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Top Things to Do in Istanbul


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Rumelian Fortress

The ancient fortress was once the home to one of Turkey’s most revered leaders. Nestled on the banks of the Bosphorus River, this tall manmade wonder is a truly magnificent sight. Pack your hiking shoes and a picnic lunch if you fancy getting to the top for a delicious afternoon meal with stunning views. The Rumelian Fortress is open daily from 9am to 4.30pm except on Wednesdays when it is closed for general maintenance. For more information about summer concerts and events taking place at the fortress, contact your Istanbul hotel or local tour operator.

Istanbul Museums

Istanbul has long been associated with great bookmarks in the history and development of Europe and the Middle East. Its central position to the two regions has helped secure its place of importance throughout history. There are several different museums in the city, many which contain ancient relics from a variety of eras and empires. Relics from the Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine Empires can be found as well as artifacts from ancient Greece. There are also a number of important pieces in the Istanbul museums that demonstrate the development and cultivation of both Christianity and Islam throughout Europe and the Middle East over the centuries.

Istanbul Archaeology Museum is the largest historical museum in the capital city and contains some of the most interesting and valuable pieces in all of Turkey. There is also the Ataturk Museum, which is a dedication to the life and work of the famed Turkish leader who restored Istanbul’s greatness in the early 1900s. You might also like to visit the Asiyan Museum, which is home to a number of historical pieces belonging to the poet Tevfik Fikret, who ruled the literary world from the late 1800s to the early 20th century. For some truly exquisite and different displays try visiting the Calligraphy Museum. This particular art form has played a huge role in developing the country of Turkey into what it is today thanks to written works such as the Koran and many other imperial documents. To get a sense of how the country’s history has influenced modern daily life, try visiting the Modern Arts Museum. Here you will see a number of works from current artists as well as be able to view a timeline of modern art and how it has developed in this part of the world over the last few decades.

Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia Cathedral is probably one of the main must-sees when visiting Istanbul. Its ancient architecture and intricate design work still astounds both tourists and locals alike. Also located along the banks of the Bosphorus River, the large cathedral dome stands as a landmark to some of Turkey’s richest historical periods. Another great sight is of course the Bosphorus River itself - also known as the Istanbul Strait - which has some beautiful views of the city on offer . It is the perfect place to spend a sunny afternoon and an even better place to enjoy a delicious picnic on a fine day.

One of the most surprising things about the Hagia Sophia and the reason it is so popular amongst tourists, is the fact that it is home to both Christian and Muslim artifacts. The Hagia Sophia is distinguishable by the center dome located in between two extremely tall thin towers. It is also a great place to capture the perfect photograph especially because of the gorgeous fountain that sits outside the front of the cathedral in the center of the green luscious lawns.

Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Istanbul Hotel content.


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