Attractions

Top Choice Palace in Sultanahmet & Around

Topkapı Palace

Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together. Libidinous sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines and scheming eunuchs lived and worked here between the 15…
Top Choice Palace in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Dolmabahçe Palace

These days it’s fashionable for architects and critics influenced by the less-is-more aesthetic of the Bauhaus masters to sneer at buildings such as Dolmabahçe. However, the crowds that throng to this imperial pleas…
Historic Building in Western Districts

Phanar Greek Orthodox College

Rising Hogwarts-like from the urban jumble, this Fener landmark, known locally as kırmızı kale (the red castle) for its castellated red-brick facade, still functions as a Greek school. A small student body of some 5…
Monument in Sultanahmet & Around

Spiral Column

Coming up out of a hole in the ground, this strange column was once much taller and was topped by three serpents' heads. Originally cast to commemorate a victory of the Hellenic confederation over the Persians in th…
Monument in Sultanahmet & Around

Obelisk of Theodosius

In the centre of the Hippodrome, this immaculately preserved pink granite obelisk was carved in Egypt during the reign of Thutmose III (r 1549–1503 BC) and erected in the Amon-Re temple at Karnak. Theodosius the Gre…
Monument in Sultanahmet & Around

Rough-Stone Obelisk

After sacking Aya Sofya in 1204, the soldiers of the Fourth Crusade tore all the plates from this obelisk, at the Hippodrome's southern end, in the mistaken belief that they were solid gold (in fact, they were gold-…
Landmark in Bazaar District

Aqueduct of Valens

Rising majestically over the traffic on busy Atatürk Bulvarı, this limestone aqueduct is one of the city's most distinctive landmarks. Commissioned by the Emperor Valens and completed in AD 378, it linked the third …
Historic Building in Western Districts

Palace of Constantine Porphyrogenitus

Though only a shell these days, the remnants of this Byzantine palace give a good idea of how it would have looked in its heyday. Built in the late 13th or early 14th century, the large three-storied structure may h…
Historic Building in Sultanahmet & Around

Alay Köşkü

Built into the wall of Gülhane Park, this intriguing, polygonal building is where the sultan would sit to watch the periodic parades of troops and trade guilds that commemorated great holidays and military victories…
Palace in Beşiktaş, Nişantaşi & Ortaköy

Çırağan Palace

Not satisfied with the architectural exertions of his predecessor at Dolmabahçe Palace, Sultan Abdül Aziz (r 1861–76) built his own grand residence at Çırağan, only 1.5km away. Here, architect Nikoğos Balyan, who ha…