The Sapphire Tower, in Istanbul’s Levent business district, is the highest building in the city offering some of the best views in town. The tower is situated away from the main tourist attractions, therefore set aside about three hours for the excursion.
First take the Metro (train) from Taksim Square to 4 Levent station. From here, there is no need to exit the station; it joins a shopping mall where you’ll find the ticket booth for the Sapphire Tower’s observation deck. Next, follow the directions to ascend 238 meters or 54 floors via the express elevator to the deck where you can capture 360 degree views of old and new Istanbul sprawled out over Europe and Asia. Before leaving the observation deck be sure to board the Skyride—a 4D helicopter simulated journey over the city. Tickets for the observation deck and Skyride are 28TL, or without the ride it’s 18TL (concessions are also available for students).