Stained glass window in
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque
main sightseeing districts are Sultanahmet, Beyoğlu and
but the western
districts of historic Constantinople/
Istanbul (map) hold
numerous places worth visiting.
It makes sense to visit
Walls and Mihrimah
Sultan Mosque together
and, if you have another hour or two, Eyüp and
Loti Café as
On your way back to the city
center, if you go along the Golden
can visit the Ecumenical
Patriarchate of Constantinople and
of St George. as well
as the cast-iron Church
of St Stephen of the Bulgars.
A good way to reach all of these out-of-the-way
places efficiently is on a half-day Istanbul
city tour. There are some
good, inexpensive ones. More...
the Fortress of the Seven Towers, is
a bit farther away (about 6 km/3.7
miles) to the south, so you may visit
that on the same day, or another day.
Built in the 13th century as the Church
of the Holy Savior in the Country (Chora
Church), it is Istanbul's only Byzantine church still filled with mosaics. More...
Emperor Theodosius II built Constantinople's mighty
land walls in the 5th century, and they kept out all
enemies until the coming of Mehmet the Conqueror in
1453. They've been extensively restored in modern times. More...
The Byzantine Palace of Constantine
Porphyrogenetus is just a shell,
and is curently under restoration,
but you can inspect its location,
built right into the city walls only
a short walk west of the Kariye Museum.
Among the city's most graceful, "feminine"
mosques, it's no surprise it was
built by a princess.
It's near Edirnekapı in the City Walls,
and is easy to visit when you're near
the Kariye Museum. It's been closed
for renovation for several years,
but may be open in 2012. More...
The grand mosque and tomb of Eyüp
are sacred to both Islamic
religion and Ottoman
history. The Loti Café offers
panoramic views of the city, and a romantic
You can visit the seat of the Orthodox
Patriarchate on the Golden
and admire the sumptuous pariarchal
Church of St George. More...
Called the Golden Gate in Byzantine times, the Fortress of the
Seven Towers was an Ottoman treasury, and the prison
for high-value captives, such as foreign
ambassadors of enemy countries. More...