Istanbul, the city where East meets West, is a mesmerizing blend of history and modernity. Straddling two continents, there’s so much to explore. Here are three must-visit destinations in Istanbul to get a taste of this unique city.
No visit to Istanbul is complete without stepping into the Hagia Sophia, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Originally built as a cathedral in the 6th century, it was later converted into a mosque and now serves as a museum. The Hagia Sophia is a testament to Istanbul’s rich and diverse history.
The Grand Bazaar
For a taste of Istanbul’s vibrant market culture, the Grand Bazaar is a great stop. One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, it’s easy to go into sensory overload here. There are hundreds of shops to explore. As you wander through the labyrinth of streets, you’ll find everything from hand-painted ceramics and lanterns to spices, jewelry, and Turkish textiles.
This narrow, natural strait not only separates Europe and Asia but also offers some of the best views of the city. For a fun activity, consider taking a cruise to see all of Istanbul’s most famous sights from the water.