Photography

10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul

One of the most beautiful things about Istanbul is its unique skyline. Minarets still crown the city skies no matter in which direction you look, making it an interesting composition between new and old buildings. As much as I love Chicago‘s or San Francisco‘s skylines, I admit I was very impressed by Istanbul’s ancient charm. The grandeur of the Byzantine Empire is still in the atmosphere, don’t you agree?

If you are passionate about architecture and want to take breathtaking photographs you should definitely check these locations.


Check 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Shanghai


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul-Galata Tower

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Galata Tower


1.
Galata Tower
Location: Bereketzade Mh., Galata Kulesi (Google)
Best Views: Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
Admission: 20 TL
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (9-20)
Description: Throughout history, this tower has been used for several purposes. As a jail for prisoners and as an observatory among others. The 360º balcony on the 9th floor offers amazing views but it’s quite small. If you want to get nice pictures at sunset be there early!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Topkapi Palace

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Topkapi Palace- Bosphorus
2.
Topkapı Palace
Location: Bereketzade Mh., Galata Kulesi (Google)
Best Views: Bosphorus bridge, Maiden’s Tower, Ayazma Mosque and Galata Tower
Admission: 30 TL
Opening hours: Wed-Mon (9-16.45)
Web: topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en/visit-information
Description: The best views are from the courtyard at the Fatih Kiosk (Treasury) and from the Tower of the Fast Break. Check the official plan here. Besides the skyline views, you’ll get to enjoy one of the most amazing spots of Istanbul, especially if you like architecture. This palace is a must visit, you’ll love every single corner of it!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Maiden's Tower-

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Maiden's Tower- inside


3.
Maiden’s Tower
Location: Üsküdar Salacak Mevkii (Google)
Best Views:  Topkapı Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Galata Tower
Admission: Menus start at 165 TL
Opening hours: Mon-Fri (9-24)
Web: www.kizkulesi.com.tr
Description: The local tale says that the tower was built by a wealthy man who was trying to protect his daughter from a prophecy spoken by an oracle – a prophecy foretelling the death of the man’s daughter by a snake bite. To prevent these words from coming true, the father built a tower to keep his daughter safe in the water. A snake would eventually find its way to the tower when the father came to visit with a basket full of fruit. Now the tower works as a restaurant and there’s a free boat service every 15 min departing from the Üsküdar pier. Views from here are amazing, however, if you want to include the tower in your pictures (and save some money too), try the restaurant in front, which has comfortable couches and pretty close views from the tower.


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- İstanbul İstiklal Cd Taksim

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- İstanbul İstiklal Cd


4.
Istiklal Avenue
Location: İstiklal Cd (Google)
Best Views:  Çiçek Pasajı and St. Anthony Of Padua Church
Admission: Free
Description: Named “Independence Avenue” it is one of the most famous avenues in Istanbul. It is an elegant pedestrian street, 1.4 kilometers long, which houses boutiques, music stores, bookstores, art galleries, cinemas, theatres, libraries… There are a few interesting buildings such as foreign consulates. Don’t miss the Çiçek Pasajı and St. Anthony Of Padua Church. If you want to take urban pictures, this is your spot!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- The Marmara Pera Hotel- Mikla Rooftop

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- The Marmara Pera Hotel- Mikla

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- The Marmara Pera Hotel- Pool

5. The Marmara Pera- Mikla Rooftop
Location: Asmalı Mescit Mh. Meşrutiyet Cd No:93 (Google)
Best Views:  Hagia Sofia, Galata Tower
Admission: Free admission to Mikla Rooftop (160TL menu), Pool for guests only
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (18-2)
Web: www.pera.themarmarahotels.com
Description: Apparently, rooms are not worth it and the rooftop pool is quite small, so you better come here as a visitor. However, everyone agrees that the skyline views from here are simply amazing. I would go for a fancy drink rather than a 3 course dinner if I were you. Sunsets from the Mikla Rooftop are spectacular, bring your tripod!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Ortaköy Mosque

