What can you see in Istanbul, Turkey and free walking tours? Hagia Sophia is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was once a church and a mosque but is now one of the most visited museums in the world. For 916 years it was a church and then following the conquest of the Sultan Mehmed, it was converted into a mosque and remained so for 482 years. In 1935 it was converted into a museum and visitors can enter daily to see the mosaics, calligraphy, tiles and Sultan’s lodge.
If you just want easy access to Istanbul’s top attractions without a guide, then another option would be to go on a Big Bus Tour. For me, there’s no better way to become acquainted with a new city than these Hop On Hop Off Tours. Double decker buses ply set routes that take you to many of the top attractions in Istanbul, and you can hop on and off as many times as you want for the duration of your pass. Very convenient indeed. The Grand and Egyptian Spice Bazaars are Istanbul’s most popular bazaars. One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 3,000 shops, you can buy all sorts of things at the Grand Bazaar like leather goods, jewelry, carpets, clothing, furniture, ceramics, and souvenirs.
Hagia Sophia was one of the biggest buildings in the world when it was constructed in the 500s. A true architectural masterpiece that influenced building designs and practices, it was originally an Orthodox Cathedral. It was later converted into a Catholic Cathedral, and then an Ottoman Mosque, serving as the city’s main mosque for many years. Each religion has left its mark on the stunning building. Today, it is a museum. Often said to be one of the most spectacular examples of Byzantine architecture on the planet, the pale building is topped with a glorious dome. There are several half domes, buttresses, and towers too. The insides are ornate, with ancient mosaics, large urns, statues, and other impressive aesthetic features. Marvel at the grand building from the outside and be dazzled by the striking interiors. Walk along the nave to stand underneath the gigantic dome and be awed by the way that light floods through the many windows, almost making the dome appear as though it is floating. The lustrous marble, detailed mosaics, arches, and other decorative elements are sure to impress. Explore a few extra details at Free walking tour of Istanbul.
Lying under the city of Istanbul is the world’s most extensive ancient cistern system, named Basilica Cistern. The Basilica Cistern consists of hundreds of old cisterns built in the 6th century under the order from Emperor Justinian I, the Byzantine ruler at that time. Basilica Cistern is located about 150 meters southwest of Hagia Sophia. The cistern is standing on an area of 9,800 square meters, and it was able to hold up water up to 80,000 cubic meters, enabling it to provide clean water to Great Palace of Constantinople and other buildings on the First Hill. The Basilica Cistern was mistreated during the Ottoman Empire. In 1985, the Istanbul authority decided to clean the site and turned it into one of the most famous Istanbul tourist attractions. The impressive construction and the history of the building have attracted many tourists in Istanbul.
Our free walking tour of Istanbul take you on a travel thru Istanbul’s deep history. Our Tours are educative and entertaining, we don’t offer unexciting details! Check out Istanbul’s bustling avenues and explore 10.000 years of remarkable and interesting history. Our Istanbul walking tours promise enough laughs thru fun information and facts as well as stories. Read a few more details on here.