Unique Places in Istanbul

  • Japanese Garden, Istanbul, TR
    Japanese Garden, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, TR
    Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha Mosque,...
    by TrendsetterME
  • Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
    Energy Museum, SantralIstanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME

Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Istanbul

  • chellibean's Profile Photo

    Turkish Cooking

    by chellibean Written Jul 31, 2011

    Not a lot of people think of taking a cooking class when going to Istanbul, or traveling in general. It is one of my favorite things to do! I highly recommend it in Istanbul, as the food is in general, fabulous. Who wouldn't want to be able to make it at home?

    My friends and I located a likely looking school close to our hostel. Cooking Alaturka is run by a Dutch woman who moved to Istanbul many years ago. Together with the chef Feyzi, Evaline teaches and runs the restaurant. The food was great, the instruction was easy to follow and the people were fun to talk to.

    The class size was just 5 of us, but as I understand it from the website, it can get up to 10. Definitely worth a look into!

    Chef Feyzi hard at work
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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    Istanbul audio Guide

    by bogomil Written Apr 6, 2011

    Explanation: Experience the historical peninsula of Istanbul. You will witness three cultures and a time span of 2,500 years. As you walk and listen to Istanbul Audio Guide, you will learn about the architectural mastery of Rome, Byzantinum and Ottomans.
    After seeing the most important churches and mosques, you will enter important museums and see the heart of commerce during the Ottomans by touring in the Old and Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is the only city located in two continents and it has been hosting three religions, three cultures and three empires.
    After this, you will continue with Galata-Beyoglu region which is the most important part of social and daily life of Istanbul during 20th and 21st centuries. You will walk through the Galata while you will witness the Genoese and Byzantium remainings of the city. In Taksim, you will see the night life and entartainment centers of Istanbul during day and night.

    Spots: The tour includes 33 tracks:

    1) Introduction to tour
    2) History of Istanbul
    3) Sultanahmet Square
    4) Egyptian Column
    5) The Serpentine Column
    6) The Stone Obelisk
    7) Blue Mosque
    8) German Fountain
    9) Hagia Sophia
    10) Topkapi Palace
    11) Istanbul Archeological Museums
    12) Million Stone
    13) Basilica Cistern
    14) Gülhane Park
    15) Eminönü
    16) The Spice Bazaar
    17) The New Mosque
    18) Grand Bazaar
    19) Süleymaniye Mosque
    20) Galata Bridges
    21) Arab Mosque
    22) Galata Square
    23) Galata Tower
    24) Beyoglu Region
    25) Tunel
    26) Istiklal Avenue
    27) Saint Antoine Church
    28) Pera Palace Hotel
    29) Galatasaray High School
    30) Galatasaray Turkish Baths
    31) Flower Passage
    32) French Cultural Center
    33) Taksim Square

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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  • FAIRYCHIMNEY's Profile Photo


    by FAIRYCHIMNEY Written Jan 6, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beyoglu is amazing.Words cannot tell how i feel thrilled losing in the narrow streets..Each time i explore something new.
    There is a second hand books passage right in the Beyoglu fish Market.Its huge and you can find anything"old" you like.

    Personal organizers from 60's, black/white pictures, historical books in reasonable rates.Movie Posters,Records....

    Definately worth to go and pay a visit...

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  • FAIRYCHIMNEY's Profile Photo


    by FAIRYCHIMNEY Written Jan 6, 2010

    I am not rich.To be honest, i am broke most of the time.Reason is my cat gets sick very often.Then i spend a fortune to experience gourmet food at home and out.

    See ? But, there are some activities in life shouldnt be missed in life.Such as microlight flight in Cappadocia,rafting in Zamanti,hiking in Black Sea, scuba diving in Death Sea..........etc.

    Try helicopter flight in Istanbul and conquer the city.Make jealous Mehmet the Conquerer :)
    There few options in different budgets, for 15 minutes,30 minutes, 1 hour : But well worth paying !

    Dont forget to get a bottle of shampaine :)

    Related to:
    • Adventure Travel
    • Luxury Travel

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    by balhannah Written Aug 3, 2009

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    These historical boats were used for more than just commuting, having been among the most popular and elaborate entertainment forms of the Ottoman Empire.
    The Sultan's boats that carried the ruler of the empire, the Sultan, was the only person who could own the largest boat (30 meters x 2.5 meters) and have the greatest number of oarsmen (26). Only he was allowed to travel around the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus on this spectacular boat specifically designed and decorated to show his imperial wealth, power and prestige.

    The Sultan's outings on this boat were a spectacular event. As the Sultan embarked, canons would be fired from the ships at the port and the maiden's tower as a procession of smaller boats lead the way. People gathered along the seaside would bow down as the Sultan passed.

