City Orientation Walk, Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey's main city, straddling the Bosphorus Strait to bridge gap between Europe and Asia, is an ancient metropolis embracing cultural influences of many civilizations that once flourished on this land. The Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet part of the Old Town, the Roman-era Hippodrome, and the iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia are just some of the multiple historic landmarks adorning the city. To see these and other notable attractions of Istanbul, follow this orientation walk.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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City Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: City Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul (See other walking tours in Istanbul)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 13
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Author: kane
1
Blue Mosque

1) Blue Mosque (must see)

One of the most frequently visited and famous tourist spots in Istanbul, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque – popularly known as the “Blue Mosque” due to the blue tiles that adorn the walls of its interior – was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmed the First. It contains a tomb of the Sultan, a madrassah (religious school) and also a hospice. Despite being a very famous tourist attraction, it still functions as a mosque, and a call for prayer (azaan) still draws the faithful to its...   view more
2
Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

2) Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum

The Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum is a museum located in Sultanahmet Square in Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey. Constructed in 1524, the building was formerly the palace of Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha, who was the second grand vizier to Suleiman the Magnificent, and husband of the Sultan's sister, Hatice Sultan.

The collection includes notable examples of Islamic calligraphy, tiles, and rugs as well as ethnographic displays on various cultures in Turkey, particularly nomad groups. These...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Sultanahmet Square

3) Sultanahmet Square

The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı (Sultan Ahmet Square) in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı)

4) Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan Sarnıcı) (must see)

The Yerebatan Sarnıcı or the Basilica Cistern translates as “Cistern Sinking Into Ground” and is one of the many ancient cisterns that are present in the city of Istanbul. Located near the Hagia Sophia, on the peninsula of Sarayburnu, it was built in the 6th century AD by the Byzantine emperor Justinian the first. The name is derived from the Stoa Basilica upon which it was built. The Basilica was said to be built by Ilias and housed many structures and gardens. Historical texts state that...   view more
5
Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

5) Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) (must see)

This monumental structure was once an Orthodox patriarchal Basilica, then a mosque, and now, finally, is a Museum in the city of Istanbul. It was built in the fourth century by Constantine the Great as a Church, and it has seen much of the changing ruling powers of Istanbul ever since.

Many people mistake it as being dedicated to Saint Sofia, but the church was, in fact, originally dedicated to the second person of the Holy Trinity, and its full Greek name is “Church of the Holy Wisdom of...   view more
6
Topkapi Palace

6) Topkapi Palace (must see)

For most tourists, the Topkapi Palace is usually number one on the list of places to visit in Istanbul. This grand palace was the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years and is also a UNESCO world heritage site since 1985.

The Topkapi Palace is built on a huge scale with four courtyards and a Harem, and each location therein houses incredible displays of Islamic art, holy relics and history. The most prized collection is that of the Islamic relics which include the...   view more
7
Istanbul Archaeological Museums

7) Istanbul Archaeological Museums (must see)

The Istanbul Archaeology Museums (IAM) consist of three distinct museums: 1. The Archeological Museum 2. The Museum of the Ancient Orient and 3. The Museum of Islamic Art. Located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, near the Topkapi Palace, the IAM houses some of the most remarkable objects and collections that span over a millennium in world history. The most distinctive and famous item exhibited is the Alexander Sarcophagus which was once believed to be made for Alexander the Great. The...   view more
8
Spice Bazar

8) Spice Bazar

What to buy here: Hand-made Olive Oil Soap – Locally made natural health and beauty products are increasing in Turkey. Handmade olive oil soaps are combining this trend with the centuries old tradition from the hamams. Experience some of the world’s finest hand-made soaps. Soap makers combine high quality olive oil with other botanical extracts to create beautiful bars of soap for various skin types. A good place to buy this is in the Egyptian Spice Market (Mısır Çarşisi) located in...   view more
9
Rüstem Pasha Mosque

9) Rüstem Pasha Mosque (must see)

Built during 1561-63 and located in Eminonu, Istanbul, this is an Imperial Ottoman mosque of great significance. It was designed by the famed Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan for the Grand Vizier Damat Rüstem Pasha, husband of Princess Mihrimah, daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman “the Magnificent”.

