Things to Do in Istanbul

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Blue Mosque

This is a must. No cost for entry. It is the most famous landmark in Istanbul, with its six minarets dominating the skyline from the Bosphorus. Called the “Blue” mosque because of the blue tiles all over the ceiling on the inside. Keep in mind, there is a dress code to enter the Blue Mosque. Ladies, you will need to cover your head and shoulders and legs. My advice is to bring a scarf that you can wrap over yourself. If you don’t have one, you can borrow one when you get there, as well as a wrap for your legs. Men, if you wear shorts, you’ll also need to borrow a wrap for your legs, but you don’t need to cover your head. No bare shoulders. Also no shoes (they give you a bag to put them in), and it smells like stinky feet inside.

Hagia Sofia / Church (Ayasofya)
  • Summer Schedule- 15 APRİL -30 OCTOBER Visiting Hours: 09.00 - 19.00
Hours of Ticket Sale: 18:00

  • Winter Schedule- 30 OCTOBER- 15 APRİL Visiting Hours: 09:00- 17:00
Hours of Ticket Sale: 16:00

Museum entrance:
Ticket Price: 40 TL

Who can enter for free?

Turkish children and teenagers 18 years old or younger.
Foreign children 12 yaers or younger except Harem. For the Harem under 6 and younger.
Citizens of the Turkish Republic 65 years old or older
Veterans, spouses and children of martyrs and veterans.
Handicapped citizens with one attendant.
Soldiers and non-commissioned officers.
Owners of ICOMOS, UNESCO and ICOM cards.
Owners of Press Card.
Guests and delegations hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Promotion, and their attendants and foreign tour operators
Personnel and pensioners of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and their accompanied spouses and children.
Foreign official guests invited by state institutions and their attendants.
Professional tourist guides carrying a cockade provided by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Within the scope of Lifetime Learning Program, groups and attendant teachers of these groups within the Comenius School Cooperations and Erasmus Student Exchange Program ( Can enter free without showing ID by delivering their contract with cooperate institutions of our country

This is now a museum, but it has gone back and forth between being a mosque and a church over the years and holds a lot of history. The inside is beautiful, and a trip to Istanbul simply wouldn’t be complete without going inside.

The Underground Cistern

Straight out of a movie (actually several movies), this place has to be seen to be understood. It is like a small version of the mines of Moria, with water.
One of the magnificent ancient buildings of İstanbul is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sofia. Constructed for Justinianus I, the Byzantium Emperor (527-565), this big underground water reservoir is called as “Yerebatan Cistern” among the public because of the underground marble columns. As there used to be a basilica in the place of the cistern, it is also called Basilica Cistern.

Visiting Hours
The museum is open to visits seven days a week. Exceptionally, it opens at 13:00 on first days of religious holidays and on January 1.

  • The museum is open to visits between 09:00 and 17:30(winter) every day.
  • The museum is open to visits between 09:00 and 18:30(summer) every day.

Museum entrance:
Ticket Price: 20TL

Maiden's Tower
This unique tower with a history dating back to 2500 years, has eye - witnessed everything that the city has encountered throughout the history. This tower has been erected during the ancient age and constructed by renovations from the ages of the Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire, the tower has reached to present time with its mysterious appearance.

Enjoyment of fine dine service is at Maiden’s Tower that is signature of İstanbul, is middle of bosphorus…

Visiting of Maiden’s Tower

Maiden’s Tower is museum and restaurant are opens at 365 day in a year.Visitor can visit it from 09:00 a.m to 19:00 p.m
Visitors do not need any reservation to go to Miaden’s Tower and after coming tower everyone can benefit from restaurant or cafeteria .

Museum entrance:
Adults 20 TL Per person.
Student 10 TL per person (If they have ISC CARD)

SALACAK / ÜSKÜDAR - MAIDEN'S TOWER : Boat services are 09:15 a.m. to 18:30 p.m. at every fifteen minutes./NO KABATAŞ SERVİCES DURİNG WİNTER SEASON.

Galata Tower
Built in 500 A.D., Galata Tower is one of the dominating landmarks of Istanbul. It was used as a watchtower to help defend the city.

Visit the Bazaars

My personal favorite is the Spice Bazaar. These are lively places with lots of smells, colors, lights, people, and Turkish Delights. Grand Bazaar is closed Sundays. They are both in the middle of Sultan Ahmet (old town).