A Photographer’s Guide to Istanbul’s Most Impressive Landscapes and Locations

Guest submit by using Joel Stubbs

If you're a keen photographer, a holiday is an adventure wherein you get to explore instead of taking a time-out for relaxation and rest. When planning a ride to Turkey, you want to visit its largest city, Istanbul. Take a glance underneath at some of our suggestions of the fine locations to get a few first-rate images in and round Istanbul.

Basillica Cistern


The Basilica Cistern is an atmospheric underground waterway that changed into historically used as a water storing facility for the Great Palace. Located in Sultanahmet rectangular, this underground marvel has been featured in various films and video games, maximum notably inside the Bond movie From Russia with Love in 1963. The Cistern is 132 meters long, sixty five metres huge, and incorporates an excellent 336 columns. You can get some extraordinary night time photographs here. Due to the low mild, recall to carry along your tripod.

Hagia Sophia


The Hagia Sophia, or Ayasofya, is a museum in Istanbul with a colorful history. From its preliminary construction is 537 till 1453, the constructing turned into in the beginning an Eastern Orthodox cathedral, but among 1204 and 1261 it have become a Roman Catholic cathedral, then from 1453 until 1931 it became converted right into a mosque. In 1935 the constructing was finally made into a museum. The Hagia Sophia has an amazing blend of Islamic and Christian décor, including calligraphic roundels and mosaics. This is a notable region to get a few pictures of the extraordinary indoors that includes marble, porphyry and gold.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque


Another famous vacationer appeal in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque, also referred to as Sultan Ahmet Camii. This is an active mosque this is similarly incredible both interior and out. Built among 1609 and 1616, the Blue Mosque gets its name from the iconic blue tiles utilized in its creation. The interior is lined with over 20,000 ceramic tiles which have been made by using hand. As well as taking photos of the exterior, there are also about 200 stained glass home windows interior in addition to problematic calligraphy from the Qur’an.

Dolmabahce Palace


If you have got ever desired to see the opulence and beauty of a 19th Century palace, you need to take a trip alongside the waterfront to look Dolmabahce palace. The palace seems French due to its distinct baroque and rococo style. The rooms and halls look like they are instantly out of a film set. There are beautiful pillars and ornate crystal chandeliers inside, however don’t neglect the outdoors and gardens which can be excellent considered by way of water.

Grand Bazaar


Our final treasure form Istanbul is the notorious Grand Bazaar. This bustling covered market is one of the oldest inside the global. This is a amazing vicinity to explore and partake in a few avenue images. The Bazaar itself is created from sixty streets which might be home to over five, 000 stores. There are heaps of locals, site visitors and buyers here each day to browse the various jewellery, fabric, spice and antique stalls. If you want to peer a few real Turkey culture, this is the area for you.



Eight Things I Love about City Breaks in Istanbul

In my quest to tour to each town, town, and village of Turkey, it isn't often that I go back to a destination. Once I were there, I strike it off my list and start making plans a go to to the next place.

The one exception to this rule is the bustling and culturally blended metropolis of Istanbul. Once known as Constantinople, I actually have back 3 times and will continue to go back, quite possibly till the day I die.

It is too busy and huge to don't forget permanently residing there, but I love planning an Istanbul metropolis spoil for 8 easy motives


Why I love City Breaks in Istanbul

The nearby dialect of Istanbul is the easiest for me to recognize. Unlike the southeast of Turkey, in which the accessory could be very guttural, I love practicing my Turkish whilst inside the city.
I am passionate about Ottoman history and due to the fact the city was the base of their empire, I can indulge this obsession as a lot as I want.


I love the paintings of Turkish photographer, Ara Guler. He produced numerous images of every day existence in Istanbul and seeking to copy his efforts is a challenge that I eagerly embraced.
Istanbul has been the bottom for severa novels and this sparks my interest. Through books like “The Bastard of Istanbul” I no longer study the metropolis as a vacation destination. It is domestic to thousands and thousands of humans, whose lives are meditated in the novels and retracing the stairs of characters in those books, makes a go to even greater exciting. Even the fishermen of Galata bridge have a story that is waiting to be advised.



