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Do you want to visit impressive attractions? You’re looking for the most famous shopping miles or enchanting boutiques for the perfect shopping trip? Or you’re interested in fascinating buildings of art and culture? We’ve compiled a selection for you.

  • Hagia Sophia

    Landmark
    The Aysasofya, or Hagia Sophia (it translates as «holy wisdom») reigns over the old part of Istanbul. With its four minarets and the shimmering red brickwork, the 1400-year-old building is one of the landmarks of Istanbul. It was once a Byzantine church, then a mosque, and now it is a museum.
    Ayasofya Meydani
    Fatih, 34420 Istanbul
    +90 212 522 17 50
    ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr
  • Süleymaniye Hammam

    Turkish bath
    A visit to a hammam, the traditional Turkish bath, is an essential part of any visit to Istanbul. This steam bath was once part of the Süleymaniye Mosque complex, and is one of the most traditional baths in the city. It was built by no lesser person than Sinan, the greatest of all Ottoman architects. People lie on large hot marble slabs in the hammam, and if you wish you can be lathered up or massaged. But be warned: a Turkish massage is not for the faint-hearted.
    Mimar Sinan Caddesi 20
    Fatih, 34433 Istanbul
    +90 212 519 55 69
    suleymaniyehamami.com.tr
  • Yeni Cami

    New Mosque
    The New Mosque (Yeni Cami) is close to the Misir Çarsisi (Spice Bazaar) and the Galata bridge. Also known as the Valide-Sultan Mosque, it was built to replace a burnt-out ruin, which is why it is called the «New Mosque». It was completed in 1663. It has 66 domes and semi domes, and is an architectural treat for the eyes. Today, feeding the pigeons outside the mosque is a popular ritual both for locals and for tourists.
    Rüstem Pasa Mh.
    Fatih, 34116 Istanbul
  • Galata kulesi

    Galata Tower
    The Galata kulesi (Galata Tower) was built in 1348 by the Genoese, and was the highest part of the fortification that surrounded the settlement. At a height of 62 m and with an open gallery beneath the top of the tower, be sure to take the elevator up and enjoy the amazing views.
    Bereketzade mah. Buyukhendek cad. No. 2
    Galata, Istanbul
    +90 212 293 57 07
    galatatower.net
  • Sultanahmet Cami

    Blue Mosque
    The Sultanahmet Cami is known to Europeans as the «Blue Mosque». It gets its name from the abundance of white-and-blue tiles that adorn the cupola and the upper part of the walls. The mosque has six minarets, and is considered one of Istanbul’s most beautiful and most impressive mosques.
    At Meydani 7
    Fatih, 34122 Istanbul
    +90 212 458 07 76
    sultanahmetcami.org
  • Topkapi Sarayi

    Former centre of power
    For several centuries, the Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi) was both residence and seat of government to the sultans, and the administration centre of the Ottoman Empire The palace consists of six areas: the Imperial Gate, four Courtyards, and a Harem. The First Courtyard was mainly for parades; the second one was the political centre (Council Square); the third could only be entered by special permission since it contained the Throne Room for receptions, and the fourth had lots of parks and terraces. Impressive and exciting.
    Cankurtaran Mh.
    Fatih, 34122 Istanbul
    +90 212 512 04 80
    topkapisarayi.gov.tr
  • Misir Çarsisi

    Egyptian market
    The famous Misir Çarsisi is close to the Galata bridge and the New Mosque. The covered Egyptian Bazaar is also called the Spice Bazaar. It was built in 1663 as part of the Yeni Camii («New Mosque»), which was financed by rents from the shops. From the beginning it sold spices from many different countries. Goods were unloaded on the nearby banks. Stroll through the Bazaar today, and as well as seeing the spices that are sold from huge sacks, you will also see dried figs, apricots, pistachios, almonds, honey and the ubiquitous apple tea. A visit to the Misir Çarsisi can be combined with a good meal at the well-known Restaurant Pandeli.

    Misir Carsisi No. 92
    Eminonu, Fatih, Istanbul
    +90 212 513 65 97
    misircarsisi.org
  • Ümit Ünal

    Designer shop
    Ümit Ünal is one of Turkey’s most creative fashion designers. Even as a little boy he worked in his parents’ tailoring business. Today he is a fashion designer and artists, whose collections are as much art as they are fashion. He has been inspired by Karl Valentin, the Greek Argonauts and various films. Something very special.
    Asmali Mescit mah. Ensiz sok. No. 1/B Tunel
    34440 Beyoglu, Istanbul
    +90 212 245 78 86
    umitunal.com
  • EthniCon

    Carpets
    Not interested in traditional carpets? Mehmet Güreli feels the same way. So his EthniCon company designs unusual and exceptional kelims (woven carpets) that are sewn together from old rugs. The kelims are handmade from natural products. And according to EthniCon, only natural dyes are used. The results: wonderful!
    Takkeciler Sokak 58-60
    Eminönü, 34126 Istanbul
    +90 212 527 68 41
    ethnicon.com
  • Çukur Cuma Caddesi