    Now you can do tours on these boats.
    Palace excursion...........Not available Mondays or Thursdays
    Bosphorus tour (departs Dolmabahce Palace) 19:30 during the week
    13:30 & 19:30 on the weekend.
    Golden Horn Tour(departs Eyup)18:30 during the week 13:30 & 18:30 on the weekend
    ..or private.

    For more details...............

    There are a few different routes.

    Sultan's Boat tour
    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo


    by balhannah Updated Aug 3, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When visiting the Fatih Mosque, make sure you don't miss having a look at the Tomb and cemetery. The Tombs of Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, his wife, and Sultan Mahmud II's mother, are here.
    Mehmet II spoke seven languages (including Turkish, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian and Latin) when he was 21 years old.
    Mehmet II's portrait was depicted on the reverse of the Turkish 1000 lira banknotes of 1986-1992

    As well as the Tombs there is quite an interesting cemetery, with a large number of graves belonging to leading state officials. A lot of them are locked!

    You can go inside and pay your respects at the Tomb, amongst the many Turkish people that were doing just that the day I visited.

    Where: Fatih Mosque, Fevzi Pasa Caddesi

    Entrance to the Tombs One of the Tombs Cemetery at the Mosque
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel

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  • balhannah's Profile Photo


    by balhannah Updated Aug 2, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yildiz Palace, meaning Star palace, built in 1880, is the second biggest palace in Istanbul, was used by the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II. In the late 19th century, Sultan Abdulhamid II left Dolmabahce because he feared a seaside attack on the palace, so he expanded the Yildiz Palace.

    The sultan’s residence was in the Sale pavilion. The building has two floors and a basement and was constructed in three phases.

    The first part was built in the 1870s and was designed to resemble a Swiss chalet, hence the name Sale. Sir Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle were among the visitors to this part of the palace.

    The second section was added in 1889 to accommodate Kaiser Wilhelm II, who was the first foreign monarch to visit Istanbul. It was during this phase that the Mother-of-Pearl Salon was added. The name derives from the extensive use of mother-of-pearl that covered almost all of its surfaces. There are also detailed painted landscapes on the ceiling.

    The third section was also built for Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898. The reception chamber was built during this period and remains the most impressive room in the entire Sale Pavilion. There is a single carpet on the floor that has an area greater than 400 square meters and was hand woven by 60 weavers. Elegant features of the chamber include a gilded, coffered ceiling and large mirrors. Abdulhamid II was a skilled carpenter and actually made some of the pieces of furniture that can be found in the Sale Pavilion.

    This is another beautiful Palace well worth visiting.
    The day I was here was a free admission day.

    ADMISSION IN 2009 was 6 t/l Camera fee 15t/l


    ENTRY through Yildiz Park - Barbaros Bulvari, Cirigan Caddesi, Palanga Caddesi Besiktas district

    Yildiz Palace interior Sale pavilion Antiques Yildiz palace interior Yildiz Palace interior
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo

    Sehzade Mosque

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written May 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Sehzade Complex (Külliye) was built for Prince Mehmet, the son of the Süleiman the Magnificient in 1549.
    The mosque has an area of 38x38 meters with a central dome that was constructed on four big columns. The dome has a diameter of 19 meters and a depth of 53 meters. The central dome was supported by four half-domes. The mosque has two minarets with two sherefes (minaret balcony) each with ornamentation and decoration pretty far from the architectural simplicity of that period.

    You may watch my high resolution photo of Istanbul on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 41° 0' 52.52" N 28° 57' 21.34" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Sehzade Mosque .

    Sehzade Mosque Sehzade Mosque
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • Arkeolog's Profile Photo

    Istanbul From 200m. by Balloon

    by Arkeolog Written Mar 30, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When you visit Istanbul, you can watch Istanbul up above 200 meters in a Balloon. Turk Balloon is the project name and Kadikoy Municipality is arranging this activity. A huge balloon which can carry up to 30 people at one time is rising up 200 meters above the sea level. The balloon moves only up and down.

    The Balloon is taking off near from the Sea bus port at Kadikoy, The Port on the Asian Side. If you take a ferry from Eminonu to Kadikoy, it will take you to Kadikoy ferry port in 25 minutes.. There you need to walk around 150 meters to the Sea bus port to the right side.. and the base for the Balloon is there.. Due to the size of the Balloon you can see it easily :)

    The price of the Balloon ride is 15TL. Roughly 10,- USD. The balloon is operating from 09:00 to 18:00, however it is being affected from weather conditions. So windy and rainy days they do not operate.

    At the top point i felt little different but my 5 years old daughter Lidya encouraged me with her big smile :) View is great anyway...

