If you're hosting a conference at Hotel Büyük Keban, you'll love our state-of-the-art meeting room amenities, but you can only work so many hours a day. Fortunately, our hotel is located in Istanbul's glorious Old City, which is steeped in history and culture. When you put your computers and notepads away, why not relax with a visit to some of the world's top attractions, only minutes away in walking distance from our front door? Here are a few you won't want to miss:
Hagia Sophia is perhaps Istanbul's most renowned attraction and with good reason. Now a museum open to the public, this "Eighth Wonder of the World" was first built in the 6th Century A.D. and was used for more than 900 years as a church. It served as Istanbul's primary mosque for another 500 years and contains amazing examples of Byzantine architecture.
The Blue Mosque
You can't miss the blue tiles on roof that give the Blue Mosque its name. Completed in the early 17th Century, this mosque is still an active place of worship, but its incredible ornate interior and six stately minarets make it an attraction for the general public and an often photographed landmark of the city. The mosque is closed during certain hours of the day for prayer, so ask our Concierge Department for the schedule the week you'd like to visit, and inquire about proper dress as well.
The Grand Bazaar
If you love to shop, Istanbul will feel like heaven to you. One place you can't skip is the Grand Bazaar, where row after row of exotic goods awaits. Whether you want silk, leather or ceramics, you'll find it here. Don't forget you can bargain here too. This is a great trip to take with a group, as there is something for everyone at the Grand Bazaar.
Another ideal place to tour with a group is Topkapi Palace. From its hilltop location, you can enjoy commanding views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Marmara Sea, and the interior of the palace is a feast for the eyes. Built in the 15th Century by Sultan Mehmed II, Topkapi Palace is now a museum with stunning decorative work and soaring architecture. There is also an extra tour of the Harem, one of the high points of the attraction.
Now that you've experienced the wonders of the Old City on land, see them from a different perspective on the water. Taking a Bosphorus Cruise will give you spectacular views of the entire city of Istanbul. If you want a perfect photo opportunity for you or your group, this is it!
Another way to get incredible views of Istanbul is to visit the Galata Tower. It’s a little further from the hotel, but certainly worth the trip. There is an observation deck at the top of this 67-meter structure, which was built in 507 A.D. There is also a restaurant and cafe where you can enjoy a meal or refreshments. You'll have a 360-degree view of the city, so be sure to visit on a clear day.
To purchase tickets or arrange tours of these attractions, simply talk to our Concierge Department. When you contact the Hotel Büyük Keban to make your reservation and set up your conference, let us know how we can make your free time as fun, exciting and memorable as possible.