The city enables me to examine greater about my adopted us of a. For many, a cruise down the Bosphorus is truely a entertainment pursuit however for me, it become some thing else to investigate and find out about. The greater I understand about the history and the human beings of Turkey, the greater I get to recognize about their way of life and traditions. Istanbul is an fantastic region to do this.


A city break in Istanbul is simple journey for me. A one and a half of hour flight from my domestic on the Aegean coast and I am in the former capital. Numerous booking search engines like google and yahoo like Trivago have hundreds of Istanbul motel opinions and expenses, so my preference of lodging isn't limited. Easy journey and plenty of preference way I can be greater flexible with my journey arrangements. Whether I need to stay for a week or two, inn in a complex or cheap hotel, Istanbul gives me more desire than any other destination in Turkey.
I in no way run out of things to do. Despite three visits to the city, I even have most effective simply scratched the floor in terms of viewing neighborhood landmarks and sights



Other destinations often involve hiring a vehicle to reach locations which might be off the crushed music however in Istanbul, the entirety can be done walking or through the usage of nearby transport.
This iciness, I hope to return to Istanbul. There is still a lot to peer and do. So many more human beings to fulfill. I experience that I will never tire of the city.

Readers Question: Have you finished a city wreck in Istanbul? If now not, why?



Attractions of the Bosphorus: To Cruise or Walk?

The Bosphorus strait of water in Istanbul has been strategically critical in the course of records. Linking the east and the west, many empires have waged struggle to gain manipulate of it. These days, urban neighbourhoods are a strong feature on both the Asian and European facets and the Bosphorus has grown to be a hectic trading passage for large tankers and ships. As a prime traveler enchantment of Istanbul, it's miles well worth dedicating at least an afternoon for exploration of the sights of the Bosphorus.

To cruise or discover on foot?

Personally I would do both. A cruise is a fantastic advent to outstanding landmarks from a unique view and it does no longer take long, just multiple hours. Then relying to your time frame, explore the diverse sights strolling, and tailor in which you move in step with what your hobbies are.

Attractions of the Bosphorus in Istanbul

Prominent neighbourhoods consist of …

Emirgan this is well respected for the structure of its vintage homes and its inexperienced park that in April is planted with masses of tulips as part of the once a year tulip competition.
Bebek is properly referred to for its park however extra so, the boutique stores and stalls that make it a buying haven. Another reason to go to is for the famous fish restaurants, ice-cream and waffles.
Ortakoy turned into cited earlier than because its main mosque is well worth visiting however it also has numerous church buildings and synagogues. Respected for the diverse religions that have lived aspect through aspect in the neighbourhood, in current years, it has emerge as well-known for its nightclubs and its street meals referred to as Kumpir that is jacket potatoes with numerous fillings.

Ottoman Palaces


During Ottoman rule, the banks of the Bosphorus mainly consisted of grand Ottoman palaces and highly-priced Yali houses for the rich and elite, most of whom were pals, pals or commercial enterprise companions of the Ottoman Dynasty.

Two Ottoman palaces that obtain loads of traffic every day are Topkapi and Dolmabahce, of which each represent the start and stop in their reign. Ciragan palace, that is now a five-famous person luxury resort and Beylerbeyi palace were summer season residences and the previous is said to be wherein the Ottoman sultan Abdulaziz famously finished his affair with Emperor Napoleon’s wife!



Historical Mosques                               

Ortakoy mosque often features on many picture postcards of Istanbul. Built in 1853, it's miles the best instance of Baroque architecture. Following a few recuperation paintings, it has now reopened to the general public, other than at prayer times.

The Iskele camii in Üsküdar, dating from 1548 and also called the Mihrimah Sultan mosque changed into constructed by means of the well-known Ottoman architect Sinan. Close-through is another of his famous works referred to as the Semsi Pasa mosque. The constructing dating from 1580 is one of the most appealing mosques inside the place.

