First of all, tourists in Istanbul need to see the grandiose Hagia Sophia. It was once the main cathedral of Byzantium, which the Ottomans rebuilt into a mosque. Another symbol of the city is the Blue Mosque. Inside it, you can see 20 thousand white and blue ceramic tiles. Admission is free.
Be sure to climb the ancient Galata Tower, at the top of which there is an observation deck. Another interesting place is the Basilica Cistern, an underground reservoir resembling a mystical palace.
Until the middle of the 19th century, the Topkapi Palace was the main residence of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Inside you can see thrones completely covered with gold, a unique collection of porcelain, the relics of Jonah the Baptist and the staff of Moses.
Another palace, Beylerbeyi, is a whimsical mix of east and west. It is full of Bohemian glass chandeliers, exquisite carpets and ship-shaped objects. The Beylerbeyi Gardens are full of different types of trees and offer beautiful views of the Bosphorus.
Suleymaniye is the largest and most beautiful mosque in Istanbul. Anyone can visit the mosque, it's free. After visiting the mosque, you can get to know its famous founder better. Under Suleiman I, the Ottoman Empire acquired unprecedented power.
Baths are part of Turkish culture. Istanbul has many ancient hamams that have been in operation for several centuries. The most popular ones are located in the heart of the Old City - "Chamberlitash" established in 1584 and "Ayasofya Khurrem Sultan" founded in 1557.
People go to Istanbul for Turkish sweets, leather, sheepskin coats, bed linen and quality clothing. A Turkish lamp made of multi-coloured mosaics can become a very beautiful and useful thing - they are inexpensive and are found everywhere.
In Istanbul, you need to visit the Grand Bazaar, the largest bazaar in the world, an entire city within a city, where it's easy to get lost: there are more than 4,000 shops on 66 streets.
Balik-ekmek is one of the most popular snacks on the streets of Istanbul. This is a sandwich with fried fish and various vegetables. You can try it in any busy square, and it is quite inexpensive. The most famous Turkish sweets are baklava, halva, pismanie, nougat and many others. You can try sweets in bazaars, cafes or buy packaged ones in regular grocery stores.
The Bosphorus Strait divides the metropolis into two parts ─ Europe and Asia. Such a walk will allow you to see the main architectural sights of the city from the best perspective. There are also evening cruises if you want to see Istanbul in the night lights. Usually, they are held with dinner and entertainment - belly dancing, folk dances and other shows.
As a bonus, it is worth telling about one more attraction of Istanbul, but this time, an unusual one. There is no other city in the world to find such a number of cats on the street as in Istanbul. Tourists will not be able to avoid meeting them.