Topkapi Palace (Seraglio)
The tour comprises the majestic Topkapi Palace, also called Seraglio. It was once the royal residence of the emperors of Ottoman dynasty.
Now it is transitioned to a museum where tourists arrive to observe how the world of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries looked like. With quite a unique architecture, the magnificent palace has four courtyards and many smaller buildings.
Although there are numerous rooms in the palace, but only few of them are sanctioned for display purpose. The most significant of them is the Imperial Treasury Exhibition.
To make you add new items on your list of things to do in Istanbul; along the Golden Horn, in Fatih district, there are hidden beauties called Fener and Balat.
They are very close to each other; and with a walking tour, you probably will see one of the most beautiful streets in your life. Therefore, to clarify, let’s find out what else makes them so special.
Imagine these neighborhoods as the start and finish points. Fener is the one that is closer to the Golden Horn, inside of a triangle of Cibali, Ayakapi and Balat Gate.
It has been the habitat of gentlemen and Greek citizens until 1950s; and as you will guess, it still has marks of that precious lives. You can see the marks at Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarchate Church in Aya Yorgi, Metrology Church, Church of Panagia Muhliotissa, Aya Yorgi Potiras Church, Aya Yorgi Metokhi Church, John the Baptist Church and Sveti Stefan Bulgarian Church.
Besides these significant religious buildings, there are also schools such as Fener Greek Highschool (for boys), which is famous for its red-bricked gorgeous architecture. Thus, in Fener, you are able to see the marks of a hybrid culture of Turks and Greeks.
After a short time of walking, you will reach Balat. The neighborhood has many striking features; yet, the most attractive one is probably its pastel-colored old, wooden houses.
Along a street of cobblestone, the houses stand and wait for the amateur or professional photographers to capture them into their machines; and they definitely worth it.
The humble, colorful and cute streets of Balat is also a perfect place for the ones who likes the “indie” and “vintage” concepts, and they can find that particular type of boutiques for shopping, too.
Addition to its sincere vibes, it also has a content-rich background which waits for to be seen in Basilica of the Ecumenical Greek Patriarchate, synagogues and Byzantine churches that reflect the cosmopolitan history of the multi-raced lives of Jewish, Greek and Armenian people.
To sum up, during a simple walking on streets of Fener and Balat, your soul will be full of nostalgic energy and your eyes will be very pleased since every step you take in there will reach you somewhere is unique and mysterious piece of Istanbul.
Get ready for being tired of shopping, since the next station is Grand Bazaar, which locates at Eminonu, the center of Istanbul, with its extreme fame all around the world.
As being one of the biggest and oldest traditional bazaars of the world, there are more than 4000 shops in it, and basically, all types of shopping is possible there.
Yet, the most exciting thing about Grand Bazaar is that this tradition that you will experience has been lasting since the 15th century; in other words, you will be walking along the shops as civils of Ottoman Empire has done.
Istanbul, the most authentic European city opens its gates for you to enjoy the endless beauties of it. Of course, the memories last forever; yet, to share it with others who could not come and experience it with you, you can purchase gifts for them from Grand Bazaar.
As a better option, convince them to enroll in Ottoman Relics Tour in Istanbul together; therefore your happiness will be multiplied in your amazing excursions in Istanbul.