way.

3. Topkapi Palace

Former residence of the Ottoman sultan, built on the site of the acropolis of Byzantium and with a size of 70 hectares, it is noticeable from afar with its 5 km of spectacular ramparts. Listed by UNESCO, this palace is now a museum. It is also the most visited in all of Turkey.

4. Dolmabahce Palace

We continue with the palaces! On the banks of the Bosphorus, this sumptuous building, 600 meters long, has some 285 rooms and 43 lounges. Built in 1856, it expressed at the time the will of the Ottoman Empire to make a good figure while its decline was only confirmed from year to year.

5. The Basilica Cistern

A single site! A large cistern dating from the time of Constantinople once used to store drinking water. Remarkably highlighted, with music and adequate lighting, it bears witness to the region’s past and the greatness of the people who created it. Since invested by the fish that sneak between the 336 columns, it is essential.

6. The Hagia Sophia

Built in the 4th century, enlarged in the 6th century, this famous basilica has served as a museum since the 1930s. With close to 3 million tourists a year, it is the second most visited monument in Turkey. The architecture and mosaics make it one of the most remarkable sites in this region of the world.

7. The Bosphorus

As in London with the Thames or in Paris with the Seine, it is possible to sail on the Bosphorus to discover Istanbul from another angle. Several options are available. We discover the luxurious palaces and mansions and more broadly the magnificence of the whole city.

8. The Archaeological Museum

A term which in fact brings together three museums: the archaeological museum, the museum of works from the ancient Orient and the museum of the Villa à faience. One million objects are collected and made available to visitors. Hands attention, impossible to take anything! The Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great and an authentic Trojan horse are notably stored there.

9. Maiden’s Tower

We were just talking about cruises on the Bosphorus. Well, it is during this kind of expedition that you can discover the magnificent Tour de Léandre. A monument that certainly deserves attention. Quite simply because this former lighthouse, now converted into a restaurant, allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view of the city.

10. Suleymaniye Mosque

Impossible to miss this sublime mosque! Dating from 1557, it is perfectly preserved and contains its share of splendours. Its dome in particular is incredible. But this is far from being its only asset.

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