Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Istanbul: Dolmabahce Palace, Chora Church (Kariye Museum) & Panorama 1453 History Museum in Turkey


Dolmabahce Palace is located on the European side of Istanbul within the district of Besiktas and Taksim. Dolmabahce Palace is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world which is built in 19th century. Dolmabahce Palace is a must to visit to learn about the lifestyle of the Ottoman Sultans and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

This is strictly guided group tour to the palace and Harem. Visitors are reminded that photograph is prohibited during the tour.

Operating Hours:  9am to 3pm (closed on Monday and Thursday)
Entrance Fee     :  50TL (Guided Group Tour to Palace and Harem)
Official Website  :  http://www.millisaraylar.gov.tr/portalmain-en/Default.aspx 

Welcome to the main gate of Dolmabahce Palace near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey
This is where the guided tour begins inside Dolmabahce Palace and photograph is strictly prohibited in Istanbul, Turkey

It is very well-maintained park with flowers and water fountain in Dolmabahce Palace nearby Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey
Heading to the main entrance of Dolmabahce Palace after purchasing entrance tickets in Istanbul, Turkey
Admiring big western style buildings in Dolmabahce Palace near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey
It is free entrance to Painting Museum behind the main building of Dolmabahce Palace nearby Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey
Another beautiful well-maintained fountain with flowers in Dolmabahce Palace nearby Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey


Choram Museum is also known as Kariye Muzesi, is located in one of the most conservative Muslim neighbourhood and outskirt of Sultanahmet area. The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora was originally built in the 400s and was expanded in the 1000s of Constantinople. When the city fell into Ottomans in the mid-1400, the building was converted to a mosque. Even though, Chora Museum (Kariye Museum) isn't one of the top attraction sites to visit in Istanbul but, it is strongly recommended to see the remaining mosaics covering the interior painting which was completed between 1315 and 1321 (part of Byzantine art and history).

Address            :  Kariye Camii Sokak, No. 26 Edirnekapi, 34087 Istanbul
Operating Hours:  9am to 4.30pm (closed on Wednesday)
Entrance Fee     :  Yes
Subway            :  
Get down at Edirnekapi station and cross the busy main streets. It is a short walking to the Chora Church in the residential neighbourhood behind the remaining city walls built by Romans & Byzantines.

Getting down at Edirnekapi subway station to visit Chora Church (Kariye Museum), outskirt of Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
The remaining city walls built by Romans and Byzantines and the ancient Chora Church (Kariye Museum) is located behind the city walls in Istanbul, Turkey
Crossing the main busy streets and keep walking behind the city walls to get to the Chora Church (Kariye Museum) in Istanbul, Turkey
Fine mosaics design during the Byzantine art and history at Chora Church (Kariye Museum) outskirt of Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey


Panorama 1453 History Museum is located nearby Chora Museum (Kariye Museum). It is a great place to learn about their history without English translation on the boards. You can rent the audio video to listen as you walk into the museum. Other than that, I love the 360 degrees panorama of paintings on the backdrop with some decoration of the real items in order to make them into 3D effect. It is really amazing as I feel I am in the war zone with the background sounds too. 

Heading to the building of Panorama 1453 History Museum which is located nearby Chora Church (Kariye Museum) in Istanbul, Turkey
360 degrees Panorama War Zone with the painting backdrop and decorative items and background sounds as a 3D effects at Panorama 1453 History Museum in Istanbul, Turkey

Friday, December 2, 2016

Istanbul: Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower & Istiklal Street in Turkey


Topkapi Palace is a large palace which is used as one of the major residences of the Ottoman Sultans for almost 400 years in Istanbul, Turkey. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985 as the best example of palaces during Ottoman period with the breathtaking view of the Bosphorus. Topkapi Palace is built over 700,000 square metres which consists of four courtyards where you are able to see artifacts and holy relics from several Prophets.

Topkapi Palace opens every day from 9am to 5pm. The entrance fee costs 40TL per person excluding the entrance fee to Harem which costs 25TL per person.


