Updated: Jul 5, 2018
1. Ortakoy Mosque
This spot is my favorite coordinate in Istanbul. If you do not mind splurging on appetizers and a cup of tea, the Banyan Restaurant is the place to soak up the view of the Ortakoy Camii.
2. Dolmabahce Palace
Here, you can marvel at the Gates to the Treasury and to the Bosphorus. The ornamental gates on the seafront of the Dolmabahce Palace is where you can magically find yourself in two places at once:
Standing in Europe, looking out towards Asia.
In the center of the garden, peacocks flock freely. During Ottoman times, this courtyard would have been full of peacocks. They spread their magnificent tails in the garden to attract their mates. It is truly wonderful to watch in the Garden, and a rare sight in Istanbul.
3. The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
The Seven Hill Restaurant terrace provides the best view of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque and the Hagia Sophia Museum. (It is also the perfect place for ice cream with halva after spending the day walking under the sun).
The Sultanahmet Square, which is in the heart of Istanbul, gives a tropical setting.
4. Hagia Sophia Museum (Ayasofya Muzesi)
The Hagia Sophia Museum showcased the architecture of the centuries, from Christianity to Islam, to the modern artwork. It is truly amazing to have the opportunity to stand alongside history.
5. The Galata Tower
The Galata Tower is by far the dreamiest place in Istanbul, where gliders once upon a time made their first leap into aviation.
The view from the Galata is exceptional. This panoramic view is indeed a wallpaper we will be hanging in our home:
Do not forget the Tea Shop behind the Galata Tower. Since we were in no hurry to leave the Galata, we made time for Afternoon Tea. The tea shop owner (seen on the top right) was kind enough to take our picture!
6. Maiden's Tower (Kiz Kulesi)
In Istanbul, one of the best places to watch the sunset is by the seaside, across from the Maiden's Tower. A cup of tea is enough to indulge in this view.
7. Fatih Korusu, Otagtepe
This park is actually a botanical garden and offers a stunning view of the Bosphorus. It is popular among locals, but less popular among tourists. It provides a different perspective of Istanbul, away from the city life.
8. The Bosphorus Strait
Taking a ferry ride on a Bosphorus tour in Istanbul is a must. One can easily lose themselves with the breathtaking views and the music of the seagulls. Make sure to feed them with simit for an extraordinary experience!
9. Süleymaniye Mosque
By the time we are out of breath climbing up the hill from the bazaar, this hidden gem appears. The climb was well worth for the spectacular view overlooking the Golden Horn. It almost felt deserted, which is rare since we were there during Ramadan's Iftar.
We felt calm and peaceful when we were in the compound of this mosque.
10. The Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel
Make your way up to to the terrace of the Renaissance Istanbul Polat Bosphorus Hotel for a beautiful sunset of the Bosporus. We stayed here during our visit to Istanbul, and we would definitely recommend it, especially the hamam treatments!