Istanbul | Turkey

On my way back to India from The United States, I took a Day Tour sponsored by Turkish Airlines which was a wonderful way to explore the main tourist attractions in Istanbul. One of the best 12 hours layover tour anyone can opt for. Truly a memorable day during my layover in Turkey.

Some of the tourist attractions included, Hagia Sophia a former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome.

The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design. Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

The Topkapi Palace is a large museum in Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans.

Construction began in 1459, ordered by Mehmed the Conqueror, six years after the conquest of Constantinople. Topkapi was originally called the "New Palace" to distinguish it from the Old Palace in Beyazit Square. It was given the name Topkapi, meaning Cannon Gate, in the 19th century.

The Suleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. An inscription specifies the foundation date as 1550 and the inauguration date as 1557.

The tour guide we were assigned was the best. She knew every nook and corner of Istanbul with the history and significance of each and every place we visited, who could took care of all the visitors with a smile on her face the whole day. She would even translate everything for Non-English speakers. One of the best soul I've met.

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