Istanbul Travel Guide, Turkey
Istanbul located in Turkey is one of the interesting tourist spots with a fascinating history and a rich culture offering many sightseeing attractions. It is the only city in the world spread across two continents:Asia and Europe and divided by the Bosphorus Strait. Istanbul is also one of the prominent cultural and commercial centers and the presence of the shipping port makes it ideal for all trading activities on water.
In the old days, Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine Empire and then the Islamic Ottoman gained control over Istanbul during the 15th century and made it its capital. The official name, Istanbul was adopted after Turkey gained independence in the year 1930 and Ankara was made the capital of Turkey.
This mystical city offers a unique opportunity to discover numerous historical attractions and catch a glimpse of their architectural splendor of palaces. Tourists can also come across some of the old mosques, churches, museums and enjoy shopping with some exotic varieties of rugs and carpets that are sold across Turkish bazaars here. Besides these, this modern city has suburbs that boast of some exotic nightclubs, hotels and restaurants and elegant shopping centers.
Some interesting facts about Istanbul
Istanbul comprises of a population of approximately around 14 million people most of whom have moved here in search of better employment prospects. Most of the travelers visit this place during the summer season to enjoy the sightseeing attractions of this place and tend to avoid the cold and snowing winter months between November and February.
The best way to explore the city is using the Dolmus which is an economical means of transport that operates on fixed routes. Besides that, buses and taxis are also available in plenty which can be used for traveling.
Places of attraction
Istanbul offers plenty of sightseeing places for the visitors to see which includes the popular Hagia Sophia which is one of the most famous attractions. This massive dome shaped Byzantine structure is one of the best architectural delights of this place complete with frescoes and lovely mosaics.
The Sultan Ahmed Camii which is also known as the Blue Mosque is one of the best examples of the Islamic Ottoman architecture. This place has well designed and beautiful interiors and it is definitely worth visiting. Topkapi Palace Museum offers a glimpse of the opulent lifestyle during the Ottoman period with plush interiors housing some of the best treasures of the world.
Dolmabahce Palace, Miniaturk Park, Maiden Tower, Bosophorus boat tour and a visit to the Galata tower can also prove to be a pleasurable experience for the tourists.
Kapali Carsi or the Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered bazaars (marketplace) with almost 4,400 shops selling everything under the sun. Lot of things can be bought on bargain here from silk carpets, leather items, jewelry which includes gold and semi-precious stones, spices, handmade ceramics and other Turkish delights.
Turkish coffee is also quite popular among the tourists who can buy some of them from the local shops here. Kanyon, Cevahir, Akmerkez, Metro city, Olivium are some of the popular shopping malls that can be found in this city along with plenty of other shopping centers and outlets selling some good branded stuff.
Things about Istanbul you may be interested in
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Read our members' travel tips about Istanbul
- Byzantine Hippodrome
travel tip by kachou_n posted more then 30 days ago
Originally the home of sports games in the Byzantine period, the Hippodrome has been later converted into a park. It is open to the public all day long and is quite close to other major attractions such as the Ayasofya, the Blue Mosque...
- Basilica Cistern
travel tip by luci posted more then 30 days ago
Just across the street from the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern is a mysterious underground place that you shouldn't miss. There are very many columns lighted from under with reddish lamps, giving the whole place a bit of Gothic...
- Hagia Sophia
travel tip by Axel posted more then 30 days ago
If you are at Istanbul, you should visit the Hagia Sophia. Nowadays it´s a moslemic Moschee, but it was built as a christian church, representing the most important place for orthodoxy christs at Byzanz.
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