Famous Museums

The Sakip Sabanci museum was the personal summer house of a prominent circle of relatives, who transferred possession of the assets and its substantial collection of vintage furniture and artwork to a college. On the grounds, there's a small café that functions Sunday brunch and it boasts of marvellous perspectives over the Bosphorus.

The Sadberk Hanim Museum isn't large however it does keep an excellent collection of archaeological artefacts and Turkish-Islamic artwork. Their exhibitions are constantly changing so repeat visits should never be cancelled out.


Majestic Castles


The Anadolu Kavagi Genoese castle is situated on the some distance quit of the Bosphorus, with views searching over the Black sea. Also called Yoros, its situation on the pinnacle of the hill, makes it hard for absolutely everyone who isn't always a eager walker however facing it, on the opposite side of the Bosphorus is Rumeli castle, relationship from 1452. Specifically built to aid with the invasion of Constantinople in 1453, it's far open each day to the general public besides Wednesday.

Other Sites


The Maiden’s Tower is within the center of the Bosphorus has been rebuilt in many instances at some stage in history and had many purposes consisting of that of a lighthouse, watchtower and quarantine station. Legend says it changed into built by way of a father who was advised by way of an oracle that his daughter could die from a snake-chew. To protect her, he took her off land and constrained her to the tower but a basket of fruit that contained a hidden snake became brought and the oracle’s prophesy got here authentic.

Yali homes are wealthy mansions that had been summer season properties. Over time, some of them have been left in ruins at the same time as others have maintained their grand repute and been promoted on the actual-property market for as a lot as 35 million kilos. Approximately 630 sit on the beaches of the Bosphorus and recognizing famous yalis from a Bosphorus cruise is a famous interest

I Love Istanbul: Here Are four Reasons Why

Istanbul has for a long term, been the heart and soul of Turkey. Boasting of more than 14 million legitimate citizens, the city is the simplest one within the world that spans two continents; Europe and Asia. I love Istanbul and admit to a first-rate dependancy for this characteristic destination


Occasionally I meet folks that wrongly assume that Istanbul is the capital of Turkey however even though it isn’t, it's miles nevertheless an important business hub and the variety-one tourist destination of Turkey. In 2014, it beat the likes of Rome and Milan to turn out to be a top town-ruin destination of the sector.

Some human beings return time and time again for a leisurely smash while others admire the metropolis so much, they buy homes there, and it now has a big expat community comprised of many nationalities. Whether humans fall into the class of visitor, commercial enterprise visitor or expat resident, we all have one aspect in common and this is we are saying with pleasure, “I love Istanbul.”

Why I love Istanbul

Food, Food, Food!

On my remaining visit to Istanbul, I ran into the KFC eating place, eager to pattern the arena-renowned chicken that my taste buds had overlooked dearly. I additionally tasted sushi for the first time, and the neighborhood recommended avenue food called the Taksim Wet Burger.

The latter did not provoke me even though a Trip Advisor reviewer famously labelled it a “Drunk’s Best Friend” but my food plan for that week proves ingesting out in Istanbul is all approximately variety.

From the humble baked potato to the fish restaurants of Ortakoy to the quite overpriced gourmet institutions, you can have what you need!

In Istanbul, while considering meals, there is no need to incorporate on flavor.


Historical and Rich Timeline

I am fascinated by the history of Turkey and on account that Istanbul become formerly Constantinople, the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, it's far best for history buffs.

The antique a part of the town is a UNESCO World heritage web page. There are hundreds of museums and touring Ottoman palaces like Dolmabahce explains perfectly why the Ottoman Empire changed into disbanded, called the sick man of Europe and left for broke.

