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Istanbul

Exploring Istanbul

1. Blue Mosque
One of Istanbul symbols, Sultan Ahmet Mosque is known also as Blue Mosque. Blue tiles decorate its interior and from here come its famous unoficial second name. Its popularity brings here a large number of visitors and, as it is a working mosque, the acess is controlled and tourists must use the south door.
If you decide to visit this spectacular architectural masterpiece you must to have in view the dress and behaviour code.

2. Topkapi Palace Museum
The sultans’ residence up to 17th century, Topkapi Palace was made a museum in 1924. It is a complex site consisting on four main courtyards, the palace, many smaller buildings and gardens.
The culture and history lovers can see here samples of Ottoman architecture and valuable exhibits that illustrate the life of old imperial times: clothes, weapons, armors, porcelain, miniatures and jewelries.
The museum includes also a library and collections from donations.

3. Basilica Cistern

Istanbul morning view

View of Sultanahmet by night, Istanbul

The most bizarre attraction of Istanbul is the former subterranean water tank Yerebatan, built in VI century. It could store 80 000 m3 of drinking water.
During the Early Roman Age on this place was a huge Basilica; an artistic, commercial and
legal centre and this is the reason why it is called Basilica Cistern.

4. Grand Bazaar has the fame of one of the oldest covered markets in the world. With over 3000 of stores and over 25 000 of employs it is also one of the largest. Even if in the latest years it has to face the modern shopping malls threat, its charm still fascinates people, especially the tourists. In 2011 this “old lady” turned 550 years and was world most visited site of the year.

5. Rare trees, nice ponds and over 120 plants species can be admired in Emirgan Park. The area is very popular for recreation due to its jogging and picnic facilities. Cafeterias and restaurants are arranged in The Yellow, Pink and White Pavilions, restored by the end of past century. The tradition of the city regarding the tulips growing was revived in this park by the construction of a dedicated garden and by an annual tulip festival that take place here since 2005.

6. Make an original travel in the history of toys together with your children by visiting the International toy museum. The museum presents in a very attractive way toys from over 40 countries. The exhibits date from 1700s up to nowadays.

7. Housed by the former residence of İbrahim Paşa, the grand vizier of Suleiman the Magnificent, Turkish and Islamic Art Museum presents valuable exhibits of Islamic calligraphy, tiles and ethnographic displays. Besides treasures originating in Abbasid caliphates from Baghdad and Samara and priceless ceramics it includes one of the most prized carpet collections of the world.

8. Walk up to Pierre Loti Hill to admire the wonderful view of Golden Horn and its historical buildings. Take a rest in the famous café bearing the same name, the preferred meeting place of lovers and couples or in one of its restaurants.

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