Istanbul is a city that wears its cultures and history well, blending them into an exciting city that has much to offer travelers from around the world. Founded during Neolithic times, Istanbul today is a modern city that remains true to its historic heritage through its mosques, basilicas and cathedrals, and ancient bazaars. Standing between the East and the West, Turkey’s largest city offers an aura of intrigue and charm that will appeal to all visitors. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Istanbul which is also very close to the hotel:
Saint Sophia Museum
Saint Sophia Museum, which is among the most important existing monuments of world architectural history, is a product of East-West synthesis. First, it served as the primary church for 916 years and then as a mosque for 477 years. It was turned into a museum upon the instruction of Atatürk. Open daily except Mondays from 9.30 AM - 4.30 PM.
Topkapı Palace was constructed after the conquering of Istanbul, was commissioned by Fatih Sultan Mehmet and created from 1460-1478. This palace is the oldest and widest of the palaces and has been a museum since 1924, when Atatürk gave official permission for its use as a museum. Additionally, its location provides a view of Haliç, Bogaziçi and the Marmara sea, as well as being the first palace to be built on an acropolis. Open daily except Tuesdays from 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM.
Sultanahmet Mosque is the only mosque which was originally built with six minarets. Due to the color of more than 20.000 tiles decorating the mosque, it is known to foreigners as the “Blue Mosque”.
One of the most opulent palaces in Istanbul, Dolmabahçe Palace was built on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in the mid 1800s as the new imperial residence. You will be impressed with the throne room, Harem and chandeliers. Our hotel is also in a walking distance to this amazing historical building. Open daily except Mondays and Thursdays from 9.00 AM - 5.00 PM.
Kariye Museum is actually a church which was built during the Byzantium period and used as a mosque after Istanbul was conquered. The mosaics and frescoes in the museum are among the most beautiful examples of Byzantine art. The building, which was restored between 1948 and 1958, now serves as a museum.
Ortaköy Mosque is a baroque mosque, which was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmecid in 1853 to be built by Architect Nigoğos Balyan. The mosque is in Ortakoy, which is a distinct location on the Bosphorus with its small streets and cafes.
Maiden’s Tower is situated on a stone mound, at the meeting point of Asia and Europe, the tower’s architectural existence dates back to 341 BC.
The Prince Islands
With their beaches, pine forests, phaetons and colonial style houses, The Prince Islands are the most well-preserved locations of Istanbul. A walk by the beautiful gardens of the mansions, flowers of acacia, Judas tree blossoms, rosemary and lavender are an unforgettable experience. With churches and monasteries from the Byzantine period, excellent fish restaurants and beautiful surroundings, Prince Islands are one of the sightseeing favorites of the city. Take a ferry to Büyükada then, if time permits, you can continue your journey to Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kınalıada.
Istanbul Modern was the first museum of modern art in Turkey, which aims to showcase and add value to Turkey’s output in the fields of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s permanent exhibition entitled ‘Modern Experiences’ presents, within a framework of art history, 100 years of artistic adventures, which have unraveled throughout Turkish geography. The museum is located by the sea and in a close proximity to Hilton Istanbul.
Sakıp Sabancı Museum
Sakıp Sabancı Museum, houses small sculptures, metal objects of art, porcelain, and decorative art collections, as well as valuable hand written works of art and a large collection of paintings from the 19th and 20th Century. Open daily except Mondays from 10.00 AM - 6.00 PM.
Grand Bazaar consists of over 4000 shops and 61 streets. Therefore, you need to set aside a substantial amount of time to visit this historic bazaar. But when it comes to Turkish gifts or souvenirs, there is no better place to shop. You cannot find the antiques, hand woven carpets and gold jewelry sold at the Grand Bazaar anywhere else in the world! A trip to the Grand Bazaar means that you will also be visiting one of Istanbul’s prominent historical landmarks. Open daily except Sundays from 9.30 AM - 6.30 PM.
Egyptian Market was founded in 1660, and contains stores that sell dried herbs and spices. This makes the Spice Bazaar the number one destination for those with an interest in healing herbs and natural products. You can also find traditional local flavors such as farm cheeses, Turkish Delight, and Turkish coffee. Open daily except Sundays from 9.30 AM - 6.30 PM.
Nightlife in Istanbul
Istanbul’s colorful nightlife offers a wide range of bars and nightclubs. Here are some of the venues that we recommend: Reina, Sortie and Anjelique are all located on the prettiest spots of the Bosphorus where you can enjoy the nice view. Nu Teras is situated on the roof of the 200 year old Passage de Petit-Champs, and welcomes guests with a breathtaking Istanbul view with the Golden Horn just below. Babylon is a live music venue located in Asmalimescit, just minutes away from the heart of Istanbul, Taksim. Open 5 nights a week, the venue features live music and DJ performances by artists from the jazz, electronic, rock, folk, and world music disciplines.