Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a city; the mysticism of the East and the modernity of the West, the constantly time travel between the past and the future, the balance of the traditional and the modern. Istanbul not only joins continents, it also joins cultures and people.



The Historic Areas of Istanbul are a group of world heritage sites in the major district of Fatih of the city. Istanbul is a city full of history and invites visitors to experience its rich culture and beauty.


Historical Places in Istanbul

Istanbul has the endless number of impressive historical places to visit. If you are a true enthusiast of history and enjoy visiting remarkable historic buildings and iconic landmarks, we recommend you to spend time around and in the heart of Istanbul.


Istanbul's Historic Areas

Istanbul is the only city situated on two continents in the world. Istanbul's historical attractions that were added to UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 includes four locations. Sultanahmet Archaeological Park, Suleymaniye Mosque and the Protection Zone including its surrounding area, Zeyrek Mosque and the Protection Zone including its surrounding area and the Istanbul Land Walls Protection Zone. It is possible to venture between the pages of history by visiting the Hagia Sophia Mosque, Blue Mosque, Archaeological Museums and Basilica Cistern in Sultanahmet area.

These areas differ from each other in terms of the periods and characteristics of the cultural property that they house, and they display the urban history of Istanbul.

Istanbul invites you to visit these outstanding universal values and see their high standard of craftsmanship.


A Capital of History

The city, which has been settled since 6500 BC, served as the capital of the Eastern Roman and Ottoman Empires. More than 120 emperors and sultans ruled the city for more than 1600 years.


Istanbul is a holy city where mosques, churches and synagogues exist side by side, and even declare their unity. Blue Mosque; Hagia Sophia and its unique mosaics; Topkapi Palace, the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire; Suleymaniye Mosque the masterpiece of imperial architect Mimar Sinan rising above the Golden Horn; Basilica Cistern; the City Walls; the timber houses; and the music dancing at the domes of Hagia Eirene announce Istanbul as the capital of history and culture.


UNESCO World Heritage

The Historic Areas of Istanbul, which are situated on a peninsula surrounded by the Sea of Marmara, Bosphorus and Golden Horn, were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.

Official Name: Historic Areas of Istanbul

Date of Inscription: 1985

Category: Cultural

Reference: 356

Location: Istanbul, Turkey


Istanbul is a city where the past is very much alive; you can find a bit of history in every corner, but the city is constantly changing. Here is the list of 10 amazing historical landmarks in Istanbul you have to experience.


Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace, famous for being one of the most beautiful landscapes that make up Istanbul's skyline, a treasure trove of history on the historical peninsula. Constructed between 1460 and 1478 during the reign of Fatih the Conqueror, Topkapi Palace was home of the Ottoman dynasty and harem for over 400 years. The palace is also home to magnificent 86 carat Spoonmaker's Diamond.


Maiden's Tower

Known as Leander's Tower, which is situated on the Sea of Marmara at the entrance of the Bosphorus, is famous for its legends and iconic architecture. The Maiden's Tower is a perfect place to enjoy the enchanting view of the Bosphorus from within.


Galata Tower

One of Istanbul's most fascinating monuments, Galata Tower was built in the 14th century by the Genoese. The tower is where Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi flew from. He was the first man ever to fly using wings. Galata Tower, which is one of the oldest towers in the world, was added to UNESCO Tentative List in 2020. It is among the outstanding universal values of Turkey.



Bosphorus is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia. Hop on the city liner boats to see traditional waterfront houses along the Bosphorus or watch the beautiful silhouette of Istanbul.


Sultanahmet Square

Sultanahmet Square, known as Hippodrome in Ottoman and Byzantine era, now fascinates visitors by important monuments such as Hagia Sophia, New Mosque, Basilica Cistern and Obelisk of Theodosius.


Rumeli Fortress

Rumeli Fortress, also knowns as Bogazkesen, offers visitors a visual feast with a magnificent view of the Bosphorus.


Dolmabahce Palace

Dolmabahce Palace was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire for almost a century, then it served as the house of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. Situated outside the palace, Dolmabahce Clock Tower is 27 metres high and was built in 1895.


Istanbul Archaeological Museums

Istanbul Archaeological Museums that established by Osman Hamdi Bey, consist of the Archaeological Museum, Museum of Ancient Orient and Tiled Kiosk Museum. Exhibiting the works of arts from different civiliziations that marked the history, the museum itself is a gorgeous example of Neoclassical Architecture in Istanbul.


Flower Passage

After the big Beyoglu fire, the passage hall of this building started to host flower shops and restaurants and it came to be known as the Flower Passage. Here you should have a taste traditional Turkish meze (side dish) with traditional drink Raki.


Grand Bazaar

One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world containing thousands of shops selling anything from jewellery to silk garments and from carpets to leather. It is just like shopping in those old movies.