Top Three Must See Attractions in Istanbul

The city of Istanbul is becoming one of Europe’s most popular city destinations. Steeped in history and bubbling with culture, it’s easy to see why. As well as being one of the continent’s most popular cities, it is also one of the biggest, actually managing to span two continents.

As a result, the city of Istanbul is absolutely packed with things to see and do. Here, we take a look at just three of the city’s finest attractions, which aren’t to be missed.

The Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet

While you may not have recognised it as the Hagia Sophia, this is a building which you’ve probably seen in countless pictures – it is one of the most beautiful in the entire world. The four spires may suggest that the building is a mosque, but it actually has a very unusual history.

Initially built to serve as one of the primary churches of the Byzantine Empire, the building became the victim of several fires and earthquakes before taking on its current form. During this time, the building did briefly serve as a mosque and is now a museum.

Situated in the picturesque district of Sultanahmet, the Hagia Sophia is a popular spot with tourists and is certainly one attraction which shouldn’t be missed. While you’re in Sultanahmet, be sure to visit to Blue Mosque, which sits just next to it. This area also boasts some of the city’s finest hotels – have a look through Istanbul hotels with Expedia to see what’s on offer.

The Bosphorus

What makes the city of Istanbul truly unique is that it straddles Europe and Asia. While the city takes on a diverse culture throughout, visitors should take the time to visit each side of the river to compare the atmosphere. This entails a short trip across the Bosphorus.

Istanbul is served by an outstanding public transport network, allowing visitors to take the short journey across the strait for a tiny fee. From the Bosphorus, one is rewarded with a spectacular view of both Europe and Asia, as well as some of the city’s most prominent landmarks.

Princes’ Islands

The scale of Istanbul is wonderfully exciting, but is can also be overwhelming. When you’ve been in the city for a while and are keen for some peace, quiet and relaxation, head over to Princes’ Islands just off the city’s Asian coast.

The nine islands are free of cars and are home to some traditional architecture. If the weather is warm – as it so often is – this is a great place to spend a day simply walking around. Needless to say, the islands also offer a great view of Istanbul for those who want to survey this landscape from an outside perspective.

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