Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey, Europe
Istanbul is the largest city of the Eurasian nation Istanbul, situated in the northwestern part of the country at 41°1′ N 28°57′ E. It is the historical, cultural and economic capital of Turkey and ranks second in the Middle East in terms of metropolitan population and in terms of proper city population, Istanbul is the 3rd largest city in the world.
Istanbul is the administrative centre of Istanbul Province, spanning over an area of 5,343 sq. km. Together with Essen in Germany and Pécs in Hungary, Istanbul was the European Capital of Culture 2010, which aided city tremendously to gain the title of the 5th most popular tourist destination in the globe.
History of Istanbul:
Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world, founded around 660 BC on the foreland Sarayburnu with name Byzantium. In 330 AD, Byzantium was re-founded as Constantinople which served as capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Istanbul gained its current name officially in 1930.
How to reach Istanbul?
The Istanbul Atatürk Airport is situated in Yeşilköy, around 24 km west of the heart of the city with scheduled flight services from and to Athens, Moscow, London, Paris, Rome, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam and many other global destinations.
The airport is connected to the city centre by metro, taxi and bus services.
The railway network of Istanbul extends to Belgrade, Bucharest, Teheran, Aleppo and other Asian and European cities.
Culture and Food in Istanbul:
However Ankara being the administrative capital of Turkey, Istanbul is the cultural capital of Turkey holding more than thousand years of grand historical and cultural background.
Grand-Bazaar in Istanbul is an internationally recognized shopping centre housing more than 3000 shops.
Must try dishes in Istanbul are Balık-Ekmek, Döner, Kumpir and Patso.
Things to do in Istanbul:
- Daily Istanbul Tours
- Turkland Tours Istanbul
- Visiting Istanbul Cooking School
Places of interest in Istanbul:
The Chora Church is one of the great examples representing the Byzantine architecture. It was first constructed in the early 5th century as a church and during the Ottoman era, it was a mosque and in 1948, the mosque turned into museum. Eye-catching mosaics and frescoes are the highlights of Chora.
Being the largest mosque of Istanbul, the Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the landmarks of the city. Dating back to the Ottoman era, the imposing Süleymaniye Mosque is situated on the Third Hill. It was opened in 1558.
A symbolic structure, the Galata Tower is a stone tower located in the quarter of Galata/Karaköy, dating back to the medieval period. This cone capped cylinder tower is a great view point offering a striking view of historic peninsula of Istanbul.
Served as the major administrative house of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 until the collapse of empire, Dolmabahçe Palace is situated in the district of Beşiktaş in Istanbul. Garabet Balyan was the designer of this imperial palace.
Istanbul Archaeology Museums:
The Istanbul Archaeology Museums is divided into 3 museums, the Archaeological Museum, Museum of the Ancient Orient and Museum of Islamic Art, covering the complete history of Turkey with around one million objects. It is situated in the Eminönü district.
List of other places of interest in Istanbul includes:
- Kariye Museum
- Hagia Sophia
- Sultan Ahmed Mosque
- Grand Bazaar
- Topkapı Palace
- Basilica Cistern
- Hagia Sophia Museum
- Basilica Cistern
- Sakip Sabanci Museum
- Historic Areas of Istanbul
Best time to visit Istanbul:
Being situated on a transitional climatic zone, Istanbul features humid subtropical climate, Mediterranean climate and oceanic climate. The months of April, May, September and October would be the best time to travel Istanbul in Turkey.
Accommodation options in Istanbul:
Istanbul houses nearly 2000 standard accommodation centres categorized as hotels, holiday rentals and BB and inns with different upgraded facilities and services, although advance booking is recommended. Here are some top end hotels in Istanbul in Turkey:
- Hotel Sultania
- White House Hotel
- Premist Hotel
- Witt Istanbul Suites
- Dersaadet Hotel Istanbul
- Best Point Hotel
- Sultans Royal Hotel
- Biz Cevahir Hotel
- Hotel Niles Istanbul
- Rose Garden Suites
- Armada Istanbul Pera Hotel
- Inncity Hotel Nisantasi
- Aren Suites
- Garden House Istanbul
- Orient Express Hotel