The Blue Mosque of 1616 portrays the brilliance of architect Sedefkar Mehmed Agha, who become a pupil of Mimar Sinan, the maximum reputable architect of the Ottoman length, at the same time as the Hagia Sophia, formerly a church, mosque and now museum, flawlessly combines considerable artifacts of two of the world’s largest religions.

The list of historic landmarks is going on and on.


The Bosphorus

Major wars have been fought and lots of men have died for manage of this strategic strait of water. The Byzantine Empire critically neglected its importance, therefore helping the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed to take control of Constantinople and ultimately finish their reign.

In flip, the Ottoman Empire formed a fashion trend for the wealthy and fabulously wealthy to very own summer season homes (yalis) at the shorelines. These days, existence is a lot quieter and the Bosphorus neighbourhoods may be explored strolling but I prefer cruising.


Whether it is a quick 2 hour tour or a day’s journey to the mouth of the Black sea, Bosphorus cruises are commonly on every list of the top “Things to Do in Istanbul”

The owners and executives of Zoe Yacht, a 55 feet motorboat this is available for personal constitution cruises file that in latest years, interest in Bosphorus cruises has extended not simplest with overseas tourists but also Turkish customers.


The boat goes out every day for two hour cruises and sundown excursions, but currently, the proprietors are receiving extra enquiries for unique activities and occasions like marriage proposals, weddings and birthdays.

Repeat visitors to Istanbul are commonly choosing the Princess Islands excursion which includes swimming stops and go to to the group of Islands with its wonderful old Ottoman mansions. (Follow Zoe Yacht Bosphorus Cruises on Facebook)

Cruise deliver site visitors frequently collect a huge crowd and hire their very own boat in order that they have privateness at decrease expenses, at the same time as corporations are hosting greater dinners and events on the water, in preference to off it.

Life on the shores of the Bosphorus has and constantly can be a pivotal point of Istanbul’s function look.

Has the vintage Ottoman trend for Bosphorus dwelling visible a revival?


The Galata Connection

Downhill from the famous Taksim vicinity, are the small neighbourhoods of Karakoy and Beyoglu. Within those regions, I specially love the famous Genoese Galata tower, with its beautiful panoramic view from the top, but each person with a worry of heights will be immensely disturbed by way of the lack of crowd control, dodgy protection bars and the view of a 63 metre drop.

The streets are coated with boutique motels, Jewish synagogues, the Jewish museum, quirky shops, the Istanbul cutting-edge artwork museum and we additionally found a small wine tasting save, which overjoyed my alcoholic friends but head further downhill to reach Galata Bridge, famous for its fishermen and floating fish boats.


In a restaurant beneath the bridge, a sixteen 12 months-vintage waiter offended us together with his corny attempts to bait himself a sugar mommy.

Our refusal might also have resulted in an overpriced invoice which includes dishes that we never consumed however my point is, stay faraway from below the bridge and enjoy the vibes on pinnacle of it

Best five Hotels in Istanbul: The Sultanahmet District

The Sultanahmet District of Istanbul is the previous capital of Constantinople and Byzantium making it one of the pinnacle visited neighbourhoods in Turkey. As the centre from wherein the Ottoman Sultans and Byzantine emperors dominated, it additionally sits proudly on the UNESCO World Heritage list. So it stands to motive, that most people while visiting Istanbul, need lodges in Sultanahmet district. Within walking distance to all sights, choose from hundreds which include budget, boutique and pricey. For this article, we scoured reviews and the Internet to find out which Sultanahmet accommodations are gaining the most admiration.

Top Hotels in Sultanahmet District of Istanbul

In the Heart of the Action – Boutique Saint Sophia

This motel with 26 air-conditioned rooms ratings favourably with traffic, now not most effective because of its perfect vicinity to historic web sites together with the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, but also because of the big variety of amenities such as loose Internet get admission to, rainfall showers and complimentary designer toiletry packs. The contemporary constructing and décor of the Boutique Saint Sophia perfectly supplement its commercial enterprise centre and hall, making it ideal for the working traveller.

