Archeological Museums: A huge collection of over 5,000 historical artifacts spread over 20 galleries, this is truly a world class museum. With exhibits spanning from Ancient Egypt to the modern day, including a 4th century sarcophagus from Lebanon and a frieze from a gate in Babylon.
Istanbul Modern: The first large-scale gallery dedicated to modern art in the city. It was opened in 2004 and is sited in a converted 86,000 sq ft warehouse. It contains both public and private collections and features work by Monica Bonvicini and Fahrelnissa Zeid among others. An interesting mix of Eastern and Western Modern art at it's best.
Yerebaten Sarayi: A huge underground, strangely fascinating, cistern. Its light shows, music and shadows create a very special atmosphere. There are 2 large heads on columns thought to be of Medusa.
The Blue Mosque: A beautiful building, that was given its name as a result of its interior, with flower and tree decorations. Built in the 17th century, this beautiful mosque contains the tomb of Ahmet 1st and can provide a cool and interesting respite from the heat of the city.
Hidiv Kasri: One of the best known buildings in Istanbul, this stunning building was formally the official home of the Egyptian hierarchy during the Ottoman Empire. It provides a good insight into Ottoman architecture.
Topkapi Palace: The palace building was started in the 15th century, but different rulers changed and added to the structure until the 19th century. The seat of the Sultans and the canter of the Ottoman Empire it was, at the same time, also an academy of arts, music and dance, and also a harem.
Hagia Sophia: A church for over 900 years and a mosque for over 400 the building is now a museum, and a work of art in its own right. It contains many mosaics and wall paintings, best visited early or late in the day as it is one of the busiest sites in the city.
Transport is generally good and can be a cheap way of getting around. It is also a good way to meet some of the locals and to get a few pointers as to the best value restaurants (i.e. not the tourist ones). Many speak at least some English and you should have not trouble getting by. The food is in many ways similar to Greek food and is a very Mediterranean mix of meat; very often lamb, fish and salads, all usually freshly cooked to order and reasonably priced.
A holiday in Istanbul is a delight to the senses. It will give you wonderful memories and is an experience, you will never forget. It will leave you wanting to return again and again