Must See Places in Istanbul

It is not a secret to anyone that Istanbul is a quite large city that straddles two continents at the same time: Europe and Asia. This city serves any kind of interest by being one of the cultural, historical, and economic centers of Turkey; thus, there is much to discover and experience. It is impossible to fit all of the must-see places in Istanbul on one page, but I will do my best to include my favorite ones.
Before deciding to continue my education in Istanbul, I had been there a few times with my family and fell in love with this city at first sight. And with that, I thought that I was somewhat familiar with the heart of Anatolia, but I was mistaken. Even spending my freshmen year in Istanbul was not enough to visit all of the places on my must-see list as at the same time I had to keep up with my academic life. In addition to that, most of the sight-seeing spots were located at least 30 to 45 minutes away from the university.
My first destination was the Yenikoy neighborhood, also located in Sariyer, 20 minutes away from the university by taxi. My friend and I had a nice breakfast along the coast of the Bosporus strait in Gazebo café. Afterward, we walked along the Bosporus shore and enjoyed the breathtaking view. After our first visit to Yenikoy, it became our favorite hang-out spot.
My next top destinations were Bagdat Street and Emaar Square Mall, both of which are located on the Asian side, which means it took us some time to get there, but it was worth it. Bagdat Street is a 14-kilometer-long highway that passes through several neighborhoods and is a popular destination not only for tourists but for local people themselves. You can find everything on that street, starting from small cafés to flower shops and ending with large shopping stores. The key feature of all the places found there is that they have something extraordinary/unusual about them, be it their concept or design.
What is great about Emaar Square Mall in addition to being a great shopping avenue, is that it is a partially open-air mall and also has a variety of entertainment options like the aquarium and underwater zoo, Virtual Reality room, Museum of Illusions, and Skyview. I think the best one is Skyview, where you can enjoy the exquisite view of Istanbul from 200 meters above the ground on the 48th floor. You get the opportunity to walk on a glass floor and watch the life under your feet.
Last but not least, you must visit Dolmabahce Palace which was the main administrative building during Ottoman Empire between 1856 and 1887, and 1909 and 1922. It is located on the coast of the Bosphorus in the Besiktas neighborhood and is one of the most charming and exquisite pieces of work in Istanbul in terms of architectural and historical features. You can learn what life looked like during the Ottoman Empire by walking through the corridors that were once used by Emperors and their families. Garments, utensils, weapons, and many more objects used in those days are presented in Dolmabahce Palace.
Kamala Karimli
College of Sciences – Molecular Biology and Genetics