|1,000,000+||artifacts at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum|
|80,000||cubic metres (2,800,000 cubic feet) of water in the Basilica Cistern|
|173||acres of grounds surrounding Topkapi Palace|
|3rd||oldest subway system in the world|
|2||continents make up Istanbul - Europe and Asia|
|1||largest population in Turkey|
A fusion of age-old glories and a cool, contemporary 21st-century culture, Istanbul is the last stop in Europe and the first stop in Asia.
Things to Do in Istanbul
Concierge Recommends: Istanbul at Sultanahmet
The Concierge at Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul at Sultanahmet shares insider tips for exploring this historic city—from the best place to sip Turkish coffee to Old Town’s must-visit attractions.
10 Reasons to Visit Istanbul
Istanbul offers landmarks to explore and a storied history. Here's why you should travel to Turkey's most vibrant city.
Things Do in Istanbul With Kids
Taste local sweets, visit ancient monuments and spot dolphins in the Bosphorus during a family vacation in Turkey's most intriguing city.
Considered as the epitome of Byzantine time, Hagia Sophia is one of the most important architectural achievements of all times, and the fact that is was built in AD 537 makes it even more impressive. Easily recognized by its majestic and flat dome, Hagia Sophia is certainly number one on the must-see list of any visitor.
Welcome to what has been the heart of the Ottoman Empire. It has served as the residence of the sultans and their women for over centuries. With its mystical harem, countless chambers, spacious grounds and courtyards, the exquisite jewel collection and much more, this glorious palace is undoubtedly one of Istanbul’s top offerings.
With its six minarets and dominating position in the skyline of old Istanbul, it is one of the most famous and visited monuments in the city.
Properly known as Sultanahmet Camii, this impressive mosque is widely called “the Blue Mosque” due to the blue Iznik tiles that adorn the interior.
Covering a vast area of 60 laneways, 5,000 shops and caravanserais, the Grand Bazaar is one the biggest and the most hospitable bazaars of the world; after all, it welcomes around 250,000 to 400,000 guests daily! Mixing all the different tones, tunes and colors of the city into a unique blend of scenes, your day in the Grand Bazaar will remain with you forever.
Recognised as the masterpiece of the famous 16th-century architect Mimar Sinan, this magnificent mosque certainly lives up to his commissioning emperor, Suleyman I, The Magnificent. Having survived numerous earthquakes and other disasters, Suleymaniye Mosque is one the most inspiring places in the city for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Whether approached from the land or the sea, this 19th-century palace welcomes the visitor with a magnificent presence. Since the palace has survived intact with its original decorations, furniture, silk carpets and curtains, a stroll through its impressive halls is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Basilica Cistern / Yerebatan Cistern
With its 336 columns and a capacity to store up to 80,000 cubic metres of water, Basilica Cistern is the largest surviving Byzantine cistern. Since its renovation in the 1980s, it is one of most impressive and mesmerizing historical landmarks Istanbul has to offer.
Consisting of three parts – Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Orient and Museum of Islamic Art – Istanbul Archaeological Museums own a vast collection of items covering almost all eras and civilizations in world history. With the management’s focus on becoming an ‘inviting-welcoming-entertaining museum,’ a stroll along ancient pieces has never been such a joy.
Salt Galata – Salt Beyoglu
Both set in Istanbul’s most lively and bohemian district, Salt Galata and Salt Beyoğlu house avant-garde works of art, curated by well-known Turkish and international curators. The central location of Salt Beyoğlu and the beautiful old bank building that hosts Salt Galata and the impressive rooftop restaurant make both of them a must-see stop if you are in Beyoğlu area.
Istanbul Modern is one of the biggest privately funded art galleries in the city. The extensive collection of Turkish contemporary art and a very successfully managed program of mixed-media exhibitions by local and international artists make this museum a magnet for all art lovers. The stunning views of the Bosphorus accompanying the visitor and the delicious cuisine of the stylish cafe also help!
With a superb permanent collection of works of book-making and calligraphy and an impressive temporary exhibition program, Sabancı Museum is one of the main meeting points of art lovers in sIstanbul. The fact that it hosts one of the best restaurants in the city, with a terrace overlooking the mansion’s beautiful garden and the Bosphorus, is certainly another reason why you shouldn’t miss it.