Istanbul is one of the worlds most incredible cities!!! Built on two continents, sitting aside the Bosphorus Stait and the Marmara Sea, this vibrant city if filled with rich culture, mixing century old mosques, churches and markets with stylish modern restaurants, galleries and trendy nightclubs.
It is not surprising that Istanbul was named as the 2010 European Capital of Culture by the European Union.
From the foundation of Byzantium in the 7th century BC until today, Istanbul held always an important role in the history of humanity in this part of the world. Everybody wanted to gain control of this area because of its strategic location; Empires were born here on the ashes of previous ones.
Since the Republic in 1923, Istanbul continued to grow and today it boosted its population over 14 million people living in this spread out city. This makes Istanbul the largest city of Turkey and one of the biggest cities in the world.
There is much to see and do in Istanbul!!
Istanbul is a terrific place for shopping, it just offers so much!! You can enjoy visiting the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Spice Market, which are just two of the cities major tourists attractions. At these hoptspots you will be able to combine historical sightseeing along side a great shopping experience.
The Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and most attractive covered bazaars in the entire world and is one of the oldest markets dating all the way back to the 15th century. The bazaar has more than 4000 shops and attracts half a million visitors daily especially during the summer months.
At the Grand Bazaar you will be able to shop for items such as traditional Turkish rugs and carpets, leather and silk garments, jewellery, lamps, ceramics, ornaments, Turkish delight, Turkish tea and different spices and scents. A walk through the bazaar is an experience in itself with its bright dazzling colours, beautiful crafts, amazing smells and hypnotic sounds. It is no wonder why the Grand Bazaar is the most popular shopping place in the world.
The Egyptian Spice Market , or spice bazaar, is another fantastic shopping area with a total of 85 shops selling a variety of spices and dried fruits, as well as souvenirs, jewellery and textiles and is the most well-known bazaar after the Grand Bazaar.
This fantastic city also offers some terrific sites to visit and experience. There's the Hagia Sophia, a magnificent church and one of the most historic areas of Istanbul. There is the Galata Tower from which one can see the best view of the city. There is also the Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus which is the richest palace in the world. There is also the famous Archeological Museums, the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum and so much more.
Over the suspension bridges and from Great Camhca Hill on the Asian side, one can get a bird’s eye view of the city and the Bosphorus. You could also venture over to The Princes’ Islands, which is a one hour journey via ferry. There is also the Suleymaniye Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, the Hippodrome and the Topkapi Palace Museum. This is the classical one-day tour, but there are many specialized tours for Roman, Byzantine and Turkish monuments, the Bosphorus or the Asian shores.
This spectacular city offers a huge mixture of cultures and diversities that are spread across its 39 different districts, 25 of which sit on the European side and the other 14 which sit on the Asian side.