Where Two Continents meet you...
As being a meeting place of the Eastern and Western worlds, Turkey has always been a territory of contrasts. Istanbul, one of the magnificent cities of Turkey, is a mosaic of culture and history that has been the subject of songs, poems and novels. It will be very exciting and fun to explore Istanbul, the city of mosques, palaces, parks and pavilions that are unique in the world and dazzle with their historical and cultural texture on Europe and Asia. Below you will find useful information about Istanbul…
As the third largest city in the world in terms of population, it’s not surprising that Istanbul is alive with various religious and cultural effects. These are fully revealed in the historical heritage series, from the iconic domes and minarets of Hagia Sophia to the magnificent Byzantine ruins of the late Christian Romans. Byzantine, Constantine and Istanbul… These three magical names symbolize the dazzling history of Istanbul. Few cities around the world are so special and exciting to explore. Istanbul has been ruled by 120 kaiser and emperors throughout history and has been home to the three great civilizations mentioned above.
The first settlement in the city center, known as the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul, was built by the Greeks. It was founded in 685 and named as “Byzantion.. Historical Peninsula, which has been known by different civilizations with different names throughout the history, was first called Dersaadet and then as Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire.Besides being the largest and most populous city of Turkey, Istanbul is one of the world's largest cities in terms of art, culture and economics.
Istanbul activities are unlimited. Istanbul fascinates its visitors with its magnificent natural beauties, minarets extending to the sky, gilded domes, palaces, pavilions, museums, parks and gardens, monuments, towers, culture and much more. It is unique in the world with its feature that combines Asia and Europe continents. And especially Bosphorus-Istanbul Strait will affect you in depth. When the unique natural beauties of Istanbul are added to the historical monuments of Rome, Byzantium and Ottoman Empire, a magnificent picture emerges.
Places to visit in Istanbul are unlimited. The most impressive sights of Istanbul at first sight are the Historic Peninsula and the Bosphorus. The Tours which includes historical sites such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Basilica Cistern, historical peninsula and the tours starting from Eminönü Galata Bridge and Anadolu Kavağı to the impressive Istanbul Bosphorus are some of the must-visit activities of Istanbul. Your trip to Istanbul is not complete without a traditional and unforgettable sea cruise on the Bosphorus, which separates Europe and Asia, by boat or boat.
Istanbul nightlife is completely different. Especially Taksim, Istiklal Street, Tunel line, Karakoy and Kadikoy are the most important places of Istanbul nights. We can say that art and cultural activities in Istanbul are unlimited.
Cruise the Bosphorus
Try to cruise tour along the Bosphorus and enjoy a terrific view of Istanbul from the side of river. You can hop on a ferry at the terminal near Galata Bridge and start a tour up the strait toward Black Sea passing wonderful mansions, the Ortakoy Mosque and the Rumeli Hisari fortress, passing under the Bosphorus Bridge, which links Asia and Europe at the end of the tour.
Visit Topkapi Palace
Topkapi Palace was home to the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years and it’s a real treasure of artistic and architectural delights. This sprawling palace consists of many interlinking courtyards, surrounded by magnificent buildings. The lavish Harem, where the Sultan lived with his many wives and mistresses is a must-see in the Topkapi Palace. There are also various royal thrones and weapons of the Ottoman Empire on exhibition.
Visit Hagia Sophia
A trip to the majestic Hagia Sophia is a must when visiting Istanbul. An architectural marvel, Hagia Sophia has been an important monument both for the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires. Originally a church, then a mosque, and finally a Museum, Hagia Sophia is a great example of Turkey’s rich heritage.
Shop till you drop!
From the twisting lanes of the Grand Bazaar to the chic designer stores of the Asian side's posh Bagdat Boulevard , Istanbul is truly a shopper's paradise. There are more than 4000 shops in the Grand Bazaar selling antiques, exquisite jewellery, fine glassware, clothes, and leather products among other things. You will also come across a large number of colorful markets, big shopping centers and small boutiques displaying a beautiful range of products. So you have it all, from international brands to local products, there’s something for everyone and every pocket in Istanbul!
Turkish Bath (Hamam)
Hamam, also known as a Turkish bath is a must-do activity for a truly authentic Turkish experience. It is basically a very hot steam room where you can soak, steam or get an invigorating massage, anything you like. These Hamams have separate arrangements and specific hours for men and women. It can be a perfect way to end your trip and go back all refreshed and rejuvenated!
A designated Alpha World City, Istanbul is a truly enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture. With its exotic location, stunning sights and rich heritage, this amazing city has so much to offer that after visiting once, you would most definitely want to come back for more!
One of Istanbul's splendid historical buildings is the Basilica Cistern located in the southwest of Hagia Sophia. This large underground cistern built by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (527-565) was named as Yerebatan Palace ere among the people due to the marble columns rising from the water and countless seemingly like. It is also known as Basilica Cistern since there is a Basilica in the place where the cistern is located.
The mosque (built 1603-17) is the masterwork of Ottoman architect Sedefkâr Mehmet Ağa. It’s built on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium, on the southeastern side of the Hippodrome (map).
Dolmabahce Palace built in 19 th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there.
To experience İstanbul at its most magical, walk across the Galata Bridge at sunset. At this time, the historic Galata Tower is surrounded by shrieking seagulls, the mosques atop the seven hills of the city are silhouetted against a soft red-pink sky and the evocative scent of apple tobacco wafts out of the nargile cafes under the bridge.
One of the largest and oldest covered bazaars in the world, the Grand Bazaar is 30,700 square meters with over 60 streets and alleys and 4,000 shops. The original historical core of the bazaar, İç Bedesten, was completed by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1461. A “bedesten” refers to an indoor arcade with shops and there are several areas within the bazaar referred to by this name.
Kucuk Su Palace
İstanbul is packed with buildings of history and opulence, but some certainly more than others. If you want to stand and stare in awe at some of the most intricate architecture you’ve ever seen, whilst also enjoying a more laid-back feel to what is a very busy city, then Kucuksu Palace is the spot for you to head to.
One of the most iconic images of Istanbul surely has to be the Kız Kulesi Üsküdar, known in English as Maiden’s Tower, Tower of Leandros, Leander’s Tower or Bosphorus Tower. It is found on a small natural islet in the Bosphorus, just off the shore of Asian Istanbul.
The famous cafe entitled with the name of Pierre Loti, a famous French writer, is reached on getting to this ridge on which the perfect view of Golden Horn can be watched.
The Fortress of Rumeli Hisarı, located on the European shore of the Bosphorus and in the northernmost district of Istanbul, is a striking monument.