My first stop in Istanbul was the sprawling Topkapi Palace. Walking the grounds, I started to get a sense of the history of the Ottoman Empire and the future growth of what we now call Istanbul. The palace was constructed in 1453 and sultans lived here until the mid-1800s.
Our first stop within the grounds was the historic harem. The museum does an excellent job of labeling each room with its history and purpose. Walking through each room of the harem, the opulence provided for this setting was astounding. Rooms ranged from hamams to parlors to bedrooms
The grounds and views from the palace grounds are immaculate. While my friend Shannon and I walked around, a camera crew was setting up to record a band with the views of Istanbul in the background. We luckily got a chance to snap a picture before security began shutting down that particular area so that filming could begin.
Visitors are also able to catch glimpses of Asia from the grounds as well.
The museum also has an outstanding jewelry, gold, and other precious gifts bestowed to previous sultans. Also on display are traditional Ottoman attire.
This is definitely a must-see when in Istanbul.