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Ortaköy Mosque-night
6. Ortaköy Mosque Pier
Location:
 Mecidiye Mh (Google)
Best Views:  Bosphorus Bridge and Ortaköy Mosque
Admission: Free admission
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (24h)
Description: During Ramadan, New Year’s Eve and Republic Day the Bosphorus bridge gets special lighting or fireworks. This site is one of the best places to capture the show! The Ortaköy mosque has been recently restored and it looks amazing on every picture. For an elevated view try the Bomonti Brasserie which is the restaurant in front of the mosque. If you need some extra energy while shooting, try the waffles on the street just behind the mosque, they are absolutely amazing!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Galata Bridge- 1

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Galata Bridge-

7. Galata Bridge
LocationHobyar Eminönü Mh., Hoca Kasım Köprüsü Sk (Google)
Best Views:  Galata Tower
Admission: Free admission
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (10-22)
Description:This is probably one of the uggliest bridges you’ve ever seen, however, it is in one of the most magical areas of Istanbul. The bridge carries a constant flow of people crossing to and from Beyoğlu and Eminönü, a thousand fishermen and a constant procession of street vendors. Each shot from this bridge is different due to the many details and perspectives one can achieve. The Bosphorus tour departs from here by the way!


MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Pierre Loti Cafe- Table


8.
Pierre Loti Café
Location: Gumussuyu Balmumcu Sik 1 Eyüp (Google)
Best Views: Golden Horn
Admission: Free admission (cash only)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (8-00)
Description: It may be a little off the touristic track, but the Pierre Loti café is worth the trek. I recommend coming here by taxi although taking the cable car up to the top is not a bad option either. It gets very packed during the weekends so if you can, come here during weekdays.


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Sapphire Tower-night

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Sapphire Tower-night- panorama

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Sapphire Tower-night 2
9. Istanbul Sapphire
Location:
Emniyetevleri Mah. Eski Büyükdere Cd No:1 D:1 (Google)
Best Views:  Bosphorus and Financial Area
Admission: 18TL- 15TL (students)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (10-22)
Web: www.istanbulsapphire.com/onlinebilet/
Description: Built in 2011 as a residential, leisure and shopping center project. Besides it’s interesting architecture concept, this building has the highest views of the city (261 m to be precise). Pictures will look amazing both at day time and at night but bring your tripod here, it does get windy on the top. Unless you know the weather conditions, I wouldn’t book the ticket online. If it’s rainy it’s completely worthless coming here!


Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Bosphorus Cruise- Ortakoy Mosque

Virginia Duran Blog- 10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul- Bosphorus Cruise- Dolmabace Palace

10. Bosphorus Cruise
Location: It departs from Eminönü pier (Google)
Best Views:  All the skyline at the Bosphorus
Admission: 4-25TL (depends on the company)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun (10-18)
Web: sehirhatlari.com.tr/en/timetable/full-bosphorus-cruise-362.html
Description: The good thing about the boat tour is that you get to see all the monuments from their front perspective, which is their best side in terms of design. You’ll get to photograph the Dolmabahçe Palace, Ortaköy Mosque and the Beylerbeyi Palace from a unique point of view. Don’t book the tickets online! All the companies that have their website in English have overpriced tickets. Instead, ask a local where to buy the tickets. I paid 4TL for the two-way ticket!


Check these and other amazing spots of Istanbul on the map below or download the Free Architecture Guide of Istanbul

 

28 thoughts on “10 Sites To Take The Best Skyline Pictures in Istanbul

  1. Pingback: The Free Architecture Guide of Istanbul | Virginia Duran

  2. Pingback: Topkapı Palace Museum[Video+Important Information] | Your Istanbul Visit Guide

  3. I live in Istanbul for the last 6 years and thanks for teaching me a few places I didnt know, lol. This might sound strange but Aziz Nesin ,one of the biggest writers in Turkey, even wrote a story about a tourist couple from Europe teaching Istanbul to a native born and raised family. I will make sure to pay a visit to the locations you mentioned. Thanks again.

    Like

    • I didn’t know about this story so thanks for sharing😉 I must admit that within my architecture degree I had wonderful history classes, and Turkey is famous for its cultural legacy. I hope to live there one day, do you recommend it?

      Like

      • I am trying to get out of this city to somewhere like Antalya in the south so I wouldnt recommend living here unless you are cool with crime, traffic, pollution etc. But it is easily one of the best cities to visit for sure.

        Like

  4. Pingback: Turcia: o radiografie a țării după puciul eşuat | PLATZFORMA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s