Istanbul – the only metropolis in the world that is located in two continents (Asia & Europe), and the biggest city in Turkey. Here are 6 things you don’t want to miss in Istanbul:
1. Hagia Sophia
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Ayasofya Meydanı, 34122
The Hagia Sophia is a definite landmark of Istanbul and located in its European part. Before it became a mosque, it was actually a Christian church. Today it serves as a museum.
2. Spice Bazaar
Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116
This indoor market specializes in spices, teas and herbs, and more. Apart from the beauty of small pyramids of red, green, and yellow spices, the smell is even more memorable and unique. Definitely buy a couple of spices to cook some – close to – authentic Turkish food at home.
3. Basilica Cistern
Alemdar Mh., Yerebatan Cd. 1/3, 34410
The Basilica Cistern is famous for it being located in the underground. It is without a doubt one of the most impressive buildings in Istanbul. The Basilica has large marble columns supporting its ceiling, and two gigantic Medusa heads used as a base. A definite must-see.
4. Blue Mosque
Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122
The Blue Mosque is famous for its 17th century architectural style – and for its walls being completely covered in blue tiles (hence its name). If you want to visit the mosque; it is free and open everyday.
5. Cağaloğlu Hamamı
Kazım İsmail Gürkan Cad.No:24, Cağaloğlu, 34200
This is one of the original Turkish baths in Istanbul. Here you can enjoy a day of massages, peelings, and relaxation. The bath has two separate rooms – one for men and one for women – why? Because all the spa treatments happen with you being fully naked.
6. Grand Bazaar
Beyazıt Mh., 34126
The Grand Bazaar is a collection of stores and stalls in a large hall – clothes are piled up as high as the ceiling, hanging from the walls, or laying neatly folded on the ground. Here you can find any kind of brand – imitated and cheap of course – of clothes, sunglasses, and so much more.