Top 10 Must Visit in Istanbul for First Time 2023

Istanbul is a holy city that people fall in love with at first sight. States and kingdoms have struggled to keep Istanbul in their hands for years. Istanbul was a symbol of power. If you are coming to this magical city for the first time, we have listed the top 10 must visit in Istanbul. Enjoy!

Hagia Sophia

The most valuable place to must visit in Istanbul is undoubtedly Hagia Sophia. Once a church, later a mosque, museum and again mosque at 2020.

Hagia Sophia is a symbol of Istanbul‘s rich history. Its stunning architecture and mesmerizing mosaics make it a must visit in Istanbul for all visitors. Both the exterior and interior enchant everyone in their own way.

Topkapi Palace

The distant view of Topkapi Palace amidst green trees and overlooking the Bosphorus

Experience the wealth of the Ottoman Empire by visiting Topkapi Palace, the former residence of sultans. Be amazed by the beautiful courtyards, fancy pavilions, and priceless treasures (ex: Spoonmaker’s Diamond).

Also, the famous Turkish TV series “Magnificent Century” (Muhteşem Yüzyıl in Turkish) takes place in this palace that everyone knows.

The Blue Mosque

I mentioned Hagia Sophia before. Blue Mosque, located right across from Hagia Sophia, is also among the must visit in Istanbul. Additionally, the first three places I mentioned (Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque) are all located together in Sultanahmet Square.

The iconic Blue Mosque, also known as Sultanahmet Mosque, is famous for its six minarets and exquisite blue Iznik tiles. Don’t miss the chance to admire its breathtaking interior.

The Grand Bazaar

Lose yourself in the labyrinth like corridors of the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. Additionally, it remained the center of world trade for many years. Shop for souvenirs, spices, and Turkish delights while haggling with merchants.

Galata Tower

Climb up the historic Galata Tower for a 360 panoramic view of Istanbul‘s skyline. This medieval tower offers an unforgettable experience of the city’s landmarks.

Dolmabahce Palace

dolmabahce palace kempinski in istanbul turkey under cloudy sky

Visit Dolmabahce Palace, the luxurious residence of the last Ottoman sultans. It can also be used as a hotel now through the Kempinski company. Its opulent halls and extravagant chandeliers are a testament to the empire’s final days.

Basilica Cistern

Discover the beautiful Basilica Cistern, a historic underground chamber that stored water. It was built by the Byzantines in the 6th century. Its mysterious ambience and columns with Medusa heads will intrigue your imagination.

Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque, created by famous architect Sinan, is an Ottoman architectural wonder. Sinan referred to this mosque as his “apprenticeship work”. The peaceful courtyard and impressive interior are guaranteed to leave you amazed.

Istiklal Street

Take a leisurely walk on Istiklal Street, one of Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian streets. It’s a very crowded and lively street, get ready. You can find trendy shops, historical buildings and lively cafes, bars, clubs, and restaurants while exploring the area.

Bosphorus Cruise

Experience the breathtaking beauty of Istanbul from the water by taking a Bosphorus cruise. You can join either the official or private tours. Also, you can see the most beautiful view of the city this way. Sail between two continents and admire the stunning mansions, mosques, and bridges that line the strait.

Learned the Top 10 Must Visit in Istanbul

With its vibrant mix of history, culture, and modernity, Istanbul offers an unforgettable experience for first time travelers. Be sure to top 10 must visit to make the most of your journey.


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