Attractions and attractions of Istanbul
Each tourist, who first arrived in Istanbul, immediately gets to the famous square, where there are two legendary monuments of history and religion. This, of course, refers to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia (Hagia Sophia).
St. Sophia Cathedral, which for thousands of years remained the main shrine of the entire Christian world, after the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in 1453, was turned into a mosque. Since then, the remains of minarets, mosaics and panels with Arabic script have been preserved in the temple. In 1934, Ataturk called for the preservation of the unique temple as a museum, so now anyone can visit this place for a small fee. Hagia Sophia is one of the main monuments of Byzantine architecture, a recognized symbol of the heyday of Byzantium.
The Blue Mosque (also known as the Sultan Akhmet Mosque) is located opposite Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome, it is considered the most important city mosque in operation. External inspection will not be enough: the main magic happens inside. The huge hall of the Blue Mosque with sky-colored walls is completely filled with sunlight, which penetrates here through 260 windows arranged in a special way.
It is also worth visiting the Topkapi Palace, which consists of several buildings with four courtyards connected by a gate. For a long time, it remained the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire and the main residence of the rulers. Here, the church of St. Irina (the only Byzantine church preserved from ancient times), as well as the bedchairs and the harem of the sultans are interesting.
The Dolmabahçe Palace, erected in an atypical Baroque style for Turkey, also impresses.
Sultan Abdul-Majid, who ordered the construction of Dolmabahce, wanted to compete in luxury with the European rulers, and he did it very well.
One of the symbols of the city is the Galata Tower of the 14th century, which is visible from any district of Istanbul. It is built on a hill and has a height of 61 m, it offers incredible views of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The second most popular tower in the city is the Maiden Tower, located in Uksyudar and shrouded in many legends.
Galata Tower is one of the main symbols of Istanbul.
While in Istanbul, it is impossible not to visit at least some of the many local museums. One of them, the Museum of Innocence, was founded by a Nobel laureate, writer Orhan Pamuk. Everything here is filled with love for the old city, and the exhibition presents things that, according to the author’s imagination, belonged to the heroes of his novel of the same name. The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Spinning Dervishes and many other interesting exhibitions are also noteworthy.
Istanbul for children
In Istanbul, there are many places for a memorable vacation with the whole family. One of the best entertainment for children is a walk in the Miniature Park. There are more than 120 famous Turkish sights, executed on a scale of 1:25. All Turkey at a glance! And so that the child is not tired of a long walk, you can ride with him through the park on the Miniaturk Express train.
To watch the life of outlandish marine life, head to either of the two Istanbul aquariums. The first, TurquaZoo, is located on the territory of the Forum shopping center, the second – in the Bakirkoy district. In both aquariums, visitors can experience a rich collection of marine life and even feed the fish on their own.
When visiting the TurquaZoo Aquarium, do not rush to leave the Forum building. There is also the Jurassic Land dinosaur theme park. Every child who comes here will be able to feel like a real archaeologist: wander through mysterious caves, dig a dinosaur egg in the sand, walk among the moving figures of ancient animals.
The culmination of a Jurassic Land tour is an exciting time travel experience in a 4D movie theater.
A must-see is Istanbul’s Toy Museum with a unique private collection of 4,000 exhibits. Boys will be delighted with old soldiers, Indians and cars, girls – with dolls and charming toy houses with miniature furniture and utensils.
Opened in 2008, the Istanbul Dolphinarium invites everyone to an exciting show featuring dolphins, walruses, seals and beluga whales. Here you can swim in the pool with amazing mammals. Vialand Amusement Park offers breathtaking roller coasters, carousels, theme games and many more.
The climate of Istanbul is subtropical, but cold winds from the north almost always blow here. Winters are cool and humid, mostly snowy, summers are warm, but without the sweltering heat. The best period for visiting the city is autumn and spring: at this time it is not cold and not hot, but there are rains at night. You can buy an umbrella right on the street: in the rainy season they are sold everywhere. Walking around the city in summer, it is better to take a light jacket or sweater with you: in the evenings it becomes cool. Due to the large area and the influence of the seas in Istanbul, separate microclimates stand out: when heavy rain falls in the north, ideal sunny weather can be in the south.