The best view points in Istanbul were created for a reason. How else do you think you can embrace this vast metropolis? To get a bird’s eye view of the city and marvel at its magnificent scale, let’s talk about the best viewpoints in Istanbul. And there are plenty of them, because Istanbul is also called “the city on 7 hills.
Istanbul’s viewpoints – where to go?
When planning your vacation in Istanbul, don’t forget to include a view of the city from above. It can be numerous hotel terraces and cafes, historical sites, high hills or specialized viewpoints – the choice is yours. But we are sure that climbing one of them you will not regret and will take a lot of incredible pictures that will remind you of a great vacation in the best city in the world for a long time to come.
1. Cafes and restaurants
Istanbul’s best vantage points are, first and foremost, the many cafes and restaurants that are lured from the streets by persistent enticements. There is nothing better than enjoying dinner or a glass of wine at one of the best restaurants or bars on the terrace or on the roof with friends and a panoramic view of the city.
You can appreciate both the great food and the magnificent views in these places, really get to know the city and enjoy a pleasant evening. There are thousands of such places in Istanbul, and we would recommend you to take a closer look for yourself: 360Istanbul Restaurant & Bar, Mesai Bar, Balkon Restaurant & Bar, Backyard Restaurant & Bar.
2. Galata Tower – the best vantage points in Istanbul
Galata Tower is an old Genoese tower overlooking beautiful Istanbul, on top there is an observation deck with a panoramic view of Istanbul, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. There are binoculars around the perimeter, allowing you to study the city in detail and for as long as you want.
There is a fee to enter but the lines can be intimidating, so go in the morning while others are still asleep. For more history about the Galata Tower, see my article on the best sights in Istanbul.
It is both a magnificent historical site and one of the best vantage points in Istanbul. It is located on the European side of Istanbul, near the Grand Bazaar. It’s hard to pass by this majestic structure of Istanbul, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The place where the famous Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and his beloved Hürrem are buried. Entrance to Süleymaniye, as well as to all other mosques is free. And the best view of the city opens up right from the courtyard of the mosque. From here you can see Asian and European parts of Istanbul, as the building is located on a hill 70 meters high – a breathtaking view is guaranteed.
4. Seven Hills Hotel – Best Viewpoints in Istanbul
Perhaps the most publicized place with a view of St. Sophia Cathedral. Photos of popular bloggers do not do without the observation deck of the Seven Hill Hotel. In fact, it is a restaurant at the hotel, but you can come and look for free. If you have a desire, you can have breakfast with a beautiful view on a clear day or have a cup of coffee, but keep in mind that the prices are higher than average.
5. Café Pierre Loti observation deck
Pierre Loti Hill is the perfect place to relax in Istanbul’s Golden Horn neighborhood. Named after the French writer Pierre Loti, the hill offers visitors magnificent views over a cup of tea. The hill is about 55 meters above sea level. You can get here by the TF2 Eyup-Pierre Loti cable car.
6. Camlica Hill
The best viewpoints of Istanbul are also located in numerous parks. For example, Camlica Hill is an excellent tourist area located in the Asian part of Istanbul. The hill is the highest and offers the best views of Istanbul from 265 meters above sea level. There are also several cafes and restaurants where you can take a break after a busy day and enjoy the views.
7. Büyük Valide Han
This is an incredible place for atmospheric photo shoots. If you want to capture the spirit of Istanbul, this is the place to be. Located near the Grand Bazaar at the Mahmutpaş convention (Fatih district in Istanbul) the hotel is a 17th century hotel with over 300 stores. The hotel terrace has become very popular with photography enthusiasts in recent years. One of the best viewpoints in Istanbul.
8. The Sapphire Shopping Center – Best Viewpoints in Istanbul
Located in Kağıthane, Sapphire is a great shopping mall where you can spend time shopping and after dinner admiring a 360-degree panoramic view of Istanbul. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city from the observation deck 236 meters high. One of the best viewpoints in Istanbul.