The mosque has a large number of Iznik tiles (decorated ceramic tiles) that make it distinct from others. They are set in many floral and geometric patterns that cover not only the...   view more
10
Süleymaniye Mosque

10) Süleymaniye Mosque (must see)

Built by Suleiman “The Magnificent” and the famous Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan in 1557, the Süleymaniye Mosque is modeled in part on the Hagia Sofia, and in part on a Byzantine Basilica, in order to reflect the grandeur of the city’s past architectural monuments.

In 1660, the Süleymaniye Mosque was ravaged by fire and was restored by Mehmet IV. Unfortunately, restoration work has changed the mosque into a baroque-style structure and ruined the original architecture. The mosque has...   view more
11
Beyazıt Tower

11) Beyazıt Tower

The Beyazıt Tower is an old fire tower made of stone that was built in the year 1828. It stands at the site of the old wooden fire towers, made during the ancient times, which were actually swallowed up by flames. The 85 meter high tower stands in the old quarter of Istanbul, and it is still used today as a fire tower.

Before Aga Huseyin Pasa built a stone fire tower in 1828, two wooden fire towers had already been destroyed by flames. The tower can be visited by tourists, but a special...   view more
12
Beyazıt Square

12) Beyazıt Square

Beyazıt Square is a square in the district of Fatih, situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey. It is officially named Freedom Square, but is known as Beyazıt Square after the Bayezid II Mosque on one side of it. The Square is the former site of the Forum of Theodosius built by Constantine the Great. On one side of the square is the main entrance of Istanbul University; the Beyazıt Tower is on the university's campus and can be seen from the square. The current form of the square...   view more
Sight description based on wikipedia
13
Grand Bazaar

13) Grand Bazaar (must see)

One of the oldest bazaars in the world, the Grand Bazaar or the Kapalicarsi (“covered bazaar”) has more than fifty-eight covered streets and more than four thousand shops. Anywhere from a quarter to half a million visitors visit the bazaar daily.

The Grand Bazaar was built from 1455 to 1461 and has been open ever since. It is famed for its exquisite Turkish jewelry, silver decoration pieces, spices, Turkish delight (a famous Turkish sweet), pottery and carpet shops. Visitors can also find...   view more

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Create Your Own Walk in Istanbul

Creating your own self-guided walk in Istanbul is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Walking the Bosphorus Coast

Walking the Bosphorus Coast

What Istanbul is today and what it was in medieval times is due to the geographical location of the city and the fact that it lies on the Bosphorus shore. This tour will take you along the coast so that you can enjoy the beautiful view and admire the city's architecture.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.7 km
Churches Walking Tour

Churches Walking Tour

Constantinople was a center for religion and the orthodox Christianity for over a millennium and even after the Ottomans came many Christians remained in the city. There are many churches in Istanbul and each of them has its uniqueness.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 km
Architectural Walking Tour

Architectural Walking Tour

Istanbul can offer its visitors quite an unforgettable experience when it comes to architecture. Here you can admire both the architectural achievements of the long vanished Eastern Roman Empire and its influence and the traditional Ottoman-Arabic style. Take this tour to see some of the best examples these architectural styles.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 km
Museums Tour

Museums Tour

Istanbul is a city with nearly 2 millenia of history as a capital of empires and the largest city of the republic of Turkey. Tourists may see history on every corner, but museums have the finest artifacts on display. We invite you to walk through the best museums in Istanbul in the guide below.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.6 km
Theodosian Wall of Constantinople

Theodosian Wall of Constantinople

Constantinople was so named after the Roman emperor Constantine the Great who made the city the capital of the eastern empire. This walking tour will take you along the great wall that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Souvenir Shopping

Souvenir Shopping

Istanbul, throughout its history as Byzantium and Constantinople, has been a center of commerce and trade- a place to buy all kinds of exotic items. Today’s modern traveler in Istanbul also enjoys an interesting and colorful shopping experience. The sheer number of shops, bazaars, products, prices and insistent shopkeepers, however, can be overwhelming. To focus your search and improve your shopping experience in Istanbul, here is a list of suggested gift items that reflect true Turkish culture along with where they can be bought and their price ranges.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul Shopping Guide: 16 Turkish Items To Bring Home

Istanbul, known throughout history as Byzantium and Constantinople, has been a major center of commerce and trade, a place where merchants and general folk would rush to regularly in search of exotic things. In our days, modern travelers to Istanbul are also bound to enjoy a truly magnificent...