Istanbul is one of the most picturesque cities you can visit whether you're interested in taking photos of impressive architecture or of historic sites. This city has one of the highest concentrations of photo opportunities in Europe and Asia, which is an apt comparison since Istanbul spans both continents.

    Sprucing up your Instagram is easy with photos from Istanbul that can cover several unique time periods. The sheer variety of subjects in town will make any photographer satisfied. Check out the 10 most Instagrammable places in Istanbul.


    Ortakoy Mosque

    Visit a mosque by the water

    Ortakoy Mosque is an iconic mosque next to the Bosphorus Strait that offers an undeniable aura of serenity, as it sits upon still waters. The photogenic composition of the scene makes it a popular destination for photographers looking to capture that beauty for themselves.

    While you can always get up close to the mosque if you like, one of the best angles can be found from the ferry that takes you between Istanbul's Asian side and European side. You'll find it all along the Bosphorus Strait a few miles northeast of downtown.

    Location: Mecidiye, Mecidiye Köprüsü Sk. No:1 D:1, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: Daily from 4 am to 10 pm



    See the divide between Anatolia and Thrace

    The Bosphorus, also called the Strait of Istanbul, is the major dividing waterway between Anatolia and Thrace, effectively separating the Asian part of Istanbul from the European part. You'll find numerous photo opportunities throughout the straits whether you're taking photos from the shore or from a boat.

    Much of the historic architecture here was designed specifically to be complemented by this straight, so you'll likely have Bosphorus in some of your shots regardless of whether you really meant to or not. You'll find this body of water cutting through virtually the entire city.


    Sultanahmet Square

    Explore the old hippodrome

    Sultanahmet Square is home to the historic Roman hippodrome where you can still see remnants from the original circus as well as several other artefacts and monuments. You won't have to look far to see walls of the original hippodrome, but strangely enough, the much older Obelisk of Theodosius here seems to be in better condition.

    Photo opportunities are available virtually everywhere you turn here, and the Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine architecture allows for some diversity in your photos. You can get to this square on the east side of Eminonu.

    Location: Binbirdirek, Sultan Ahmet Parkı No:2, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: 24/7


    Galata Bridge

    Cross the Golden Horn

    Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn and from here, you can take photos of both major sides of Istanbul and their alluring skylines. The bridge itself is 491 metres long, so you can easily traverse it on food to give yourself time for the best photos.

    There's a cultural significance about this bridge that you may be able to capture in your photos. Since times long past, this bridge has served as a connection between the principal religious institutions of the empire and its foreign and non-Muslim inhabitants. It's common to see Muslims and non-Muslims today on the bridge fishing together.

    Location: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Galata Köprüsü, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: 24/7


    İstiklal Caddesi Tram

    Ride historic trams

    The İstiklal Caddesi Tram is a heritage tram system with 2 lines that still zip around certain parts of the city offering opportunities for unique photos. The trams themselves are worth taking pictures of whether you're on the European side or the Asian side of the city.

    Hitch a ride on the tram, and you can race through quite a few unique photo opportunities you wouldn't be able to capture otherwise. One of the trams runs from Taksim to Tunel, while the other runs from Kadikoy to Moda.

    Location: Kuloğlu, İstiklal Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 1 am



    Visit the Jewish quarter

    Balat is a neighbourhood in the Fatih district that traditionally serves as a Jewish Quarter known best for its colourful and historic buildings that are mostly tall, narrow houses. Despite its history, the quarter has become majority Muslim in the modern era after several major events in history drove its Jewish population elsewhere.

    When you visit this district, you'll find opportunities for stunning pictures of the iconic colourful houses here. Just make sure to be courteous of those who still live in them. You can get to this neighbourhood on the south side of the Golden Horn west of Ayakapi.


    Umbrella Street

    Stroll down a colourful street

    Umbrella Street, also known as Hoca Tahsin Street, is defined by a ceiling of colourful umbrellas suspended above the street. To find a good photo opportunity here, all you have to do is look up at the burst of colours that makes you feel like you're in a children's movie.

    One of the best aspects about this street is that you can enjoy it all year long. You can get to this street easily enough by heading to Karakoy and walking down the narrow streets by the southeastern coast.

    Location: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Necatibey Caddesi, Hoca Tahsin Sk. no:14c, 34425 Beyoğlu, Türkiye

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8 am to 6.30 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 5.30 pm


    Rumeli Fortress

    Tour a medieval fortress

    Rumeli Fortress is a 15th-century fortress complex on the banks of the Bosphorus. It's also known as Boğazkesen Castle, which literally translates to 'throat-cutter castle', and it offers imposing and intimidating photo opportunities. This military fortress is now open to the public to explore, so you can take photos of the interior and the exterior.

    Similar to many other iconic subjects around the city, you may want to consider taking some photos of this fortress from the water. Hitch a ride on a ferry or get a boat yourself and get a wide shot to top off your photo album. This fortress is reachable several miles northwest of downtown along the strait's western shore.

    Location: Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd., 34470 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +90 21 22 63 53 05


    Miniaturk Park

    Feel like a giant in a miniature park

    Miniaturk Park is a fun park that offers a 1:25 scale rendition of iconic structures from in and around Türkiye crafted in intricate detail. The model area is 14,864 square metres, so you'll have plenty of room to see and photograph miniature versions of some of Türkiye's most famous attractions.

    At the park, you'll find models of Galata Tower, the Stone Houses of Mardin, the Temple of Artemis and the Basilica Cistern. Every miniature makes for a great photo opportunity, so be sure to check it out north of downtown near the mouth of Kagithane Creek.

    Location: Örnektepe, İmrahor Cd. No:7, 34445 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +90 21 22 22 28 82


    Çiçek Pasajı

    Enjoy architectural splendour

    Çiçek Pasajı, or the Flower Passage, is a historic passage and arcade showcasing impressive late 19th-century architecture with arches and circular facades. The name comes from all the flower shops that opened here after Russian nobles were driven out after the revolution.

    When you visit, you can see the flower motifs continued today as well as the elegant architecture being put to use by onsite restaurants. See it all for yourself in the Beyoglu district in between İstiklal Avenue and Sahne Street.

    Location: Hüseyinağa Mah. İstiklal Cad. Saitpaşa Geçidi No:176, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

    Open: 24/7


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