Blue Mosque

This early 17th-century Blue Mosque is one of only a handful of mosques in the world to boast six minarets. Some legends say the six were built by mistake, the Sultan wanted gold (altin) minarets but was misunderstood and they thought he requested six (alti). The walls are papered with fine İznik tiles giving it the blue appearance. This mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 and the tomb of Sultan Ahmed I is located here. Sultan Ahmed I gave his name to both the mosque and the neighbourhood.

The Bosporus is the 32 km (20-mile) long north-south strait that joins the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea in Istanbul. It also separates the continents of Europe and Asia. There are a number of cruises on the Bosporus that travel north toward the Black Sea that range in duration from less than 90 minutes to a few hours. This is a fantastic opportunity to sail past the palaces of the late Ottoman period an see them in their spectacular beauty. 

Grand Bazaar

This exciting market, which was started in 1461, is comprised of over 60 streets, 5,000 shops and attracts between 250,000 to 400,000 people per day! Finding ceramics, linens, spices, jewellery, carpets and many other items is an experience you must have. 

Topkapi Palace

Home to generations of sultans, their wives and families for approximately 400 years beginning in the 1400’s. The famous Imperial Harem were secluded here in a section that contained about 400 rooms. The secretive harem – really just the family quarters – is a maze of lushly-tiled rooms wrapped round a jewel of a Turkish bath.

Basilica Cistern

This is the city's most unexpected attraction. There are hundreds of cisterns under the streets and houses of Istanbul.  The Basilica Cistern provides a view of the complicated system that once brought drinking water into the palaces of Istanbul. It was constructed in the sixth century and then forgotten for centuries. It was accidentally rediscovered when it was noticed that people in the neighborhood would get water by simply lowering buckets into holes in their basements. Some even caught fish this way. The cistern that once stored the water has been fitted with lights and music. Fish swim around the bases of the 336 columns that support the ceiling. There are 2 heads of Medusa within the Cistern which are still a mystery as to why they are there and why they are upside down and sideways.