6 activities to do in Istanbul
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Istanbul is a journey through time, between bazaars, historic places and incredible mosques that make the city the link between West and East, between the past and the present. The art of commerce gives the place an extra attraction for those who also seek to live a millenary experience that has become a tradition.
Ancient Byzantium and Constantinople, the city is located between the Bosphorus Strait and the Marmara Sea (which separate Asia from Europe), became the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire until 1923 and is the most important and popular in Turkey and one of the oldest in the world.
Although many people think that Istanbul is the capital of the country (its capital is Ankara), it is its main commercial, industrial, economical and cultural center and some historical parts have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, such as archaeological sites and mosques.
With excellent tourist infrastructure, most attractions and services are also available in English, but for those who appreciate the comfort or ease of getting around during the trip, the Brazilian based company “Passeios em Istanbul” is specialized in welcoming tourist in the city, offering service exclusive of tours, accommodation, and transportation.
Istanbul’s main attractions:
– Hagia Sophia
One of the most visited museums (current, it turned in a mosque again) in the world due to its art and architecture, Hagia Sophia it is one of the most famous landmarks in Istanbul. The building was a church in its origin, later an orthodox basilica, it was converted into a mosque and, finally, into a museum in 1935.
Since 360 AD, the construction started by the Romans has undergone different architectural styles and was the largest cathedral in the world in Byzantine period, drawing attention to its resounding central dome decorated with verses from the Koran, the four minarets, the marble columns and the mosaics and frescoes on the walls.
– Basilica Cistern
Built in the Byzantine Empire in AD 532, the cistern, now disabled, is one of the oldest and most impressive buildings in Istanbul. The underground water reservoir has a gigantic structure, with an impressive 336 columns of different types of marble and 9m high with tops connected by arches; its access is made by a staircase with 52 steps.
Two heads of Medusa used as support for columns stand out, true works of art from the Roman period and whose origins are unknown. It came to serve the emperor’s palace and the city, but with Ottoman domination it was for a long time unused and unknown, being discovered in the 16th century by a Dutch researcher and presented to the western world.
– Topkapi Palace
The palace took 25 years to be built (1478-1453), shortly after the conquest of Constantinople and occupies an area of 700 thousand m². It was the residence of the sultans for 4 centuries, the administrative, educational and artistic center until the Ottoman domination and turned into a museum when the Republic of Turkey was established in 1924.
It has 4 halls with passages between them and different uses, gardens around the several rooms that display relics and a harem.
– Blue mosque
The Blue Mosque is well known because of the blue tiles that surround the interior walls. Built between 1609 and 1616, it houses the tomb of its founder, Sultan Ahmed I, a study house and a hospice and still functions as a mosque, with restricted visiting hours and rules.
– Grand Bazaar
Trading is a Turkish tradition, and the best place to exercise is in the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest covered markets in the world, a unique gigantic place. With more than 60 streets and 5,000 stores, there are services such as coffee shops and currency exchange offices, where everything is found: tapestry, jewelry, handicrafts, clothing, perfume, souvenirs, crockery, etc.
It was built in 1461 as a warehouse and has grown over time, having undergone fires and reconstructions. Like almost everything in the city, the architecture of the place is a separate walk, with ceiling decorations that do not go unnoticed even in so much merchandise.
– Egyptian Bazaar
Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, unlike the Grand Bazaar, it is small, but has a wide variety of products, mainly condiments, spices, dried fruits, spices, Turkish sweets and delicious gums (Turkish delight) in addition to being the center of commerce of spices in the city.
The building is part of the New Mosque and its construction dates from 1660.
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Where to shop in Turkey?
Complete guide to shopping in Turkey.Check out:
Turkey is a fascinating country, located between the European and Asian continents, the country exhibits exotic beauty, deserts, forests, and beautiful beaches on a long coastline. Architecture with ancient influences draws even more attention in cities and central areas. The country is surrounded by history and a great cultural mix, which mark the various territorial disputes that took place in this region for thousands of years.
Today, Turkey has become truly exotic and surprising. If you want to buy some products in the country, you will certainly find more affordable prices than in other regions of Europe and the Americas. Discover Istanbul’s shopping centers, which offer tourists a wide variety of products to take home, and we are not only talking about clothes, but also fabrics, rugs, handicrafts, jewelry, and products for home and gifts.
The Turkish people are very affectionate and receptive, expert negotiators, always very attentive to tourists, but when it comes to shopping, don’t forget to negotiate prices.
The bazaars are part of Turkish culture and they are spread across various parts of the country. They are popular markets that sell all kinds of products, such as produced shoes, rugs, lamps, and even diamond jewelry. Among the most famous are the Grand Bazaar, in the heart of Istanbul, the largest covered market in the world, with almost 5,000 stores. Another stop is the Spice Bazaar, also in Istanbul, built in 1660. This one stands out for selling spices, herbs, seeds, grains, and spices from this part of the world.
– Istanbul Shopping
The most famous shopping mall in Istanbul, Cevahir Istanbul is considered the second-largest shopping mall in Europe, with 420,000 m². The establishment brings together stores for all tastes and styles, from major international brands such as Sephora, Adidas, and Apple or even local brands, such as the Turkish brand Ayakkabi Dünyası shoe store.
Istanbul’s first outlet mall, the Olivium Shopping The mall is an alternative for those looking to shop in stores with big international names, finding everything in one place and at more affordable prices. The place brings together names like Mango, Diesel, Puma, Adidas and more.
Walking through the streets, getting to know the culture and still being close to renowned stores is the proposal of Istiklal Avenue, located in the modern part of the city. The avenue is a large boardwalk approximately 1.5 km long with hundreds of Turkish shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and international brands.
Where to buy carpet in Cappadocia?
The birthplace of civilization and one of Turkey’s most exotic landscapes, Cappadocia, also offer good places for shopaholics to renovate their home environments. Products for decoration, handicrafts and local articles can be found in Cappadocia stores, but when it comes to carpet, Galerie Ikman stands out completely. This is Cappadocia’s most famous carpet store, where you will be impressed by the details and the variety of styles they sell there.
How can Guide in Turkey help me?
If you want to visit Turkey, we can schedule these visits on a private tour. Also, we offer other packages to the main destinations in the country, transfers, accommodation, and much more.
Contact: +90 536 273 59 61