The Small but Delightful Dilhayat Kalfa Hotel

This small status quo with simply six rooms serves breakfast at the rooftop terrace with a stunning view over the Bosphorus. Thanks to the small length of the Dilhayat Kalfa Hotel, guests obtain a private one-to-one carrier from team of workers and control, and the rooms are embellished in a current / Ottoman subject matter to offer fundamental consolation while introducing traffic to the vibe of former Constantinople.

International Four Seasons Hotel Brand

The well-known Four Seasons inn chain brings their presence to the Sultan Ahmet district at a hefty fee tag but décor, and refurbishment of this former Turkish prison is regular with the Four Season logo, to emphasis luxurious and luxury. Just a short distance from the previous church and mosque of Hagia Sophia, there's additionally opportunity to upgrade from one of the 65 rooms to a appropriate suite.


Stylish Hotel Arcadia Blue

Reflected in the décor going for walks thru public regions and into the rooms, the Hotel Arcadia Blue makes a speciality of stylish and contemporary holidays. The restaurant view overlooking the Blue Mosque perfectly symbolises its close distance to the historical web sites but need to you tire of sight-seeing, kick back out inside the onsite sauna, steam, or sweat it out within the fitness centre. I might opt for the quiet living room bar though.


Rose Garden Suites

In the morning, guests shut eye from their majestic 4-poster beds into a cutting-edge bathroom with rainfall showers. Although the décor combination of traditional and contemporary may also seem abnormal, it has fused collectively properly and the Rose Garden suites have run the Ottoman topic all through all communal areas within the motel. Some guests have complained approximately the shortage of a room terrace however critiques rating surprisingly for breakfast, provider by team of workers and of direction the area, near all historic websites of the Sultanahmet district of old Istanbul

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Your Guide to Attractions of the Sultanahmet District of Istanbul

My favored district in Istanbul is the Sultanahmet vicinity, the hub of its ancient timeline and previous capital of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires. If nightlife and purchasing isn't always to your metropolis damage schedule, then ebook your Istanbul resort in Sultanahmet since all of the principal points of interest and landmarks take a seat majestically on this district that is frequently called the coronary heart of old Istanbul.

Travel Itinerary Guide



Type of Travel: Slow

Hotel Accommodation: Choose from price range hostels to luxury boutique motels.

How to Get There: Fly into Istanbul Ataturk airport and arrange airport transfers, either non-public or commute

Food and Drink: Once once more, the choice is numerous and each form of cuisine is to be had from Chinese, conventional Turkish, Indian and seafood.

How to Get Around: The cool factor about all Sultanahmet attractions is that they may be inside on foot distance of each other.

Do You Need a Guide? No however in case you don’t use one, then I propose an in depth ebook as a substitute. Visiting the attractions is so much greater a laugh, in case you understand the facts, figures, and myths of their historical backgrounds.

Sultanahmet Attractions and Landmarks

Blue Mosque

Also called the Sultanahmet Cami, this six-minaret mosque dates from 1616. Suitably named due to the tiles redecorating the interior, it's miles open always outdoor of prayer periods.


Hagia Sophia


The former church, mosque and now professional museum might also appear dull from the outdoor, yet the massive indoors with its domed ceiling, higher galleries, Islamic calligraphy discs and Christian frescoes is dazzling, lovely and leaves a tough-core imprint in your memory.

Arasta Bazaar

Sitting subsequent to the Blue Mosque, this bazaar is quieter than the more well-known Grand bazaar. Consisting of textiles, jewellery and carpet shops, there's also one small art gallery.


Topkapi Palace and the Harem


The first home of the Ottoman Sultans is a treasure chest of antiques including garments, jewellery, and armour. Tour the kitchens, circumcision rooms, and prayer quarters but the spotlight is the harem (extra charge to go into.)

Gulhane Park

Close to the Topkapi palace, this green landscape and its gardens are ideal for romantic strolls or truely a wreck from city lifestyles. If you visit at some stage in April, you will additionally see heaps of colourful tulips planted for the yearly tulip pageant.


