Istanbul's Top Architectural Sites Featured

Experience Istanbul's worldy influences with these historic structures. 

Istanbul’s architectural scene is a mixed bag. Sandwiched between Europe and Asia, the city’s global influences are found in everything from the food, fashion to architecture. The city’s Gothic, Byzantine, Ancient Greek, Baroque and Ottoman Empire architectural styles are apparent in these stunning buildings that surround the lively city. Be sure to check out these man made spots all around Istanbul.


Hagia Sophia

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This Greek Orthodox basilica has changed its purpose over the years, however its beauty remains static. Hagia Sophia is a symbol of Byzantine architecture with all of its coloured marble, mosaics, frescoes and low domes. Today, the building serves as a stunning museum situated in the Old City of Istanbul.

Related: The most breathtaking historical sights in Istanbul

Topkapi Palace

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This enormous museum once served as a home for Ottoman sultans. Feel the royal presence come alive in the structure’s jewel tones, intricate patterns and ornate artifacts. Surrounded by lush greenery, this Istanbul staple is filled with hidden features that can have you wandering around it all day.

Related: 10 things you need to know about Istanbul

Basilica Cistern

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The high ceilings, numerous columns and upside down Medusa statue are what make this building special. Also doubling as a set for the 1963 James Bond film, From Russia with Love, this structure has cultural footing. Impossibly remarkable, the Basilica Cistern was forgotten about for hundreds of years, and was only rediscovered when a French traveller rediscovered it in 1545. Visit this absolutely haunting underground treasure next time you’re in Istanbul.

Related: 6 of the best Istanbul landmarks 

Beylerbeyi Palace

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“Beylerbeyi” translates to Lord of Lords, and that is just what this palace screams with its ornate details. This house was created and designed divided by an ornate men’s living area and a simple women’s one. Ottoman style architecture is everywhere with its crystal chandeliers hanging, french scripts and arabic inscriptions.

Related: Karaköy, Istanbul: a guide

For more ideas on how to Do, Dine and Spend in Istanbul and beyond, visit our Destinations pages.