If you are planning to visit Istanbul 2010 to experience what Istanbul has to offer in cultural and artistic happenings, you will have the chance to visit some of the wonderful tourist attractions of the city as well. Istanbul is full of things to see that shouldn’t be missed because the city has so much to offer, so full of things to see and experience. There are markets, historical buildings, mosques, galleries, museums, and plenty of cafes, restaurants and hotels.
You may choose to take a taxi, or a bus tour of the city of Istanbul, but it is equally as easy to visit everything Istanbul has to offer by a simple walking tour. There are many tour companies in Istanbul that can assist you in seeing the city and taking you to the sights you won’t want to miss. You may also pick up a book from the many books available before you go, to help you plan what you want to see while visiting Istanbul this year.
The following is a brief summary of the tourist sights you won’t want to miss while you are in Istanbul (and this is a basic list). If you want to experience some of the wonderful markets in Istanbul, try the markets in the district of Eminonu, where you will find the Grand Bazaar, and the Egyptian Bazaar (also known as the Spice Market). You could possibly spend hours here, shopping for such items as spices, coffee, tea, Turkish Delight, colored glass lanterns, jewelery, textiles and just about anything else you would like to buy for souvenirs of your travels to Istanbul. The streets are busy, filled with the crazy traffic of Istanbul and the markets and pathways are full of pedestrians and everyone going about their business.
Nearby the market you will find the New Mosque (Yeni Cami) which sits on the square with a lively street market beside it, many pigeons, tourists and locals. Also, in Eminonu, you will be able to walk over the Galata Bridge where cars and many fishermen can be found. You can take a nice walk through the Galata neighborhood and visit the Galata Tower where there is a restaurant at the top and you can look out over the skyline of Istanbul. The Galata Bridge crosses over the Golden Horn to Beyoğlu. You can catch a ferry in Eminonu at the docks and for a cheap price, take a boat up the Bosphorus and see the city of Istanbul from the water.
Other major tourist sights you should not miss when traveling to Istanbul include the Topkapi Palace, the magnificent architecture of the Hagia Sophia Church, the Blue Mosque, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the elegant Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, and ancient Hippodrome. Also be sure to include the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column and the Fountain of Wilhelm II. Istanbul is known for its lovely palaces and former residences of the Sultans where you will find many beautiful gardens and fountains.
For more of the tourist sights of Istanbul, you will find them in the old neighbourhood of Sultanahmet. Also be sure to take a cruise on the Bosphorus, the waterway which flows from the North Sea to the Sea of Marmara. In Beyoglu, you will find the Pera Palas Hotel and many cafes.
For a lovely day trip in Istanbul (you can always stay longer), take a ferry to the Prince’s Islands and rent a horse carriage and driver to take you around the island. The Prince’s Islands are beautiful with superb views of the coast, the lovely old wooden houses, the church at the top of the mountain you can hike to, some cafes and restaurants. There are also a few hotels on the Prince’s Islands if you think you would like to stay overnight.
There is lots to see and do in Istanbul 2010 for the Capital of Culture year as the city opens itself to visitors and lovers of art and culture.