Basilica Cistern


A small entrance door, leads down a flight of fifty two stone stairs to an outstanding cistern that used to supply the Topkapi palace with water and changed into additionally featured in James Bond movie, “From Russia with love”

Hippodrome

Sitting in Sultanahmet rectangular, this appeal does not show its former glory as the hub of sports activities and social gatherings at some point of the Byzantine Empire. It changed into also maximum famously the scene of the Nika riots in 532 wherein roughly 30,000 human beings died.


Istanbul archeology museums

These 3 museums have an extremely incredible collection of artefacts from diverse civilizations at some stage in records. It is classed as one of the top 10 museums within the global and history enthusiasts will easily spend hours exploring the exhibitions.

Museum of Turkish and Islamic arts

Opposite the hippodrome, this small museum is inside an old house that after belonged to an Ottoman vizier. Various artefacts are on show but the vintage carpets are the highlights

Eight of the Best Museums to Visit in Istanbul

I am a history fanatic and have been eagerly compiling a listing of the pleasant museums to visit in Istanbul. This is quite an intensive mission seeing that there are hundreds of them in Turkey’s biggest town. However, it's far feasible that allows you to slim down your preference of which of them to go to really for your interest.

For example, artwork museums have emerge as specifically famous in the city over the past 10 years. Some just like the Pera Pera museums can make a contribution this towards the truth that they maintain some of the maximum high-priced ancient art work from the Ottoman global.

Other museums together with the 1453 cognizance entirely on the only occasion that changed the route of history and that become the Ottoman invasion of Constantinople. My desire beneath is all taken from my bucket list though and also includes museums which are considered a need to-visit at the same time as inside the city.

The Best Museums to Visit in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia Museum


Undoubtedly one of the best, this former church and mosque marvelously displays Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. The massive dome inside the foremost hall takes centre level, together with the Christian frescoes and huge Islamic calligraphy.

Topkapi Palace


Once the first domestic of the Ottoman sultans once they invaded Constantinople, Topkapi Palace now showcases a amazing collection from the Ottoman dynasty such as clothes, jewellery, and armoury. A stroll across the palace takes site visitors through massive kitchens, luxuriously decorated bedrooms, and circumcision rooms. The highlight, however, is the harem.

Museum of Innocence


Focusing at the famous and bestselling novel of the identical name by using famous Turkish creator Orhan Pamuk, the Museum of Innocence is complete of regular items showcasing a nostalgic facet of Istanbul’s history. (Image Copyright)

Istanbul Modern Art Museum

If you’ve selected one of the hotels in Istanbul‘s Beyoglu district, get your self around the corner to a museum crammed to the brim with modern artwork portions. This yr the Istanbul Modern Art Museum is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and the exhibitions characteristic numerous well-known and rising artists. Find the dates at the museum’s reliable internet site. (Image copyright additionally belongs to the museum)


Istanbul Archaeological Museum


In the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul, this collection of three museums is one of the high-quality within the global. Artifacts from all over the international include the Alexander Sarcophagus, which dates from the 4th century and became observed in Lebanon. (Image credit score.

Istanbul Military Museum


Showcasing one thousand years of Ottoman and Turkish military history, this museum has greater than 50,000 artifacts consisting of ancient armoury and personal effects. Visit within the afternoon and enjoy an excellent show from the Ottoman style army band.


Galata Whirling Dervish House and Museum


Sitting just off Istiklal Avenue, the humble Galata residence is a former whirling dervish domestic and considered one of my preferred places in Istanbul. Repeat traffic to Turkey will understand the dervishes from their massive white skirts that balloon up after they carry out the Sema circling ritual to be towards God.


Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum


Situated in a small home that belonged to a Pasa of Ottoman sultan, Suleyman the brilliant, it changed into not the artwork that impressed me, but the vintage carpets, huge and small. Turkish carpets are a traded commodity around the world, and this series showcases a number of the best