By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
December 24, 2012

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The sixth-century Hagia Sophia (a basilica turned mosque turned museum) retains its jaw-dropping 180-foot dome. We asked true travel pros what to do nearby. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.

“The most authentic Ottoman cuisine can be found at Matbah (6 Caferiye Sk.; $$), where you can eat on a terrace and look out to Topkapi Palace.” —Mine Demiroren, via Facebook

“Have a rooftop drink at Seven Hills Hotel ($$) for views of boats in the Bosporus and close-ups of Hagia Sophia.” —@mrbaileynyc

“I love shopping for tiles at Iznik Classics (17 Utangaç Sk.).” —Eda Sökmen, via Facebook

“We had the best meal of our trip at Albura Kathisma Café (26 Akbiyik Cad. $$).” —Megan O’Neill Currier, via Facebook

“Don’t miss the Istanbul Archaeological Museums (Alemdar Cad) for their ancient collections (look for the Alexander sarcophagus).” —Elif Perçin Poyraz, via Facebook

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150