Istanbul is one of those cities you need to visit at least once in your lifetime. But for first-timers, it can be a bit challenging to choose exactly what to see on your trip. The city sits on the Bosphorus strait, connecting Europe with Asia. Its strategic location made it the perfect place to sit as the central hub of powerful empires. The Byzantines, the Romans, and the Ottomans left their mark on this metropolis. That’s why it’s so hard to choose what to see when visiting the city. But we’ve narrowed it down to the top 3 things to visit in Istanbul, so youre ready to go and enjoy your trip to Turkey.
1. Marvel at the Topkapı Palace
Topkapi has more fascinating stories than most of the museums across the world combined. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, gorgeous concubines, and clever eunuchs lived and worked here between the 15th and 19th centuries when it was the Ottoman empire’s court. The palace’s majestic pavilions, jewel-filled treasury, and massive harem offer a fascinating glimpse into their lives.
Mehmet the Conqueror built the first tier of the palace shortly after the Conquest in 1453 and lived here until he died in 1481. Sultans lived in this enclave until the nineteenth century when they moved to lavish European-style mansions built on the Bosphorus’ beaches.
If you want to learn about Turkey’s lavish monarchy, this palace is the perfect place to visit.
2. Discover history at Aya sofya
Istanbul has many significant monuments, but this incredible structure stands out for its innovative architectural form, rich history, religious significance, and extraordinary beauty.
It was commissioned by the great Byzantine emperor Justinian and consecrated as a church in 537. The Byzantine emperors were crowned while seated on a throne placed within the omphalion, the section of inlaid marble on the main floor. It was later converted into a mosque by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453. Ottomans included a mimber (pulpit) and mihrab (prayer niche indicating Mecca’s direction). It was finally declared a museum by Atatürk in 1935. In truth, Aya Sofya has seen it all and is the perfect site to witness the country’s historical evolution.
3. Süleymaniye Mosque
The Süleymaniye, which dominates the Golden Horn and is one of Istanbul’s seven hills, serves as a landmark for the entire city. It was designed by Mimar Sinan and built between 1550 and 1557. It is not the largest Ottoman mosque, but it is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent and gorgeous. The Süleymaniye was the fourth imperial mosque built in Istanbul, commissioned by Süleyman I, known as ‘the Magnificent.’ The mosque’s four minarets with their ten beautiful şerefes (balconies) represent the fact that Süleyman was the fourth of the Osmanli sultans to rule the city and the 10th sultan after the establishment of the empire.
Are you ready to visit Turkey?
Before you pack your bags and catch a plane to this magnificent country, you’ll need to process the Turkey visa for US citizens. You can get this travel document entirely online through **iVisa.com**. There’s no need to visit an embassy. You only need to complete an online form, and you’ll receive your visa via email. It’s electronically linked to your passport, and it will grant you a 90-day stay in Turkey.
iVisa.com has been processing travel documents for a long time, and their service is fast, secure, and easy to use. Check out their website for everything you need to know about the [Turkey visa for citizens of the US] and when you’re ready to get started, reach out to their team of travel experts. They’re prepared to answer all your questions 24/7.
Once you get your Turkish visa, you’ll be ready to explore all the beautiful sights in Istanbul.
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