First place undoubtedly has to go to Istanbul because it was the capital-ruling centre of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and many of their former buildings still stand today. The old part of the city that is the Sultanahmet district belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage collection includes prominent landmarks and buildings such as the former church, mosque, and now museum of the Hagia Sophia.


Across the square is the Royal Ottoman Blue Mosque dating from 1616 that is famous for its six minarets, only one of two mosques in Turkey to be built in this style. Around the corner is the Topkapi Palace, first home of the Ottoman dynasty when they invaded Constantinople in 1453. Nearby is the Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Archeological Museum and further afield is the Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, and Suleymaniye Cami, the biggest mosque in Turkey. The list of goes on and on and a walk around this district is one of the most popular guided tours of Istanbul.



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