Cost: TL7; Thu free
Located on Karakoy's waterfront, Istanbul Modern opened in 2004 as Turkey's first modern art museum. The permanent gallery shows Turkish art from the 19th to early 20th century, and temporary photography exhibitions downstairs. There's also a shop ... Continue reading

Archaeology Museum

Cost: TL10; children free
The Archaeology Museum boasts a vast collection divided between three buildings in the grounds of Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet. Exhibits date back to Ancient Egypt and Rome but save your energy for the Museum of Ancient Eastern Works, with carved ... Continue reading

Ataturk Kultur Merkezi (AKM)

Cost: Not Specified
A huge 1970s monolith facing Taksim Square, Ataturk Kultur Merkezi (AKM) is a multi-purpose cultural centre, programming classical concerts, opera, ballet and music festivals. The acoustics are good, and this is Istanbul's largest concert hall. Che... Continue reading

Blue Mosque

Cost: Free
Few of Istanbul's attractions can match the 17th-century Blue Mosque for its beauty and regal grandeur. Officially titled the Sultanahmet Mosque, it is known as the Blue Mosque for the 20,000 blue hand-carved Iznik tiles which adorn the interior ce... Continue reading

Cemetery of the Great Eyüp

Cost: Not Specified
A steep hillside walk from Eyüp brings you to one of the religious districts of Istanbul. The top offers great views of the area and is home to an Ottoman cemetery and a number of shrines, including the Sultan Eyüp Mosque.... Continue reading

Galata Bridge

Cost: Free
The Galata Bridge stretches across the Golden Horn from Karakoy to Eminoglu over the Golden Horn. The upper level buzzes with traffic and local fishermen casting lines enthusiastically into the water. Walk back towards Karakoy along the lower level... Continue reading

Galata Mevlevihanesi

Cost: TL5; Whirling Dervish ceremony TL25
Galata Mevlevihanesi in the district of Tunel is Turkey's only Whirling Dervishes centre open to the public. The magnificent building and peaceful courtyard includes displays of the Sufi sect's musical instruments and the tomb of poet Galip Dede.... Continue reading

Galata Tower

Cost: TL10
The sturdy Galata Tower was built in 1384 as an observation point and today its distinctive conical roof still looks over the Golden Horn. Take the lift up 12 floors where the viewing gallery offers spectacular panoramic city views of Topkapi Palac... Continue reading

Haghia Sophia

Cost: TL10
Haghia Sophia is an Istanbul highlight and its minarets are visible through much of Sultanahmet. It was originally a Byzantine church, but was converted into a mosque by Muslim conquerors. Today its immense domed interior is a museum. Ascend to the... Continue reading

Kariye Museum

Cost: TL15
Kariye Museum, also known as Chora Church, contains some of Istanbul's finest Byzantine frescos and mosaics. The 11th-century building in Edirnekapi has remarkable scenes depicting 14th-century Christian iconography, which was later covered over wh... Continue reading

Pera Museum

Cost: TL7; concessions TL3
The Pera Museum opened in 2005 in a restored 19th-century Ottoman building in Beyoglu and houses the private collections of Suna and Inan Kiraç. The five floors of exhibition space include Ottoman portraits and a grand piano that once belonged to ... Continue reading

Rumeli Hisari

Cost: TL3
The three sturdy towers of Rumeli Hisari are part of a striking fortress in the upper Bosphorus. Built in 1452 by Mehmet the Conqueror for the Ottoman's final siege of Constaninople, it is also used as an occasional summer concert venue.... Continue reading

Suleymaniye Mosque

Cost: Free
Built by architect Mimar Sinan and completed in 1557, peaceful Suleymaniye Mosque is a masterpiece of Ottoman design. The complex includes schools, kitchen, hospital, cemetery and the marble tombs of Sultan Suleyman and Sinan. Subtle stained-glass ... Continue reading

Topkapi Palace

Cost: TL10; Harem extra TL10
Istanbul's most famous attraction, the vast Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet was the hub of Ottoman power for three centuries. Visit the gleaming Treasury, Mother of Sultan's apartment and the sultans' "family tree" of portraits. The Harem is well wor... Continue reading

Whirling Dervishes at Sirkeci Station

Cost: Not Specified
Dressed head-to-toe in white, with tall red hats, the trance-like performance of the Mevlevi order of Sufis, or Whirling Dervishes, is increasingly well-known. Performances almost nightly are held at Sirkeci Station, an unlikely venue for a mystic ... Continue reading