    Antiques
    Once the meeting place for scrap metal dealers, now it’s a street of shops selling antiques. You’ll find items ranging from little marble Ottoman fountains to Turkish Louis XIV chic. The street became famous after publication of the novel by Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, whose «Museum of Innocence» is on the corner with Dalgiç Çikmazi. It’s a lovely place for a stroll, and to experience a little of old Istanbul.
    Çukur Cuma Caddesi
    Beyoglu, 34400 Istanbul
  • Kanyon

    Exclusive shopping centre
    Around 150 shops on four floors: brand name fans will be spoilt for choice at the Kanyon. The shops include big names such as GAP, Max Mara and Bally. The fashion store Harvey Nichols offers exclusive labels such as Tory Burch, Emilio Pucci and Diane von Fürstenberg. The architecturally impressive Kanyon centre also has a number of great cafés and restaurants. You can fortify yourself at the elegant US coffee chain Dean & Deluca or in the Asian restaurant Wagamama. It also has a multiplex cinema.
    Büyükdere Caddesi 185
    Sisli, 34400 Istanbul
    +90 212 353 52 05
    kanyon.com
  • Pasabahce Cam San.Tic.A.S.

    Fine glass products
    Pasabahce is a brand by the state-owned Sisecam glassworks, one of the biggest companies in Turkey. Today it is the best-known glass manufacturer in the country, and has a number of very chic stores in Istanbul. The delicate products are remarkable affordable, and the design range from modern objects to old Ottoman items. There are several stores, but the easiest one to get to is in the Istiklal Caddesi.
    Istiklal Caddesi 314
    Beyoglu, 34200 Istanbul
    +90 212 244 05 44
    pasabahce.com
  • SantralIstanbul

    Old electricity works
    In 2007, the private Bilgi university carried out an impressive conversion of the city’s first electricity works at the tip of the Golden Horn. Old Siemens turbines can be admired within its historic walls. The Santrallstanbul is made up of several parts, and in addition to the Energy Museum and the Turkish Museum of Industry and Archaeology, there are also some 3500 m² of exhibitions of contemporary art and other events. Closed on Mondays.
    Kazim Karabekir Caddesi 2
    Eyüp, 34060 Istanbul
    +90 212 311 78 78
    santralistanbul.org
  • Istanbul Modern

    Museum of modern art
    This private museum has been dedicated to modern art since 2004. It is situated on the 8000 m² site on the Bosporus, and there are wonderful views over the water, the Haga Sophia and Topkapi Palace from the museum café. Above all, the changing exhibitions and building are worth a visit – and there is also a gallery for photography, a library and a cinema. Closed on Mondays.
    Sahasi Antrepo 4
    Karakoy, 34433 Istanbul
    +90 212 344 73 00
    istanbulmodern.org
  • Archaeological Museum

    Significant
    The Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzeleri) situated in the grounds of the Topkapi Palace is one of the most important and most significant museums in Turkey. It contains 15,000 archaeological finds ranging from Hittite cuneiform tablets to the famous Alexander Sarcophagus. The museum is a reminder first that our civilisation saw the light of day in this corner of the world, and second that other peoples lived here before the Turks. After wandering through the history of the world, you can relax and recuperate in the idyllic tea gardens in the park. Closed on Mondays.
    Alemdar Caddesi Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu Sokak
    Sultanahmet / Fatih, 34122 Istanbul
    +90 212 520 77 40 41
    istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr
  • Sakip Sabanci Museum

    Impressive
    The Sakip Sabanci Museum is housed in a fabulous villa in one of the oldest areas of Istanbul on the Bosporus. The villa was purchased in 1950 by the Sabanci family, one of the wealthiest Turkish industrial families. It was turned into a private museum in 2002, and very quickly became one of the best museums in Turkey. In addition to permanent exhibitions by Ottoman-Turkish artists, there are also several exhibitions of classic Western contemporary works by artists including Picasso and Dalí. Closed on Mondays.
    Sakip Sabanci Caddesi 42
    Emirgan, 34467 Istanbul
    +90 212 277 22 00
    sakipsabancimuzesi.org

LOCAL TIP

The Kalpazankaya restaurant (translated: «The fat lazy boy») is behind Burgazada, and about 45 minutes by foot from the harbour (or 20 minutes by carriage) beyond the hill. As most tourists and locals prefer to go to the fourth island because it has the best infrastructure, Burgazada is quite a sleepy, undiscovered gem. After a long, hard week at work – or an equally long week's sightseeing – this is a picturesque little refuge where you can completely forget that there’s a throbbing mega metropolis on the other side of the hill! The fish is fresh, the raki and wine excellent. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy yourself. But a word of warning: be sure to find out when the last ferry leaves.

Georg
Restaurant Kalpazankaya
Kalpazankaya Mevkii 26
Burgazada Adalar, 34975 Istanbul
+90 216 381 11 11
kalpazankaya.com.tr