Istanbul Sights

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Istanbul - browse our top choices for the top things to see during your stay.

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Fodor's Choice


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The Bazaar Quarter and Environs 16

Sultanahmet 14

The Bosphorus 12

Western Districts 10

Beyoglu 7

Galata and Karakoy 4

Besiktas and Nisantasi 4

Princes' Islands 3

Asian Shore 3

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Archaeological Site/ Ruins 3

Building/ Architectural Site 6

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 9

Educational Institution 1

Garden/ Arboretum 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Market/ Bazaar 3

Museum/ Gallery 16

Neighborhood/ Street 10

Park/ Playground 3

Plaza/ Square/ Piazza 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 23

Restaurant–Sight 2

Town/ Village 1

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 3

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Istanbul Sights

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Aya Sofya

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

This soaring edifice is perhaps the greatest work of Byzantine architecture and for almost a thousand years, starting from its completion...

Blue Mosque

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Only after you enter the Blue Mosque do you understand the name. The inside is covered with 20,000 shimmering blue-green İznik tiles...

Dolmabahçe Palace

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

The name Dolmabahçe means "filled-in garden," from the fact that Sultan Ahmet I (ruled 1603–17) had an imperial garden planted here...

Grand Bazaar

  • Market/Bazaar

Take a deep breath and plunge into this maze of 65 winding, covered streets crammed with 4,000 tiny shops, cafés, restaurants, mosques,...

Istanbul Archaeology Museums

  • Museum/Gallery

Step into this vast repository of spectacular finds, housed in a three-building complex in a forecourt of Topkapı Palace, to get a head-spinning...

Istanbul Modern

  • Museum/Gallery

Housed in a converted warehouse on the shores of the Bosphorus, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art showcases modern and contemporary painting...

Kariye Müzesi

  • Museum/Gallery

The dazzling mosaics and frescoes in the former Church of the Holy Savior in Chora are considered to be among the finest Byzantine artworks...

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Süleyman the Magnificent commissioned Sinan to build this grandiose stone palace overlooking the Hippodrome in about 1520 for his brother-in...

Süleymaniye Camii

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Perched on a hilltop opposite Istanbul University, Süleymaniye Camii is perhaps the most magnificent mosque in Istanbul and is considered...

Topkapı Palace

  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

This vast palace on Sarayburnu ("Seraglio Point"), above the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, was the residence of sultans...


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