12 Places To Visit In Istanbul For Cultural Tourism Purposes

When we think of Istanbul and its magnificent history, the places to visit and see is boundless. If you are visiting or planning to visit Istanbul for cultural tourism, have a look at our suggestions. Good reading!



Istanbul Bosphorus Tours, one of the favourite activities of those who visit Istanbul for cultural tourism, is a great way to understand and feel Istanbul. By participating in the Bosphorus tours organized in Istanbul, it is possible to see the structures that are strong pieces of Istanbul culture such as Rumeli Hisarı, Anadolu Hisarı, Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, Küçüksu Pavilion, Beylerbeyi Mosque, Esma Sultan Yalisi, Hagia Sophia Museum and Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower and more.

Belgrad Forest

Belgrad Forest is one of the most important green areas in Istanbul. That green area is the first place for Istanbul residents to go when they feel suffocated by city life. Apart from that, drinking water was supplied to Istanbul from this forest during the Byzantine and Ottoman periods for many years. It is one of the places that must be visited because of this aspect and the recreation spot understanding of the people of Istanbul.

Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

After Istanbul was conquered, Topkapı Palace, which was started to be built in 1460 and completed in 1478, has been the education, administration and art centre of the empire for four hundred years. That is why it is of great importance to understand 400 years of the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire. Topkapı Palace took its place in the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1985.

Istanbul Archeology Museum

Istanbul Archeology Museum

Istanbul Archeology Museum, which subjects to the Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism is located in the Sultanahmet district. The museum which is inherited from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey offers a great opportunity to understand the first museology activites in the country. As a result of Osman Hamdi Bey’s appointment as a museum director in 1881, excavations were made in many places around the empire such as Mount Nemrut, Lagina Ancient City, Kyme Ancient City, and Myrina Ancient City, and historical artefacts. Most of them were collected in this museum. Istanbul Archeology Museum is among the top 10 museums designed and used as a museum building in the world. Here, it is possible to see beautiful works from Mesopotamia to Anatolia.

Grand BazaarGrand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar, the oldest and largest shopping centre in the world, has a history of 550 years. This place has benefited the people of Istanbul and tourists for hundreds of years. Today, when it comes to Istanbul for cultural purposes, it is possible to find many pieces from Istanbul culture. There are jewellers, gift shops, leather imitation shops and more.

Prince’s IslandsPrince's Islands

Prince’s Islands, which is one of the frequent destinations of tourists coming to Istanbul, has 9 islands. Of these 9 islands, Burgazada, Büyükada, Heybeliada, Kınalıada are frequently visited and open to visitors. Prince’s Islands are of great importance to understand the summer resorts understanding of Greek and Armenian communities. It is also of great importance to understand the exile and habitat perception of this archipelago during the Ottoman and Byzantine periods.

The Blue MosqueThe Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque, which is a mosque visited by many enthusiasts, is located right across Hagia Sophia. This mosque is one of the most important structures in Istanbul. The mosque, which was built by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I between 1609 and 1616, is one of the typical examples of classical Turkish architecture, is the first mosque originally built with 6 minarets. Although it is not a work of Mimar Sinan, it was made by Sinan’s student Architect Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa. Therefore, it is possible to see Sinan breezes.

Hagia SophiaHagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia Museum, which is of great importance for the Christian and Muslim world, was built for the 3rd time by I. Justinian between 532 and 537. This building, which had held the title of the largest cathedral in the world for 1,000 years, was turned into a mosque after the Conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Hagia Sophia became a museum in 1935. Hagia Sophia is very important for learning the beliefs and cultures of the empires that Istanbul hosted for centuries.

Rumeli FortressRumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress is of great importance for the conquest of Istanbul. Because several sieges made before the conquest in 1453 and all were prevented by the walls of the Roman period. However, Anadolu Hisarı and Rumeli Hisarı, which were apparently built for different purposes, made it easy to take Istanbul. This is a must-see place.


Kuzguncuk, one of the most original and mysterious corners of Istanbul, is one of the rare locations that can protect itself with its unique texture. This location is the first Jewish settlement in the Asian part of Istanbul. It is known that the place was a Jewish village in the 17th century. Today, the sound of adhan, bell and hazan meet here. This place, which must be seen by those who will visit Istanbul, resembles a series-movie plateau with its beauty.


Beyoğlu, one of the districts of Istanbul on the European Side, is one of the must-see places with its cultural background. This is very important for comprehending the old Istanbul, the value of Istanbul and the elegance of Istanbul. When you come here, it is possible to see the very important historical and cultural experiences of Istanbul.

Pera Palace HotelPera Palace Hotel

There are districts that make Istanbul, real Istanbul. One of these districts is undoubtedly Beyoğlu. Beyoğlu is a great spot to remember the classical elegance and beauty of Istanbul. In this beautiful place, there are amazing places to visit to get to know the culture of Istanbul. One of them is the Pera Palace Hotel, which has been in the most beautiful corner of Istanbul for over 120 years and has simply challenged history. Since 1888, Pera Palace Hotel has been a frequent destination for Orient Express passengers. That place is the first hotel in Turkey with the European standards, and the founder of the New Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk has been repeatedly accommodated. Room 101 where Atatürk was staying is now a museum room. Pera Palace Hotel has firsts such as the first painting exhibition, the first Christmas ball, the first kitchen where curry spice was used in the Ottoman and where the turtle soup was cooked. At the same time, important names such as Persian King Muhammad Ali Qajar and Reza Pahlavi, British King VIII Edward, Serbian King Pierre, German Ambassador Von Papen, American First Lady Jacquelin Kennedy stayed here. Many works of world-famous writers are also mentioned here. Pera Palace Hotel was built by Architect Alexandre Vallaury, which has brought many beauties to Istanbul, including the Istanbul Archeology Museum. Pera Palace Hotel is a museum-hotel due to its rooms full of memories of famous guests. Therefore, it is a hotel that must be visited and toured with its atmosphere.


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