The main entrance of the most popular tourist attraction sites, Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
The main entrance of the most popular tourist attraction sites, Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace is crowded with visitors every day as it is one of the main attaraction area in Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace is crowded with visitors every day as it is one of the main attaraction area in Istanbul, Turkey
A well-maintained castle entrance at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
A well-maintained castle entrance at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

The model display of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
The model display of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace is filled with Ottoman designs and architecture for almost 400 years in Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace is filled with Ottoman designs and architecture for almost 400 years in Istanbul, Turkey
Enjoying the greenery and flowers at the well-maintained garden in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
Enjoying the greenery and flowers at the well-maintained garden in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
The breathtaking view of the Bosphorus is a must to enjoy before leaving Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey
The breathtaking view of the Bosphorus is a must to enjoy before leaving Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey

After staying at Sultanahmet area for several days, we move to another hotel which is located across the Bosphorus straits. It takes us about 40 minutes car ride (including the traffic) which is located nearby Taksim Square and the popular busy street called Istiklal Street. We enjoy the modern city lifestyle experience of shopping, dining and drinking at night at bars which we don't experience it around Sultanahmet area. Sultanahmet area is occupied with historical attraction buildings which are crowded with tourists in the daytime but it becomes quiet at night.

It's dog friendly city in Istanbul, Turkey even though majority of the locals are Muslim
It's dog friendly city in Istanbul, Turkey even though majority of the locals are Muslim
Stray dogs are seen healthy at Taksim Square as they are fed every evening and well-taken care by the government and Animal Welfare in Istanbul, Turkey
Stray dogs are seen healthy at Taksim Square as they are fed every evening and well-taken care by the government and Animal Welfare in Istanbul, Turkey
The heritage Deveaux Apartment is converted into a shopping mall and a boutique hotel called Mama Shelter along the busy Istiklal Street, Istanbul, Turkey
The heritage Deveaux Apartment is converted into a shopping mall and a boutique hotel called Mama Shelter along the busy Istiklal Street, Istanbul, Turkey

The heritage is preserved on the exterior building but the interior is modified into a boutique hotel along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
The heritage is preserved on the exterior building but the interior is modified into a boutique hotel along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
The boutique hotel, Mama Shelter is situated along the narrow lane which is connected to the main busy Istiklal Street near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey
The boutique hotel, Mama Shelter is situated along the narrow lane which is connected to the main busy Istiklal Street near Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey

Mobile street cleaning along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Mobile street cleaning along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey



Istiklal Street is crowded with the locals and tourists for shopping and dining on weekends in Istanbul, Turkey
Istiklal Street is crowded with the locals and tourists for shopping and dining on weekends in Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Tower near Bosphorus Strait and Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Galata Tower near Bosphorus Strait and Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey

The main entrance of St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
The main entrance of St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey

St. Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
St. Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Pope John XXIII at St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Pope John XXIII at St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
A close-up view of St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
A close-up view of St Anthony of Padua Church along Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Popular shopping and restaurant destination for the locals and tourists along the busy Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey
Popular shopping and restaurant destination for the locals and tourists along the busy Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Istanbul: Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) in Turkey


Hagia Sophia or also known as Ayasofya (in Turkish) or The Church of Holy Wisdom is situated in Sultanahmet Square in the city of Istanbul, Turkey. Hagia Sophia is facing directly the opposite of Blue Mosque.

Hagia Sophia is a great architecture beauty and it is an important monument for both Byzantine and for Ottoman Empire. Hagia Sophia once served as a church, later as a mosque and now it is a museum which is very popular and a must to visit in Istanbul, Turkey. It is a real amazing to see the combination of two religions of Islam and Christianity in this building. Hagia Sophia is always crowded with a long queue of visitors every day. 
Open: Monday - Sunday (9am to 5pm)
Ticket Entrance: 40TL per person

The Church of Holy Wisdom or also known as Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
The Church of Holy Wisdom or also known as Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Entering the museum of Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Entering the museum of Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is always crowded and a must to visit attraction site in Istanbul, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is always crowded and a must to visit attraction site in Istanbul, Turkey
Great interior design of the domes and lights in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Great interior design of the domes and lights in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Full view of the artistic meeting of Islam and Christianity in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Full view of the artistic meeting of Islam and Christianity in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Beautiful combination of the interior design  of domes, window panels and lighting in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Beautiful combination of the interior design  of domes, window panels and lighting in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Artistic meeting of Islamic and Christianity in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Artistic meeting of Islamic and Christianity in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Mosaic Panel 13th Century consists of Chris on the middle, John the Baptist on the right and Virgin Mary on the left in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Mosaic Panel 13th Century consists of Chris on the middle, John the Baptist on the right and Virgin Mary on the left in Hagia Sophia at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Colourful Tulips in front of Hagia Sophia during Spring at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey
Colourful Tulips in front of Hagia Sophia during Spring at Sultanahmet in Istanbul, Turkey