10 Historical Places You Must Visit in İstanbul

İstanbul has been home to numerous civilizations for more than 2000 years. Signs of all kinds of religions, remains of countless cultures and stories of millions of people live here in harmony. So, it’s natural for visitors to be curious about this grand city. Other than this perfectly curated list, we must tell you that every square of İstanbul withholds a unique past. So make sure to listen to the song of İstanbul whether you’re in a hotel room or an ancient palace. Exploring Istanbul and its many historical aspects can be overwhelming, and we’re here to help!

Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern was built when İstanbul was still under Byzantine rule, and it served the great purpose of providing the palace and the city clear water for hundreds of years. Covering dozens of kilometers of area underground, the cistern now welcomes visitors to get a glimpse of the ancient İstanbul. With the newest renovations, the stunning Basilica Cistern waits for your daily trips in Istanbul.

Haghia Sophia Museum

Regarded as the peak of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia was home to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral and the Patriarch of the empire until 1453. It also served as a mosque for more than 500 years and is now the second most visited museum in Turkey. With its complex history and incredible atmosphere, this is one of the best places in Istanbul to visit.

Topkapı Palace

While we’re on the topic of the most visited museums in Turkey Topkapı Palace holds the first place. This mesmerizing palace hosted dozens of Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. The unique architecture, incredible art collections and holy relics make this place a must-see while visiting İstanbul.

Sultanahmet Mosque

Also known as The Blue Mosque, people go to this whimsical place to embrace its architectural beauty and to participate in daily prayer services that still occur in the mosque. Still as functional as it was hundreds of years ago, we recommend visiting Sultanahmet Mosque on a Daily Tour in İstanbul

Kariye Museum

Once a medieval Greek Orthodox church, Chora is a 1500 years old chapel. Mosaics and frescoes of this place are breathtaking examples of the Byzantine art. Now, serving people as a museum, Kariye takes its place on Istanbul’s must-sees.

Dolmabahçe Place

Before the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Dolmabahçe Palace was home to the Sultans. The glass and crystal features of the palace attract tourists greatly and more than 50,000 objects, presented in hundreds of rooms, will show you the grandeur of the Ottomans. Being one of the most famous places in İstanbul, make sure to get your ticket as early as possible.

Hagios Georgios Church

Also known as Aya Yorgi Church; the ethereal atmosphere of the area and the panoramic view outside will leave you in awe. The monastery has been on the same spot since 963, therefore it’s one of the oldest buildings in the city. Exploring İstanbul is never complete without visiting the Prince Islands and their incredible historical artifacts.

Neve Shalom Synagogue

The religious and cultural diversity of İstanbul is a kind that you can’t see anywhere else. The large Jewish population of this beautiful city has many places they can honor their beliefs at and is one of the most special ones for sure. Understanding the harmony of İstanbulites will offer many new perspectives for you, so make sure to check Neve Shalom Synagogue and their museum out.

Fener Greek Patriarchate

Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate was established by one of Jesus’s Apostle Andrea in AD 37 and is one of the few churches in İstanbul that has never been converted to a mosque. Strolling around this incredible church and hearing its many ancient stories will be a unique experience for everyone involved. The area around the church is also protected by UNESCO and the Christian history of İstanbul will amaze you while witnessing it first hand.

Blachernae Panagia Church

Famous for its holy spring, this church was built in the 5th century. It also carries the famous nickname “First Day of the Month Church” because of an ancient ritual that takes place every month. So if you’re available, make sure to visit this place on the first day of the month. The history of this ancient city cannot be fully told by any list. Check out the Culture Tours in Istanbul and visit the ones that interest you the most. You can also contact us any time of the day for a little bit of help!