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How to visit Istanbul on a budget

Istanbul’s Ottoman mosques are the jewels in the city’s crown, and entry is free. Add to that art galleries, cultural centres and a good streetfood scene, and the city becomes affordable.
Istanbul’s majestic Blue Mosque
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The Süleymaniye crowns one of Istanbul’s seven hills and presides over the Golden Horn, providing a landmark for the city. Though it’s not the largest Ottoman mosque, it is one of the grandest and most beautiful, and it’s unusual in that many of its külliye (mosque complex) buildings are still in use (Professor S?dd?k Sami Onar Caddesi; daily; free).


Istanbul’s most photogenic building was the grand project of Sultan Ahmet I, whose tomb is located on the north side of the site facing Sultanahmet Park. The mosque’s curvaceous exterior features a cascade of domes and six tapering minarets. Inside is similarly grand: there are 260 windows and thousands of blue Iznik tiles, which give the building its unoffcial but commonly used name (Hippodrome; closed to tourists during the 5 daily prayer times & Fri sermon; free).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - June 2015
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