Culture & Travel22 February 2023
Istanbul is a stunning place with its history, culture, and beauty, visited by countless tourists throughout the year. There are many bridges, mosques, parks, gardens, and cafes where you can watch the city, where the view is just as breathtaking. Istanbul, which presents different and beautiful views at every hour of the day and in every season of the year, is worth watching from afar.
1. Suleymaniye Mosque
Suleymaniye Mosque, which is a must for local and foreign tourists, rises majestically on the third hill above the Golden Horn of the old city and offers a magnificent view of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Visiting the Suleymaniye Mosque is especially worthwhile during the late afternoon sun and sunset.
2. Galata Bridge
If you want to take beautiful panoramic photos of Istanbul at night and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a panorama bar, you should take a pleasant walk on the Galata Bridge. This place is not that high, but the center of the city and almost all the great mosques are clearly visible from here. The most beautiful thing is that the Galata Bridge is always open, so it can be visited at any time, and the view is completely free.
3. Ferry to the Islands
The ferries departing from the Bosphorus every day to the Islands in the Sea of Marmara prove that you don’t always have to go up to admire the beautiful city panorama of Istanbul in all its splendor. Thus, you pass all the major tourist attractions of the city on water, for example, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapı Palace. A trip to the Islands in Istanbul is valuable not only for relaxation but also for the view of Istanbul.
4. Galata Tower
Located above the city and the medieval Genoese quarter, Galata Tower rises 68 meters above the hills of Istanbul. This structure, which was once a part of the Byzantine defense system, today attracts many tourists who want to see Istanbul in 360 degrees. Especially its location makes Galata Tower one of the most beautiful viewing points in Istanbul. It has a direct view of the famous old city covered with minarets on the opposite side of the Bosphorus.
5. Dragos Hill
It is possible to catch the view of the Prince Islands and the Sea of Marmara from Dragos Hill, which is another viewing point in Istanbul. There are also facilities for those who want to visit the place in Kartal known as “Istanbul’s Balcony.” You can have breakfast or sip your coffee with the view from the hill.
6. Büyük Valide Han
The roofs of Büyük Valide Han are located next to the Grand Bazaar. Today, Büyük Valide Han has been restored and turned into small workshops or warehouse areas for artisans. Its roofs offer one of the most beautiful views of the city.
7. Pierre Loti Hill
The terrace of a cafe you can go to on this hill in the Eyüp district will offer you a breathtaking view of the Golden Horn. Especially Pierre Loti Cafe is a place worth visiting. The cafe is named after the French writer Pierre Loti, who loves to relax on the hills of Eyüp and is passionate about Istanbul. It is possible to reach the cafe by cable car. Weekends are perfect for a magical moment.
8. Çamlıca Hill
If you want to listen to your head, you will love the Büyük Çamlıca Hill on the Anatolian side of the city. This is the highest hill in Istanbul, at an altitude of 268 meters above sea level. In fine weather, head there to admire the panoramic view and enjoy the gardens, cafes, and tearooms.
9. Bosphorus Cruise
A boat trip on the Bosphorus is an opportunity to discover new perspectives on the city. You can have the opportunity to admire the magnificent panorama of many monuments, such as Dolmabahçe and Beylerbeyi palaces and even the Maiden’s Tower. You can take a look at hundreds of Istanbul mansions, which are large wooden mansions from the Ottoman Empire stretching along the Bosphorus. You may even spot a few dolphins with a little luck.
10. The Hills of Büyükada
The hills of Büyükada, the largest of the Princes’ Islands off the coast of Istanbul, offer an incredible view of the archipelago and the city. At the top of the hill, you will find the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George, where you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama from the terrace of the restaurant/café located right next to it. Perched in a little haven of tranquility, it is the ideal place to become aware of the vastness of Istanbul.
11. Topkapı Palace
Many views of Topkapı Palace owe much to its location at the edge of the Palace, overlooking Istanbul’s old port, the Golden Horn. It was built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet between 1465 and 1478. It may take more than a day to explore this historical Palace, but do not leave without watching the view of the Bosphorus on the terrace of Topkapı Palace Konyalı Restaurant, located in the Topkapı Palace Museum.
12. Gülhane Park
Gülhane Park, Istanbul’s largest park, also has another small park full of fishermen fishing by the sea, and from here, you can get incredible views of the entire Asian part and the modern European part, the Bosphorus Strait and the Bosphorus Bridge in the background.
13. 360 Istanbul
As the name suggests, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of Istanbul from this ultra-modern terrace. It is located on the top of a historical building, and although the prices are not that low, having a drink with live music and witnessing such a view is a must for those who come to Istanbul.
14. Ortaköy Beach
One of the most well-known sights of Istanbul is, without a doubt, Ortaköy Beach. The building, also known as Ortaköy Mosque and whose real name is Büyük Mecidiye Mosque, adds beauty to the Ortaköy landscape. You can take a walk along the beach or sit on the benches or on the grass if you want to stop and watch the scenery.
15. Maiden’s Tower
The Maiden’s Tower, which has a great contribution to the view of Istanbul, is also very convenient for cruising from there. If you want, you can come here on the hourly departures, or even use the restaurant for special occasions or stay on Salacak Beach and enjoy it from afar.
16. Vogue Restaurant & Bar
Located on the rooftop of BJK Plaza, this restaurant/bar offers you a view of the Bosphorus and the bridges. The place that is frequently preferred, especially for dinners, is a place where you can both fill your stomach and have a pleasant time with the vast view of Istanbul.
17. Çengelköy Beach
If you want to experience Istanbul in a nostalgic way, do not go without stopping by Çengelköy Beach. The most important place you can go to watch the beautiful view of Istanbul on the Çengelköy Coast is the Historical Çınaraltı Family Tea Garden. It is possible to feel the Bosphorus with you while drinking tea here.
18. Aydos Hill
Aydos Hill has a peak of 537 meters above sea level. This makes it the highest point in Istanbul. As such, it is impossible not to see the breathtaking view of Istanbul. Aydos Forest and recreation areas can be found among the places you can visit while you are here.
19. Beykoz Grove
Beykoz Grove or Beykoz Grove Social Facility is a place that families often prefer. Of course, where you can walk in the forests, have breakfast at the facilities and get plenty of fresh air away from the city, of course, you can’t do without seeing the view. When you look towards the city from Beykoz Grove, the view of the Bosphorus greets you. A place intertwined with nature where you can spend your weekend.
20. Ulus Park
Ulus Park, where you can watch Istanbul and, most importantly, the Bosphorus view, is among the most beautiful parks in Istanbul due to its location. When you come here, you get the opportunity to see the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, the Bosphorus Bridge, and the Anatolian Side together.