The most important highlights of Istanbul are situated just right around the Sultanahmet Square so you can easily visit them in one day.
Now a museum, Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian, and was one of the largest basilicas in the Christian world. After the Ottoman conquest, it had been converted to a mosque and is today one of the most magnificent museums in the world. Take a moment to linger here in order to admire the fine Byzantine mosaics. (closed on Mondays)
Being one of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style. The mosque has six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles.
The Hippodrome of Constantinople
Horse racing waspopular pastime in the ancient world and hippodromes were common features of Greek cities in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras. Here are thefour monuments within the Hippodrome area; the German Fountain ('The Kaiser Wilhelm Fountain'), Obelisk of Theodosius, Serpent Columnand the Column of Constantine.
The Basilica Cistern
It is also known as the 'Sunken Palace' or 'Yerebatan sarayi' in Turkish, was constructed by Justinian in 532 to supply water to the Byzantine Palace primarily.
Basilica cistern is a very authentic place and a must see in Istanbul.
Being the largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, your visit to Topkapi promises to be a truly fascinating experience. (closed on Tuesdays).
In operation since the 14th century, the Grand Bazaar is one of the world's largest covered markets, with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. The bazaar is specially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and carpets. (closed on Sundays)