The best sights to see and wine to drink when visiting Istanbul

The best sights to see and wine to drink when visiting Istanbul

Turkey is the only country that occupies two continents; Europe and Asia. This makes the country very varied, with both Eastern and Western influences conveyed in their culture and history.

This contrast also applies to its food and drink, with this mix becoming more popular with visitors to the country than ever before.

If you do plan to visit Istanbul, it is recommended that you try and sample the local food, as well as the locally produced beers, spirits, and wines.

 One recommendation is to try:

Solera Winery

This place is great if you want to enjoy a little conversation with your glass of wine. Unlike most other places in Istanbul, the Solera Winery provides the perfect setting for you to try an abundance of different varieties of locally produced wines, and discuss each of them at length with your friends and family. Solera Winery provides over 1,100 varieties of wine that you can sample at your leisure.

 There are plenty of places to go and try the local cuisine, with each restaurant or bar offering its very own variety of locally produced wine. Try visiting the below sights, as each has a great selection of bars and restaurants nearby.

Basilica Cistern

This sixth-century system that bought drinking water into Istanbul from Thrace, is now one of the city’s most romantic destinations. It was largely forgotten about up until recently and has been modernized with light fittings and a music system. Around the 336 bases of the columns, which support the ceiling, you will find fish swimming in harmony with their new surroundings. There is also an upside-down head of Medusa on one of the column bases, which provides proof that the Byzantine builders saw Roman relics as reusable items that could be used in their very own constructions.

Aya Sofya

Emperor Justinian’s sixth-century Byzantine structure, this famous building has had many uses over its time. First, a church, then a mosque, and now a museum, is simply beautiful. There has been plenty of restoration work though, and for good reason. The building offers visitors a chance to visit the tombs of early Ottoman sultans, as well as their slaughtered sons. You will also find a stunning collection of glittering mosaics that are present in the galleries.

Topkapi Palace

This has to be one of the ‘must sees’ in the city. The Topkapi Palace has been home to plenty of the country’s sultans, wives, and families. Here you will find courtyards fit for sultans (a little obvious, but they are comparable to those found on some English estates) and stunning views over the Sea of Marmara. Topkapi Palace also has a wonderful Turkish bath, which you can visit. However, the palace does get busy, so it is best to take in all the wonders of Topkapi Palace in Mid-Season, or when the cruise ships are not visiting.

Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam

If you are looking to visit a traditional Ottoman bathhouse, then Istanbul is the place to be. The city offers several bathhouses, which you can visit, and these include Çemberlitaş, Cağaloğlu, Galatasaray, and Sülemaniye baths. You will already have an image in your mind of what these bathhouses look like, and you will be right in assuming that they are furnished in marble, with big domes that are supported by lavishly decorated internal walls, with the sound of running water all around. See out the day with a massage, with experts on hand to ensure that you have the most relaxed evening of your life.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

This iconic building is world-renowned as the ‘Blue Mosque’ because of its beautiful blue tiles. The construction of the mosque began in 1609 and was completed in 1616 by Architect Mehmet Aga, who worked on other imperial mosques such as the Fatih Mosque. It stands out from others due to its six minarets which is a symbol of the Ottoman Empire. As you enter the mosque, it’s hard not to be impressed by the intricate design and artwork. Inside are 260 windows decorated with stained glass, Iznik tiles, marble pillars and a mihrab (prayer niche) which faces toward Mecca. Also an impressive feature is its 20,000 colorful Iznik tiles that line its walls.

Kabatas Pier

The Kabatas Pier located along the Bosphorus strait is one of Istanbul’s most vibrant tourist spots. It offers breathtaking views of both sides of the city and provides a unique experience for visitors to embark on a boat tour discovering some of Istanbul’s most beautiful sights including Maiden’s Tower, Haydarpasa Train Station and Ortakoy Square. It’s also popular for its famous restaurants – like Reina – where you can enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine alongside locals enjoying their weekend night out. On your visit to Kabatas Pier you can also enjoy shopping at chic boutiques or exploring charming cafes that offer some stunning coffee specialties and great views overlooking the bridge towards Uskudar district!

Galata Bridge

The Galata Bridge serves as a connection between Beyoglu district on one side of the Golden Horn bay to Karaköy district on the other side. This enormous structure divides two continents: Europe and Asia, making this bridge one of Istanbul’s landmarks which has been standing since 1845! As well as providing pedestrians with an amazing view, this bridge is also home to many fishermen who come here early in the morning hoping for good luck! Visitors can enjoy delicious freshly-caught fish from one of many restaurants located at either side of this magnificent structure. For those with an interest in photography, Galata Bridge is definitely worth visiting at dusk when it looks particularly stunning with all lights brightening up its silhouette against golden waters below!

Istanbul is an amazing city that has something for everyone. From iconic sights like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, to vibrant tourist spots such as Kabatas Pier and Galata Bridge – it’s a place where you can immerse yourself in culture, enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine or just relax with a massage session at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Istanbul offers plenty of activities and experiences that will leave your heart full and satisfied! So pack your bags now and get ready for an unforgettable journey in this beautiful city!

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