Exploring İstanbul

  • Historical Places

Tours in Istanbul

Tours out of Istanbul

  • Museums & Arts
  • Shopping

Historical Places:

Topkapı Palace

It is located on the promontory of the historical peninsula in Istanbul which overlooks both the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus. The walls enclosing the palace grounds, the main gate on the land side and the first buildings were constructed during the time of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (the Conqueror) (1451 – 81). Topkapı Palace was converted to a museum in 1924.

 

Blue Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.

Dolmabahçe Palace

Until the 17th century the area where Dolmabahçe Palace stands today was a small bay on the Bosphorus, claimed by some to be where the Argonauts anchored during their quest for the Golden Fleece, and where in 1453 Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror had his fleet hauled ashore and across the hills to be refloated in the Golden Horn.Principal sections are the suite of the Valide Sultan (sultan’s mother), the so-called Blue and Pink salons, the bedrooms of sultans Abdülmecid, Abdülaziz and Mehmed V. Resad, the section housing the lower ranking palace women known as the Cariyeler Dairesi, the rooms of the sultan’s wives (kadinefendi), and the study and bedroom used by Atatürk. All the main rooms are furnished with valuable carpets, ornaments, paintings, chandeliers and calligraphic panels.

 

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia “Holy Wisdom’’ is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

Galata Tower

Galata Tower has dominated Beyoglu”s skyline since 1348 and still offers the best panoramic views of the city. Originally named the Tower of Christ, it was the highpoint in the city walls of the Genoese colony called Galata. Until the 1960s it was a fire lookout tower. Now the upper floors hold an uninteresting restaurant-nightclub, and a panorama balcony. The balcony is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm (7 pm in summer) for a few dollars (half price on Monday).

 

Hippodrome of Constantinople

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople capital of Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultan Ahmet Meydanıin the Turkish city of Istanbul with a few fragments of the original structure surviving.

Süleymaniye Mosque

The SüleymaniyeMosque was built on the order of Sultan Süleymanwas fortunate to be able to draw on the architectural genius of MimarSinan. The construction work began in 1550 and finished in 1558.

Grandbazaar

Istanbul’s one of the largest and oldest covered market in the world.

It was the commercial heart of the old city and it’s 4.000 shops are full of treasures,includingcarpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, icons.

Spice Market

Bazaar is the centerfor spice trade in İstanbul, as well as spice shops.

The building itself is part of the kulliye(complex) of the New Mosque. The revenues obtained from the rented shops inside the bazaar building were used for the upkeeping mosque.

Beylerbeyi Palace

Beylerbeyi Palace was commissioned by Sultan Abdulaziz(1830-1876) as a summer residence and a place to entertain visiting heads of state.

The palace looks its most attractive from the Bosphorus, from where it’s two vathingpavilions, one for the harem(women’s only) and the other for selamik(men’s only), can be best seen.

The Basilica Cistern

One of the magnificent historical constructions of Istanbul is the Basilica Cistern, located near south-west of Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). This cistern that was laid on an area of total 9.800 m2 has the capacity to store 100.000 tons of water.The enlarged cistern provided a water filtration system for the Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill, and continued to provide water to the Topkapi Palace after the Ottoman conquest in 1453 and into modern times. Basilica Cistern Medusa; Located in the northwest corner of the cistern, the bases of two columns reuse blocks carved with the visage of Medusa. The origin of the two heads is unknown, though it is thought that the heads were brought to the cistern after being removed from a building of the late Roman period.

Archaeology Museum
The collection of classical antiquities displayed here is world class and – rarely for Istanbul – everything is well lit and comprehensively labelled. Sitting within the grounds of the Topkapı Palace, the museum was founded in the mid-19th century in an attempt to stanch the flow of antiquities being spirited out of the country by foreigners to fill the museums of Europe. Starting with the pre-classical world, the museum covers 5,000 years of history, with artefacts gathered from all over Turkey and the Near East and grouped thematically.

The Chora Museum
The Chora Museum (Kariye Müzesi) is located in Edirnekapı, Fatih and is one of the most beautiful Byzantine churches in the city. Though it was originally a church, it was converted into a mosque and later into a secular museum in 1948. Though smaller in size than other museums, the Chora Museum’s interior features brilliant frescoes and mosaics.

