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
- Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
travel tip by sunnybeach posted more then 30 days ago
You get a glimpse in the 20th century Turkish artists viewpoints, life when you visit this amazing Istanbul Museum of Modern Art. The many interesting exhibitions just draw you closer and make you use you imagination when deciphering...
- Imbat Restaurant
travel tip by Johan posted more then 30 days ago
Located on the rooftop of the Orient Express hotel, this Imbat Restaurant is delight. Not just because of its view of the city and the Bosporus, which is absolutely gorgeous, but their Turkish cuisine is just delicious. We had the lamb...
- Sultanahmet - The Blue Mosque
travel tip by blackangel_66 posted more then 30 days ago
It's official name is Sultanahmet, after Ahmet I, who ordered it's construction. It is next to Hagia Sophia, but it's six minarets and cascading domes dominate the view of the city. There was some scandal, because only the Great...
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Recent Istanbul flights found by Travelgrove users
- $726 Lufthansa
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From To Departure Time New York, NY (JFK) Istanbul, TR (IST) 09/20/2013 09:55 pm Istanbul, TR (IST) New York, NY (JFK) 09/27/2013 08:20 am
- $735 Multiple Airlines
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From To Departure Time New York, NY (LGA) Istanbul, TR (IST) 09/20/2013 04:30 pm Istanbul, TR (IST) New York, NY (LGA) 09/27/2013 08:20 am
- $810 Multiple Airlines
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From To Departure Time San Francisco, CA (SFO) Istanbul, TR (IST) 07/16/2013 03:09 pm Istanbul, TR (IST) San Francisco, CA (SFO) 10/09/2013 02:05 pm