The Most Beautiful Part of Istanbul: Exploring its Stunning Landscapes and Architecture

Choose the part you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 17, 2024 06:25
Discover the mesmerizing wonders of Istanbul! As the melting pot of cultures and a bridge between continents, Istanbul boasts an array of breathtaking attractions that will leave you spellbound. At StrawPoll, we're on a mission to uncover the most beautiful part of this enchanting city, and we need your help! Dive into our interactive ranking of Istanbul's most captivating sights, from the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia and the majestic Blue Mosque to the bustling Grand Bazaar and the serene Bosphorus shores. Cast your vote for your favorite gem or suggest an undiscovered treasure that deserves recognition. Join us on this exhilarating journey as we unveil Istanbul's irrefutable charm and splendor, one vote at a time!

What Is the Most Beautiful Part of Istanbul?

  1. 1
    Hagia Sophia
    Arild Vågen · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This iconic mosque-turned-museum is a remarkable monument of Byzantine architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its stunning dome and intricate mosaics make it one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul.
    Hagia Sophia is a Byzantine-era monument located in the heart of Istanbul, Turkey. It is renowned for its breathtaking architecture and historical significance. Originally constructed as a church, it later served as a mosque and is now a museum. The grandeur and beauty of Hagia Sophia make it one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
    • Unique Feature: Imperial Door, mosaic decorations
    • Architectural Style: Byzantine
    • Construction Period: 532-537 AD
    • Height of Dome: 55.6 meters
    • Diameter of Dome: 31.24 meters
  2. 2

    Topkapi Palace

    Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror
    The former residence of Ottoman sultans, Topkapi Palace is a magnificent complex of courtyards, chambers, and gardens. Its exquisite tiles, fountains, and decorations make it a must-visit attraction.
    Topkapi Palace is an opulent historical palace located in Istanbul, Turkey. It was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, from 1465 to 1856. Overlooking the beautiful Bosporus Strait, the palace is a magnificent architectural masterpiece that showcases the rich history and grandeur of the Ottoman Empire.
    • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
    • Construction Started: 1460
    • Construction Completed: 1478
    • Architect: Various Ottoman architects
    • Style: Ottoman architecture
    Topkapi Palace in other rankings
  3. 3
    Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, this 17th-century mosque is one of Istanbul's most recognizable landmarks. Its six minarets and intricate blue tiles make it a true masterpiece of Ottoman architecture.
    The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is an iconic landmark situated in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I.
    • Architectural Style: Ottoman architecture
    • Location: Sultanahmet Square, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Materials: Mainly blue-grey limestone and hand-painted blue tiles
    • Size: The mosque covers an area of about 24,000 square feet
    • Dome: The main dome has a diameter of 23.5 meters and a height of 43 meters from the ground
  4. 4

