Turkey's favorite tourist spot: the Byzantine section of Istanbul - Inc News
, автор: Дарья Барташевич

Turkey's favorite tourist spot: the Byzantine section of Istanbul

Istanbul is a city of contrasts. It combines everything: beautiful buildings and dirt in the streets, ancient architecture and ruined buildings, expensive stores and cheap markets, high-level establishments and eateries.

Источник фото: freepik.com

Turkey has always been one of the favorite countries of European tourists, and in the last six months, it has become not just a place to rest in all-inclusive hotels, but also a jumping-off point for trips to Europe, a place of gastronomic and cultural tourism. The number of Russian tourists in the country is increasing every day, and the Russians have taken first place in the purchase of real estate in the country.

Today I offer you a route through the Byzantine part of Istanbul, which is the largest port of the country, a cultural and religious center, a city of contrasts.


"Life isn't such a bad thing," I think sometimes. - After all, you can always take a stroll along the Bosphorus" - Orhan Pamuk.


Istanbul... What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear its name?

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

Bosporus, cafes, bustling streets, markets, mosques or something else? For me, it's a city of contrasts. It combines everything: beautiful buildings and dirt in the streets, ancient architecture and ruined buildings, expensive stores and markets, high-class establishments and streetfood. To get to know this city well a few weeks is not enough. But you can start with a walk through the old streets and classic routes.

It is important to understand that Istanbul is divided into several parts by the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmara: European, Asian and Byzantine. Interestingly, the names do not depend in any way on the population living in their territory, they depend on the parts of the world where parts of the city are located.

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Кафе на Гранд Базаре

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

If you have a few days in the city, first of all I recommend you to go to its historical, Byzantine, part, where the ancient Constantinople was located. If you are staying in the European part, start your walk at the Galata Bridge.

Гранд Базар

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

You will be welcomed by the New Mosque, but only new in is it's na,e. It was built in 1597 by order of the wife of one of the sultans. Right next to the mosque there is an Egyptian bazaar, where you can find spices, dried fruits and all sorts of Turkish sweets. The prices are really touristy. But nobody told you not to bargain!


Here you will find Gulhane Park, the oldest park in Istanbul, which is located behind the stone walls and is the outer gardens of Topkapi Palace. In its northern part is the Gothic column, which was erected to commemorate the victory of the Roman emperor over the Goths. It dates back to the 3rd or 4th century AD. The park is a favorite place for locals who stroll along the paths, meet friends, go on dates, sit on benches and have picnics.

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

Behind the high walls is the building of the Archaeological Museum with a huge collection of Greek and Byzantine artifacts. There is even a hall of Troy. An interesting discovery was that Homer's "Iliad" was very influential in shaping society and its opinions in 1194-1184 BC.

Археологический музей

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

After the museum go a little further and you will see Topkapi Palace, the main palace of the Ottoman Empire up to the 19th century. The number of exhibits in the museum reaches 65,000 and there is a mosque on the grounds. It is interesting to walk through the park inside the fortress walls and visit the museum store.

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

Next, we leave the palace and find ourselves in a small square, in front of which is the main sanctuary of Byzantium and modern Istanbul - the Hagia Sophia Cathedral, now the Hagia Sophia Mosque. It is better to buy tickets in advance, as the queues are gigantic. On the right side of the cathedral is an ancient street with wooden facades of houses, along which I strongly recommend a walk.

Мечеть Султанахмет

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

On the opposite of Hagia Sophia is the Blue Sultanahmet Mosque, the main mosque of the city and one of the symbols of the city.

Мечеть Султанахмет

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

Then we walk to the Grand Bazaar. However, here you need to be prepared for the fact that there are a tons of people there. It is worth haggling to the last minute and keeping your bag close to you.

Гранд Базар

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

Behind the bazaar is another historic mosque, Sulaimaniye. This place offers a magnificent panoramic view of the city. A little beyond the mosque begins unfavorable areas, so it is better to go back and take another walk through the old colorful streets.

Кофейня-кондитерская в Галатапорте

Источник фото: Дарья Барташевич /cafesociete.ru

You can find best coffee in local coffee shops, of which there are many. Baklava and rakhat-lukum, too. We recommend to choose restaurants based on Tripadvisor ratings it works really good in cities well known by the tourist in Istanbul.