Any newcomer to Istanbul would agree that one of the most enchanting things about the city is its unique silhouette or skyline. The fusion of its mosques, minarets, the Bosphorus and modern buildings offer a “Kodak moment” in a way that no other city in the world can. Whether you are looking for the best Instagram photo or a selfie to share with your Facebook friends, our guide will help you capture Istanbul’s majestic beauty and grandeur in a panoramic way. This panorama will include both the city’s historical treasures and its modern treasures, such as skyscrapers and luxury properties. Without further ado, here are the top locations for the ultimate vacation photo, all of which are guaranteed to make everyone back home extremely jealous. Enjoy!
The Bosphorus Ferries
An obvious choice and although technically not a “location”, ferry tours between the Asian and European sides do offer some of the best opportunities to capture amazing shots of Istanbul’s silhouette. The downside is that the ferry is constantly on the move and you are limited both in terms of time and shooting angle. Therefore, in order to capture a truly timeless photo, you should explore the many hilltops, towers and other elevated locations Istanbul has to offer.
If you want to capture the Topkapı Palace, the opening to the Golden Horn, the Historical Peninsula with the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Galata Tower all in a single shot, then head over to Üsküdar on the Asian side. Take a photo before you board the boat to the Maiden’s Tower, then another one while at the Maiden’s Tower. You’ll be sure to impress everyone.
Climb up to the 360-degree terrace of the tower before sunset and have your camera ready. From here, not only can you get amazing shots of the Historical Peninsula and the Golden Horn, but also change your perspective to capture the Asian side as well with Üsküdar and the Maiden’s Tower at the center.
Both İftar and Mecidiye Pavilions inside the palace offer diverse, yet equally amazing views. The Bosphorus bridges and Golden Horn can best be captured from İftar Pavilion while Mecidiye Pavilion gives you a broader and much different perspective towards Kadıköy, the Bosphorus, the Marmara Sea and even the Prince Islands on a clear day.
On the Asian side, head over to Big Çamlıca hill to bask in the view of Dolmabahçe Palace and Ortaköy or the sunrise from Kayışdağı. Alternatively, try Little Çamlıca hill for sunset over Topkapı and the Historical Peninsula together with the Prince Islands. From Çamlıca, you will also be able to see the collage of old and new, thanks to the high rises of Levent, one of the prime locations for real estate in Istanbul.
For the best views of the Bosphorus Bridge and Ortaköy Mosque, this is the place to be. You’ll practically be in the middle of the Bosphorus strait and if you happen to be there during nighttime, the bridge adorned in beautiful lights is something you just cannot afford to miss.