This market is the biggest in Istanbul: there are nearly 4,000 shops! It is better to visit it on Wednesday, when there is a sale of carpets. Actually, here tourists can find everything they need, beginning with the antiques, and ending with hookahs. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, just visit this labyrinth of streets, for it is a mix of sights, sounds, and scent.
2. The Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)
It is a little bit calmer that the huge Grand Bazaar, but there tourists will experience an abundance of different aromas and fragrance. You will feel yourself like in a big food store, and for sure you will want to end your tour with a dinner in one of the neighboring restaurants.
3. Basilica Cistern
The cistern was built in 532 AD, and its main purpose was to supply the city and palaces with water, which was flowing to the reservoir through aqueducts from the Belgrade forest. Basilica Cistern was restored in 1987, and nowadays the water is clean, and carps are swimming in it. The cistern is supported by 336 columns, taken from ancient temples, and two of them have the sculptures of Medusa Gorgona.
4. Hagia Sophia
It is one of the main sights of Istanbul. Originally it was built like an Orthodox cathedral, but after the conquer of Constantinople by Ottomans it was made a mosque. Nowadays it is a mosque, and it better reflects the spirit of Istanbul and its existence as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Tourists visit it to see the famous mosaics with the images of Christian saints. Entering the museum, it is necessary to put off the footwear and cap the head.
5. Topkapi palace
This palace was the residence of sultans and their families, being the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire. It is worth you time to visit these unique buildings, yards, and gardens. Topkapi palace is the house of several museums, where there are exhibited china, armor, clothes of sultans and their grandees. In addition, believers can see some religious relics here.
6. Go and eat somewhere
It is a must to have dinner in one of the fish restaurants or restaurants with traditional Turkish cuisine, and it is not very expensive.
7. Use the transport system of Istanbul to explore its streets
Istanbul is very big to explore it on foot, if you are not going to remain in the old city. Go by the traditional tramway, which goes up and down the Istiklal street, a pedestrian avenue, to Taksim square on the northern shore of the Golden Horn. It is the main square of shops and represents the modern Istanbul.
8. The Byzantine Land Walls
The walls stretch for 4 miles from the Sea of Marmara to the Golden Horn. They surrounded the whole Byzantine city in 420 AD, and were ruined in 1453. They are 40 feet thick, and have 96 towers and 7 main gates.