 

Hagia Irene
Located in the courtyard of Topkapı Palace, Aya Irini, or Hagia Irene, is a former Eastern Orthodox Church that now stands as a museum. Due to its impressive acoustics and atmosphere, the venue is now used primarily for concerts. As of 1980, the Istanbul International Music Festival has been held here every summer. If there is a concert here while you are in town, we strongly recommend you attend.

Tours in İstanbul:

  • The Classics Old City (Morning Tour)
  • The Classics Old City (Afternoon Tour)
  • The Classics Old City (Full Day Tour)
  • The Asiatic Side (Morning Tour)
  • Bosphorus Cruise (Morning & Afternoon Tour)
  • Princes Island (Full Day Tour)

 

Tours out of İstanbul:

  • Cappadocia Tour
  • Ephesus Tour
  • Troy & Gallipoli
  • The Green Bursa Tour
  • Sapanca & Maşukiye

Museums & Arts:

Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art
This museum, located in the Hippodrome (Old City district), displays valuable and historically important artworks from Turkey and other Islamic nations throughout the years. Objects on display include stonework, ceramics, metalwork, silver, brass, wood objects and ornaments, calligraphy and carpets. The items on display span many time periods with pieces from the days of the Ummayids, the Abbasids, the Mamluks, the Seljuks, the Beyliks and the Ottomans.

 

Istanbul Modern
The city has finally got its own modern art museum, complete with a permanent collection and impressive exhibitions such as Juan Munoz, Anish Kapoor, William Kentridge, Design Cities and the Istanbul Biennial to name but a few. The building itself is worth seeing in its own right: a converted warehouse that now features sleek industrial design with state-of-the-art technology, including a library, a cinema and flat-screen TVs featuring video art. The Istanbul Modern Café is also a big hit, with excellent food and a great view (when there isn’t a big cruise ship moored outside).

 

The Rahmi Koç Museum
This private museum is dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communication. Founded in 1991 by one of the members of Turkey’s wealthiest dynasty, the museum has been in operation since 1994. Rumour has it that founder Rahmi M. Koç was inspired to create the museum after visiting the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan.

 

Sakıp Sabancı Museum
This magnificent villa was converted into an art museum by one of Turkey’s wealthiest families, the Sabancıs. It’s brought over some excellent exhibitions so far, including Picasso, Rodin and Dali. Take a browse before enjoying some lunch at the exceptional Müzedechanga restaurant on the museum’s grounds.

 

Santralİstanbul
Istanbul’s newest cultural centre and museum space is a power plant that’s been transformed by Istanbul Bilgi University. Located in Silahtarağa, Santralistanbul hosts modern art and design exhibitions, a museum of the old power plant, a library, conferences and seminars, festivals, concerts and more. It also features one of the city’s best new nightlife venues, Ottosantral.

 

Pera Museum
Founded by the Suna and Inan Kıraç Foundation in 2005, this relatively new museum is known for its three permanent collections of Anatolian weights and measures, Kütahya tiles and ceramics and Oriental art. The pieces all date back to the 17th century. The museum itself is in a historical building, built by architect Achille Manoussos in 1893.

 

Sadberk Hanım Museum
This museum was established by the Vehbi Koç Foundation in honour of the late Sadberk Koç, Vehbi Koç’s wife. Owing to the wooden crossed mouldings along the exterior of the museum, it was nicknamed ‘Threaded Yalı’ (“yalı” meaning waterside residence). The museum contains a gift shop, a small tearoom, an attic used for storage and more, though many prefer the Sevgi Gönül Wing of the museum which was added in 1983 to house the Hüseyin Kocabaş art collection.

 

Doğançay Museum
This museum is dedicated to the work of the prominent Turkish painter Burhan Doğançay, and includes his works from the 1950s to the present day. Paintings of ribbons, cones and other urban wall series can be viewed alongside his photographs on four floors, with a separate section dedicated to the works of his late father, Adil Doğançay.

