Yerebatan Sarnici (Basilica Cistern): Byzantine underground cistern, Yerebatan Sarayi is located near south-west of Hagia Sophia. Founded by Justinianus I, a Byzantine Empire (527-565), began to be called by the public “the Sinking Palace” – and not without a reason, seeing the great number of marble columns arising out of the water. Make sure you find the head of Medusa that forms the base of one of the columns. Open daily, 9am-5.30pm.
Topkapi Palace: Topkapi was the first Ottoman palace to be built (1466-1478) in the newly conquered capital of the Empire. Located on the spot where the foundations of the city were first laid in ancient times by Megarian Chief Byzas in 7th century BC, the palace boasts one of the most beautiful views of Istanbul, incorporating the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the two shores and the sea of Marmara. Open daily except Monday between 9:30am-5:00pm.
Dolmabahce Palace: Dolmabahce Palace was built in 1853 in the rapidly growing northern section of the city, at the Marmara outlet of the Bosphorus, to replace the Topkapi Palace which was pulled down for the purpose. It housed Sultans and their families before the Republic, and it was then used by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk during his visits to Istanbul. Ataturk died here on the 10th of November, 1938. The palace now serves as a museum and a guest-house used for receptions for foreign statesmen. Open daily except Mondays & Thursdays between 9.00am-4.00 pm.