Having seen all attractions and sights in Istanbul- I will list my top 5 Favourite sights and what makes them Special. However there are loads more interesting places to see and visit!
5)Hagia Sofia (Aya-Sofya) museum. First a church, then a mosque and now a museum. This very old monument was constructed in 537 AD. During this period, Istanbul was known as Constantinople! It is claimed the church was ordered to be built by Constantius II in 360 AD
4)The Bhosphorous and Mamara Sea is the very blue water which splits Isranbul across two continents, Europe and Asia. Sitting on a two hour Bosphorous cruise is a must! You can see all major sights that cannot be seen from your hotel window as clearly such as the Maidens Tower, The fortresses and the most used Bosphorous Bridge!
3)Blue Mosque – known as Sultan Ahmet Mosque and yes – it’s known as Blue Mosque because of the Blue tiling used. This pretty mosque has a rich interior and uses the famous Iznik tiles! Built by Sultan Ahmed I, in 1616, the mosque would be the imperial mosque of Istanbul for the next 40 years!
2)Suleimaniye Mosque – Yes I know what the first thing that comes to your head is – why not mention the Blue Mosque First. I don’t favour Suleimaniye over the Blue Mosque but I can say it very different and peaceful! It is indeed the largest mosque in Istanbul. On the order of Sultan Suleiman (the magnificent), the famous architect Mimar Sinar had built this masterpiece. Here lies the tomb of Sultan Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan aswell as their children.
1) Topkapi Palace – my most favourite place to visit is this palace. There is no way you can experience Istanbul without visiting this beauty! This amazing ‘Sarayi’ was the residences of major sultans for about 400 years! The Harem is a must visit to see how the famous Hurrem, Suleiman the magnificent and the Queen Mother lived! History is almost brought to live visually!