 

The Florence Nightingale Museum
First things first: in order to visit this museum, you will have to fax your passport details, time of arrival and contact number to the army, as the museum is located in the Selimiye Barracks, the headquarters of the Turkish First Army. However, if you make it in, it’s worth it, as this museum is where Florence Nightingale originally cared for wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War..

 

 

Shopping:

  • Shopping District
  • Bazaars
  • Shooping Malls

Shopping District:

Nişantaşı:

A popular shopping and residential district, it is considered to be one of İstanbul’smost exlusive neighbourhoods. The area includes branded stores, popular cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. About 15 min. walking distance from the hotel.

 

Bagdat Street:

It is a main street in an upper-scale residential area. On the asian side (anatolian side fashion       garment stores, elegant shops offering world famous brands, restaurants of international and local cusines , pubs, cafes, bars. Local tranportation called “dolmus” departs every 5-10 min.next to the hotel corner and transports you from Europe to Asia.

İstiklal Street:

In this street and the side – streets are cafes, cinemas, bookstores, restaurants and bars. Its many shops and stores make shopping a viable alternative. The tramline was restored so that now trams are used as a nostalgic means of transport between Tunel and Taksim.

Bazaars:

Grand Bazaar:

Grand Bazaar (Turkish: Kapalicarsi)  is located in the center of Istanbul, near Sultanahmet neighbourghood. It is one of the oldest bazaar of Istanbul. It is called that approximately half million people visits  Grand Bazaar per day. The  building was built in 1462 by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Constantinople. Since the late 19th Century, the bazaar. Its present form with more than 60 streets, a post office, mosques, a police station, fountains and various restaurants. About 4000 shops are to be found here, although one can assess the exact number only. In the 550 years since the market has expanded. Every space is used where there is none, which is created. Good for business, about half a million customers, tourists and locals wander through the market streets daily, but not particularly good for the old building. Originally, the Grand Bazaar was a trade center for fine fabrics, precious antiques and gems. That today one must look at the noise of trinkets and souvenirs. On the Halicilar Caddesi are the upscale stores, in the northwest of the market, the antiques dealer. Here are so many hidden corner where the bazaar nor oriental mystical night-1001-Flair owns. Traditionally, the dealers are located in the bazaar by industry. The reveal also the street names. In Kalpacilar and Terzi-Basi-road is traded with jewelry, carpet dealers can be found at the Halici Sokagi. You can buy just about anything at the bazaar. Gold, antiques, lamps, leather goods, sweets, plenty of towels and textile products. About 20,000 dealers work at the bazaar. The huge shopping area is guarded at the entrances and exits of security guards, which also run in the bazaar patrol. These cameras monitor the many corridors and roads. The dense crowd at rush hour is nevertheless ideal condition for pickpockets. You should therefore always take care for your valuables. Those who can not learn to negotiate it here forcibly. Because without haggling you pay a heavy price quickly like as every touristic destination of world.

Spice Market:

pice Bazaar is located in Eminonu neigbourhood of Fatih District in Istanbul, near the Galata Bridge and New Mosque ( Yeni Cami).  It is one of the oldest and the largest shopping complex of Istanbul, the second one after Grand Bazaar. It was build  in between 1597 and 1664 by Turhan Sultan, it was the biggest shopping center for food, grain and especially spices. In Turkish, its name is Mısır Çarşısı  (Egypt Bazaar) which name was adopted from Egypt because in that time, foods, spices, grains and dried fruits which bought from Egypt sold in that bazaar. It was also kidnly built with the help of taxes which were taken from Cairo, Egypt. Today, Spice Bazaar is a center to buy any kind of foods and spices, in addition to spices and foods, electronics,vegetables, meat& fish, household goods, clothing and other newspapers are available. The main industries are food and textile trade. Spice Bazaar still keeps its original and authentic structure after restorations even it got over two tough fire in 1691 and 1940. Spice Bazaar often attracts many domestic and foreign tourists.

 

Arasta Bazaar:

The Arasta Bazaar is a tidy market street in the heart of Sultanahmet’s historical district. This modest bazaar was built in the 17th century by savvy Ottoman officials; rental revenues from its vendors were meant to finance the upkeep of the neighboring Blue Mosque. Today the street caters to tourists, its wooden-facade shops filled with carpets, mock Ottoman artifacts and all manner of nazar merchandise. The Mosaic Museum is the street’s standout attraction, displaying an ornamental pavement mosaic from the Byzantine Great Palace that was uncovered at the site in the 1950s. The mosaic’s fantastical depictions and accompanying displays are a window into Byzantine royal life. Apart from the museum, the Arasta Bazaar is a pleasant interlude from the bustle of the main tourist attractions. The shops in the bazaar offer everything from jewelry, carpets, souvenirs, ceramics, and more.

Shopping Malls:

İstinye Park

Istinye Park is a shopping mall in the Istinye (near Sariyer) neighbourhood of Istanbul with 291 stores, 85,250 sqm of retail area, and four levels of underground parking lots. It has both enclosed and open air sections. The open air section has a green central park and offers street side shopping, restaurants and  cafes so it is like a small town really. There are 12 cinema halls which are located in the ground floor differ from other malls. There is also Istinye Park compound near the mall. Beyond stores, there are also kids entertainment center, sports and leisure club. You can find in this mall which store you want.

 

Cevahir Shopping Mall

Cevahir Mall (Cevahir AVM) is a shopping center located between Sisli and Mecidiyekoy. It is the largest mall in Europe and the 6th largest  mall in all over the world. It was build in 2005 and costed 250 million USD. There are six retail floors of the mall ; 343 shops, 48 restaurants, 12 cinemas,1 show stage, 1 bowling hall and  1 roller coaster for kids. The mall is home to cinemas, delicious food and limitless entertainment in Atlantis, a covered thematic play park, all in one place under the roof of the İstanbul Cevahir Shopping Centre, which presents a new way of living.Therefore, you have so much thing to do in  Cevahir AVM  where can easily be reached from everywhere.

City’s Nişantaşı

If you are looking for fashion and some fun, you should also visit “ City’s Nişantaşı” that is located in Nisantasi, Sisli. Nisantasi is known as heart of fashion and luxury in Istanbul. Actually “City’s Nisantasi” is the piece of luxury.

“Citylife Cinema” halls have autonomic vibrated noise isolation system to give you full technology. Their  seats are special and comfotable, too. Giant screens, air condiotining system of latest technology are designed for you. Enjoy the movies!

Shopping stores contain many different brands which are local and international, and it has food units, cafés, and very good restaurants. It means you can find whatever you want. It has a supermarket, a bank, dry cleaning and a tailor. All these located on 15,000m– 20,000 m2

 

Kanyon Shopping Mall

Kanyon Shopping Mall(means canyon in Turkish) is located in Levent district of Istanbul. Because its shape resembles to a canyon, it was named as “Kanyon”. It was build in 2006  on 40,000 m².  It has 4 floors which have 160 stores, 9 screen cinema, Fitness center and 2300 car carpark capacity. Top local and global trends, gourmet restaurants, cafes, and open air performances are set in an atmosphere alive with light, sight and sound. Anchored by worlwide-known fashion retailer Harvey Nichols and many of trendsetting and prestigious brands are introduced to Turkish market for the first time. It is 360°  consumer experience. Kanyon is also open for early breakfasts and late dinners.

Forum İstanbul Shopping Mall

Forum Istanbul  is located in Bayrampasa district of Istanbul. Forum Istanbul, the biggest shopping and leisure destination in Turkey and Europe, hosts 265 national and international brands along with many international stores. It offers many leisure attractions, like ice rink, Jurassic Land theme park. It has IKEA and Turkuazoo (the biggest aquarium in Istanbul) beyond having other stores which we will write down them below the page. It has national and international total 265 stores. It also includes 10 cinema halls with 2450 capacity called as Cinemaximum, FunLab, Atlantis Bowling Hall, Tiox Entertainment World. It also hosts many local food restaurants and international fastfood chains with open-air balconies.

 

 

For further informations please contact the Concierge at +90212 377 8888 ext.5083 or via mail at [email protected]