Istanbul Journals

Istanbul - Things to Do

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A March 2013 trip to Istanbul by Essexgirl09

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Things to see and do in Istanbul based on my mini-break.

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

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Attraction | "Feeling Blue?"

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The Sultan Ahmed (or Ahmet as the Turks call him) Mosque is more commonly known as the Blue Mosque and is recognised as one of the most iconic sights of the Istanbul skyline. It was commissioned by Sultan Ahmed I (unsurprisingly) when he was a young man in 1609 and took seven years to build and is designed in the Ottoman style. He wanted a building to rival the magnificent Hagia Sophia opposite. It has one big central dome (43m high on the outside), eight smaller domes and six minarets and apparently has a capacity of 10,000 worshippers. It is still in use today, and you are able to visit between prayer times.Ottoman architecture features a lot of domes and columns and is often very li...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 16, 2013

Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey
0212 458 0776

Yerebatan Sarnici (Cisterns)

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Attraction | "The Basilica Cistern"

Yerebatan Sarnici (Cisterns) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Before arriving in Istanbul for my spring mini-break, I knew I wanted to visit the Blue mosque, the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. One place I hadn’t considered until I spoke to someone who had been before was the Basilica cisterns. As you walk around the old part of the city, beneath your feet are hundreds of ancient cisterns, and these ones are the largest. They are situated just around the corner from the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Sultanahmet tram stop. The cistern was constructed in the 6th Century by Emperor Justinian (who also built the Hagia Sophia) and served the royal palace. It was so named because there had originally been a basilica on this site (you cou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 16, 2013

Yerebatan Sarnici (Cisterns)
Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey

Bosphorus Tours and Cruises

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Attraction | "Ferry Across the Bosphorus..."

Bosphorus Tours and Cruises Photo, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Quote:
When I told my colleagues that I was planning on visiting Istanbul, a colleague told me that a Bosphorus River Cruise was a must-do for my itinerary. I visited the city in early March and the city is still quite cold at this time, so I was concerned about the weather being suitable, but our Saturday was quite sunny and mild, so we picked this day as the best one to go and wandered over about lunchtime. The cruises leave from Eminonu which is by the Galata bridge and Spice Bazaar. There is a tram stop here but it is walking distance from the Sultnahmet district. There are a a few places here and a number of companies touting their cruises. I am sure different companies have other depar...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 28, 2013

Bosphorus Tours and Cruises
Alemdar Mah. Divanyolu Cad. No : 22
Sultanahmet, Istanbul
+90 554 797 26 46

Hagia Sophia

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Attraction | "Mosaic Madness"

Hagia Sophia Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The Hagia Sophia (also known as the Aya Sofya) is one of Istanbul's must see attractions. Situated in the Sultanahmet district of the city, it is close to the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace and the T1 tram line. Admission is TL25 (£9) for adults. Under 12s are free. We arrived about 12.30pm and had a short wait to purchase tickets. My guide book (Lonely Planet Istanbul) was very good and I used that as an idea of what I wanted to see. The Hagia Sophia is almost 1500 years old. It was commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian and consecrated as a church in 537. Architecturally it is a very impressive building, moreso inside rather then out, and was the inspiration for many...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 1, 2013

Hagia Sophia
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 212 528 4500

Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)

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Attraction | "Spice Up Your Life"

Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Istanbul's Spice Bazaar is (surprise, surprise) in the Bazaar district. It is not far from the Galata Bridge and the access points for Bospherous Cruises. The nearest tram stop is Eminonu . The Bazaar is all mostly undercover and much smaller than the Grand Bazaar and less confusing. It seems to just run one row up and down and another across. The centre 'cross-roads' can be a bit of a nightmare to get through with loads of people trying to squeeze through, and the narrower exits can also be a challenge. I think we were going along as people were cutting through on their way home from work as the passageways were busy, but the stalls, not so much. The building is Ottoman (17th centur...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 3, 2013

Spice Bazaar (Misir Carsisi)
Behind the Yeni Cami Mosque
Istanbul, Turkey

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)

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Attraction | "Shop Til You Drop"

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The Grand Bazaar is one of the famous attractions in Istanbul. It is a cast complex, much undercover, but also market stalls surround the covered area. It is also easy to disorientate yourself here as there are many exits and entrances. The original market was founded in the 15th century and has grown as Istanbul became an increasingly important trading gateway between the east and west.The Bazaar is located in the old part of the city just two stops on tram T1 from Sultanahmet where most of the main attractions are. The nearest stop is Beyazit-Kapali Carsi (Kapali Carsi meaning covered market) but you could use Cemberlitas if more convenient. We entered 'somewhere' over the other sid...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 9, 2013

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
Kalpakcilarbasi Street
Istanbul, Turkey

Topkapi Palace

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Attraction | "Top Topkapi"

Topkapi Palace Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
One of my absolute highlights of my mini-break to Istanbul was the Topkapi Palace. Situated just beyond the Hagia Sophia in the Sultanahmet district, it is about 5minutes walk from the tram stop. Mehmet the Conqueror built the initial part in the mid fifteenth century, from then on this was the place the Ottoman sultans lived until the 19th century, where they moved to more modern, European style palaces, although Topkapi remained important for certain state official events and contained a number of important relics and artefacts. President Ataturk converted it to a museum in 1924.FIRST AND SECOND COURTSYou enter through the Imperial Gate (good luck getting a good photo witho...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 14, 2013

Topkapi Palace
Sultanahmet Square
Istanbul, Turkey
90 212 5224422