Tourist Places to Visit in Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey geographically positioned between 41°00′49″ north latitude and 28°57′18″ east longitude. It is considered as the economic, cultural, and historical capital of Turkey. Istanbul covers an area of 5,343 sq. km. and has a population of over 13.9 million.
Istanbul is placed between Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea positioned at an altitude of 288 meters. It is located about 454 kms northwest of national capital Ankara.
Istanbul is referred as ‘the cultural capital of Europe’ and is in 10th position in the world’s most popular tourist destinations list. In 2010, Istanbul was visited by more than 7 million overseas tourists. Istanbul is one of the highly emerging cities in the globe houses most numbers of Turkish companies, MNC centres and media outlets.
History of Istanbul:
Byzantium was the earlier name of Istanbul and the name Byzantium derives from the local King Byzas. The modern name Istanbul is derived from Medieval Greek.
Culture, food and shopping in Istanbul:
Most of the buildings at Istanbul were built with Byzantine and Ottoman architecture. Higher majority of Istanbul population is filled with Muslim groups especially Sunni subgroup. International Istanbul Film Festival and the Istanbul International Jazz Festival are the cultural events organized in Istanbul.
The Grand Bazaar is the main market of Istanbul and is also considered as one of the biggest enclosed bazaars in the globe. Mahmutpasha Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar are other popular market centres in Istanbul.
Kebab is very famous dish in Istanbul. Istanbul houses more than 50 seafood restaurants along with Mexican, Italian and Chinese food corners.
Connectivity to Istanbul:
O-1, O-2, O-3 and O-4 are the most important motorways of Istanbul. The city has Metro Train facility along with general trains. The trains are well maintained and give good transportation services to public. Haydarpasa Train Station is one of the major railway station of Istanbul. Istanbul has two international airports namely Ataturk International Airport and Sabiha Gokcen International Airport.
Places to see in Istanbul:
Ataturk Museum was constructed by modern Turkey creator Ataturk in the year 1908. Before shaping it as a museum, it was the residence of Ataturk. The museum comprises the pictures of Ataturk and his clothes and paintings. The museum is open only five days of the week Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday between 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Blue Mosque also called as Sultanahmet Camii is a Muslim worship centre located in front of Hagia Sophia and was constructed during 17th century. The stunning architecture and cool environment of the mosque gives a lovely feel to visitors. The mosque is open in all the days of the week. The museum at the mosque is open from Tuesday to Saturday between 9 am to 4 pm.
The list of other top tourist attractions in Istanbul include:
- Archaeology Museum
- Basilica Cistern
- City Museum
- Dolmabahce Palace
- Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
- Hagia Sophia
- Galata Tower
- Aya Sofya
- Topkapi Palace
- Blue Mosque
- Süleymaniye Mosque
- Chora Church
- Galata Tower
Best time to visit Istanbul:
From April to June and September to November is the ideal time to visit Istanbul.
Accommodation options in Istanbul:
The luxury hotels in Istanbul are listed below.
- Grand Oztanik Hotel
- The Ritz Carlton
- Maywood Hotel
- Crowne Plaza Hotel
- Ibis Istanbul
- Istanbul Marriott Hotel
- En Estambul Residences
- Hotel Zeugma
- Sirkeci Konak Hotel
- Four Seasons Hotel Istanbul
- Dersaadet Hotel
- Best Western The President Hotel
- Zeynep Sultan Hotel
- Kariye Hotel