Istanbul is the only metropolitan on the planet Earth that covers two continents – the magnificent Bosporus divides the European portion of Asia. