My flights to Istanbul are booked. On the 8th of September I will fly to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, one of two international serving airports in Istanbul. I will fly from Dusseldorf and not from London as I will go to Germany the weekend before. My family has a flat in Istanbul and I will stay there together with them. I haven’t seen them since I was 12 years old, so you can guess how much I am looking forward to see them. It is my first time in Istanbul and there are many things I would like to do and see.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is commonly known as the Blue Mosque. It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces in the world. The Mosque was built from 1609 to 1616 in an effort of pleasing Allah after a series of Turkish military defeats. It is known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue tiles on the interior walls.
Known as the Haghia Sofia in Greek, Sophia in Latin and the Church of the Divine Wisdom in English is the Hagia Sophia Istanbul’s most famous monument. It was built to restore the greatness of the Roman Empire in 537 and was the greatest church in Christendom until the Conquest in 1453. It remained the largest church ever built until the St. Peter’s Basilica was constructed in Rome a thousand years later.
Topkapi Palace is the largest and oldest in the world to survive to this day. It was the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1465 until 1856 during their 624 year reign. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk requested to turn the palace into a museum and since 1924 it serves as such.
This is the ONE thing that I really have to see. The Dolmabahçe Palace was built in the 19th century and is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was designed by Ottoman Armenian architects Karabet and Nikogos Balian for Sultan Abdulmecit. It was finished in 1856 and the imperial family from from the Topkapi Palace into the more European-styled Dolmabahçe Palace.
Taksim Square is situated in the European part of Istanbul and is a major tourist and leisure district famous for its restaurants, shops and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul. The Square is home to the Monument of the Republic, it was crafted by Pietro Cenonica and installed in 1928. It celebrates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey after the Turkish War of Independence.
I realise that there are many more great things to see; I have to cross the Bosphorus Bridge, visit the Old Town and go shopping at the Egyptian Market. I will stay in Istanbul for a week, so I hope I have enough time to explore all the things I want to visit.
Have you been to Istanbul? What did you like about it? Can you recommend things to see, do or restaurants and bars to visit? Leave your tips in the comment box below; I am looking forward to them.