    Turk Balloon from European side of Istanbul Turk Balloon Istanbul view from Turk Balloon

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    Yes to Yesilkoy

    by Tijavi Updated Apr 16, 2008

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you're a looking for a place to kill time during transit that does not involve maxing out credit cards on duty free shopping, Yesilkoy seems the perfect location. It's right next door to Ataturk International Airport, and offers a slice of real Istanbul - the more affluent side that is. This quaint seaside village is characterized by lowrise colorful, homes, inviting roadside cafes and a fairly scenic beach and marina complex where affluent Istanbullus take their dogs for an early morning run.

    If you have 3-4 hours to spare between flights, take a cab (costs about 10 lira one way) to Yesilkoy (less than 10 minutes), enjoy a slice of delicate borek and a strong cup of coffee at one of the borek shops on the main road, stroll down to the beach to enjoy the fresh sea breeze before you get back to the airport for your next flight. There are plenty of taxis waiting along the main road to take you back to the airport.

    Yesilkoy is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered for travellers tired of touristy Istanbul. I wouldn't have discovered this nice little slice of real Istanbul if it were not for the excellent suggestion of my arkadas (friend) Ozan (neodue) in one of the VT forums. Thanks, Ozan!

    Colorful boats at the marina A scenic beach Colorful affluent seaside homes Flowers growing on the sand! A quaint neighborhood
    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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    by neodue Written Feb 14, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Before to coming to see Istanbul you can get and Idea about Isatnbul's most Important historical places and you can compare it with images of in your mind





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  • supune's Profile Photo

    Strole along Mar Mar Sea

    by supune Written Dec 26, 2007

    We walked from near where the Blue Mosque was to the Mar Mar sea. We got to see alot of the different neigborhoods in the Old City. There was an area to play basketball and futbol. It would have been nice to play a game with the locals if I had time. We had apple tea and some fish at near by cafe. It smelled a little like fish because we were so close to the fish market. We ate roasted chestnuts, cashews and other nuts from the street merchants. There were a couple street merchants that wanted to sell us stolen or fake brand name watches.

    walkway next to park along Mar Mar sea

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  • Tdiver's Profile Photo

    Yuvacik dam and Serindere valley.

    by Tdiver Written Sep 10, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like the black sea region but is only 2 hours from Istanbul.Great for picnics and guaranteed peace and nature.Fresh river fish restaurants tucked away in odd places.Rhododendron everywhere,plus other wild flowers and animals, even tortoises.Great views.
    Around an hour to the west of Istanbul is Izmit,take the turn off for Izmit otogar/Yalova.From the turnpike take 1st left signed,Yalova,keep going heading D130.Keep going and you will eventually see a Yuvacik sign.Head towards town but at the 1st roundabout turn right and keep going up,this takes you around the west of the town, follow signs Yuvacik Baraji.As you reach the Dam turn left and cross the dam and turn right,signed Camiduzu.Keep on when you reach Cataldere sign turn right side of it.From now on stop anywhere you fancy.We carried on through Camiduzu,turned for Serindere.4km up track is a Yellow Mosque,3km to Serindere to the right.Picnic area beside the river before you go up into Serindere village.It had been dry so we were able to hike along and through the river downstream for quite a way.

    Hiking along Serindere river valley,near Yuvacik. Serindere river valley,near Yuvacik. Hiking along Serindere river valley,near Yuvacik. Fresh water crab by the Serindere river,nr Yuvacik Serindere river valley,near Yuvacik.
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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  • Sirvictor's Profile Photo

    The Famous Streets of Istanbul

    by Sirvictor Updated Jan 23, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Freemasonic Temple at Nur-u Ziya street in Istiklal Caddesi.

    Hadji Bektas Veli was a famous scolar who lived in XIVth and XVth centuaries. He influenced Turkish life with his humanistic thoughts. I believe that he influenced masonry also. Here is a verse of him which is typical Masonic.

    "The apprentices hew the stones
    They submit them to the master
    And cut out each piece
    In the name of the Holy God"

    "Sakirdleri tas yonarlar
    Yonup ustada sunarlar
    Calapýn adýn anarlar
    Tasin her bir paresinde"

    Nur-u Ziya
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • traveloturc's Profile Photo

    Ottoman Archives

    by traveloturc Written Dec 31, 2006

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    As an imperial centralised state, the bureaucracy of the Ottoman Empire produced a vast amount of state documents, most of which are now located in the Ottoman Archives. The first state documents was moved to the Imperial Treasury and the Inner Court of the Topkapý Palace. It was not until 1845 that any attempt was made to establish what we consider in the modern sense s state archive, when he cataloguing of these documents was begun;
    The Hazine-i Evrak, "treasury of papers" was set up to organise and catalogue these state documents, and a separate building was built to house them. During the Republican period, the Hazine-i Evrak, the Ottoman Archives, was put under the administration of the Prime Minister's office under the direct supervision of the director of the General State Archives. The process of cataloguing this immense collection of state documents continues today by a large number of professionally trained staff of experts. The catalogued documents are accessible to modern scholars, foreign and domestic.

    otoman archives
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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