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Istanbul Essentials
Discover the wonders of this ancient city as you traverse its crowded streets with your tour guide
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Top sights in Istanbul

A city that straddles Asia and Europe across the beautiful Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is an interesting destination for many. Formerly known as Constantinople and Byzantium, and conquered by three ancient empires, Istanbul boasts rich history and culture, impressive landscapes, ancient structures and delicious Turkish cuisine. There's a multitude of things to do in Istanbul that will have every tourist looking for more.

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is one of the city’s prominent landmarks and a major attraction in Istanbul. Recognized for its massive dome, this magnificent, centuries-old structure has an incredible history behind it. Constructed in 537AD, Hagia Sophia used to be a church for 916 years, then was later converted into a mosque during the Ottoman empire. Today, it’s an outstanding historical museum where visitors from all over the world come to see. Take an audio-guided tour inside and admire the exquisite Byzantine architecture, the impressive interiors, and well-preserved mosaics.
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The Blue Mosque

Adored with blue tiles, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or well-known as the Blue Mosque, is another attraction you should see while in Istanbul. Constructed during the reign of Ahmed I of the Ottoman Empire, tourists flock to this magnificent mosque to see its impressive architecture which has been well preserved throughout the centuries. Located beside Hagia Sophia, opt to visit the mosque at dusk when blue lights illuminate the domes, as well as to catch the call of prayer that echoes throughout the halls.
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Topkapi Palace Museum

Formerly the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for more than 350 years, the Topkapi Palace is one of the most impressive palaces and museums in the world. The complex covers 700,000sqm and consists of four beautiful courtyards and a lavish Harem. The museum houses the finest porcelains, imperial treasures, and a collection of holy relics such as the Holy Mantle of the Prophet Mohammad, the staff of Moses, the sword of David, the robe of Joseph, and more.
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Grand Bazaar

When it comes to shopping, Istanbul never disappoints. The Grand Bazaar is a huge covered shopping complex located inside the Walled City of Istanbul. This historical market, built between 1455-1456, comprises a network of souks selling jewelry, souvenirs and gifts, leather, spices and other Turkish specialties to name a few. If you’re great with your bargaining skills, you will definitely come home to some bags full of wonderful and unique items.
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