    Bosphorus Strait

    Natural formation
    The strait that separates Europe and Asia is not only a crucial waterway but also a breathtaking natural wonder. Enjoy a boat tour to admire its scenic shores, historic landmarks, and panoramic views.
    The Bosphorus Strait is a narrow waterway that separates the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, Turkey. It connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, making it a crucial international waterway for trade and transportation. The Bosphorus is known for its stunning natural beauty, with the city's historic and modern landmarks lining its shores. It is considered one of the most scenic and captivating parts of Istanbul.
    • Length: approximately 30 kilometers
    • Width: within the range of 700 meters to 3 kilometers
    • Maximum depth: about 120 meters
    • Current Speed: varies from 1 to 2 knots
    • Bridges: 3 bridges connect the two sides: Bosphorus Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge
  5. 5
    Grand Bazaar
    Masygreen · CC BY-SA 4.0
    One of the world's oldest and largest covered markets, the Grand Bazaar is a shopper's paradise with over 4,000 shops selling everything from spices to jewelry. Its colorful stalls and vibrant atmosphere make it a feast for the senses.
    The Grand Bazaar is one of the most enchanting parts of Istanbul, known for its rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and incredible variety of goods. It is a bustling marketplace that has captivated visitors for centuries.
    • Size: Covering an area of 54,653 square meters.
    • Number of Shops: Over 3,000 shops.
    • Architecture: Designed in a labyrinthine layout with covered streets and domed roofs.
    • Age: Over five centuries old.
    • Goods: Offers a vast array of items including carpets, textiles, jewelry, spices, ceramics, and more.
  6. 6
    Dolmabahce Palace
    SBarnes · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Another splendid palace on the Bosphorus, Dolmabahce is a blend of Ottoman and European styles with its crystal chandeliers, marble columns, and ornate ceilings. It was the last residence of Ottoman sultans and the first presidential palace of Turkey.
    Dolmabahce Palace is a grand and majestic palace located on the European coast of Istanbul, Turkey. It is renowned for its exquisite architecture, luxurious interior, and breathtaking views of the Bosphorus. The palace has served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire during its last years and has witnessed important historical events.
    • Style: Neoclassical
    • Construction Period: 1843-1856
    • Area: 45,000 square meters
    • Rooms: 285
    • Ballroom: 600 square meters
  7. 7
    Galata Tower
    A.Savin · FAL
    This medieval tower in the trendy Galata neighborhood offers fantastic views of Istanbul's skyline, including the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the Old City. It's also a great spot for sunset or dinner with a view.
    The Galata Tower is an iconic medieval stone tower located in the Galata district of Istanbul, Turkey. Standing tall at a height of 67 meters (220 feet), it offers panoramic views of the city and the Bosphorus Strait. The tower has become an important landmark and a symbol of the city's rich history and architectural beauty.
    • Height: 67 meters (220 feet)
    • Construction Material: Stone
    • Architectural Style: Medieval
    • Number of Floors: Nine
    • Observation Deck: Available at the top
  8. 8
    Spice Bazaar
    Takeaway · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, this historic market is a treasure trove of spices, teas, sweets, and souvenirs. Its aromatic scents, colorful displays, and authentic atmosphere make it a must-see attraction.
    The Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, is a vibrant and historic marketplace located in the Eminönü district of Istanbul, Turkey. It is one of the oldest bazaars in the city and has been a prominent trading hub for spices and other goods for centuries.
    • Location: Eminönü, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Architecture: Ottoman architecture with a rectangular layout
    • Size: Covering an area of approximately 8,000 square meters
    • Entrances: Two main entrances on both ends, with multiple gates in between
    • Number of Shops: Around 85 shops in total
  9. 9
    Located outside the old city walls, this 11th-century church is a hidden gem of Byzantine art and architecture. Its stunning frescoes, mosaics, and domes depict scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
    The Chora Church, also known as the Church of the Holy Saviour Outside the Walls, is one of the most beautiful and historically significant religious buildings in Istanbul. Originally built as a Byzantine Greek Orthodox church in the 4th century, it underwent several renovations and expansions throughout the centuries. Today, it stands as a fine example of Byzantine architecture and is a popular tourist attraction.
    • Architectural Style: Byzantine
    • Location: Edirnekapı district of Istanbul
    • Year of Construction: 4th century (original), subsequent renovations in the 11th-14th centuries
    • Importance: It is renowned for its well-preserved Byzantine mosaics and frescoes, depicting biblical scenes and the life of Christ.
    • Interior Decoration: Elaborate frescoes and mosaics covering the walls and ceilings.
  10. 10
    Princes' Islands
    Kadı · CC BY-SA 4.0
    A group of nine islands in the Sea of Marmara, the Princes' Islands are a popular getaway from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. They offer a peaceful retreat with their pine forests, sandy beaches, and horse-drawn carriages.
    The Princes' Islands, also known as Kızıl Adalar in Turkish, are an archipelago of nine small islands located in the Sea of Marmara, just off the coast of Istanbul, Turkey. These islands offer a tranquil and picturesque escape from the bustling city life of Istanbul. They are car-free, and their natural beauty, charming houses, and pine-covered hills make them a popular destination among locals and tourists alike.
    • Location: Sea of Marmara, Istanbul, Turkey
    • Number of islands: Nine
    • Transportation: Car-free, transportation mainly by horse-drawn carriages and bicycles
    • Natural scenery: Pine-covered hills, serene beaches, and crystal-clear waters
    • Architecture: Charming wooden houses in various architectural styles

Missing your favorite part?


Ranking factors for beautiful part

  1. Historical Significance
    Istanbul has a rich history with many historical sites and monuments. Areas with a high concentration of historically significant attractions, such as Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, or the Blue Mosque, should be ranked higher.
  2. Architectural Beauty
    Consider the architectural style, design, and beauty of the buildings and structures in the area.
  3. Natural Scenery
    Take into account the natural beauty of the landscape, including views of the Bosphorus, parks, and gardens.
  4. Cultural Offerings
    Assess the availability and variety of local arts, music, and cultural events in the area.
  5. Atmosphere and Vibe
    Consider the overall atmosphere and vibe of the neighborhood or district, including the friendliness of locals, the safety and cleanliness of the streets, and the liveliness of the area.
  6. Shopping and Dining
    Evaluate the availability and quality of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
  7. Accessibility and Transportation
    Assess the ease of transportation within the area and its accessibility to other popular destinations in Istanbul.
  8. Unique Features
    Consider any unique features or attractions that make the area stand out from the rest of Istanbul.
  9. Accommodation Options
    Take into account the availability and quality of accommodation options, ranging from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
  10. Local Experiences
    Evaluate the opportunity to experience authentic local culture and traditions in the area.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful part of Istanbul. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or part is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 209 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each part once every 24 hours. The rank of each part is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most beautiful part of istanbul

Istanbul, the city that straddles both Europe and Asia, is a hub of culture, history, and beauty. From the iconic Blue Mosque to the bustling Grand Bazaar, Istanbul boasts countless attractions that draw visitors from around the world. However, when it comes to identifying the most beautiful part of Istanbul, opinions vary widely. Some might argue that the historic district of Sultanahmet, with its stunning architecture and proximity to the Bosphorus Strait, is the epitome of Istanbul's beauty. Others might point to the vibrant neighborhoods of Beyoglu or Kadikoy, where street art and nightlife reign supreme. Regardless of which area you choose, it's clear that Istanbul is a city that truly has something for everyone when it comes to beauty and charm.

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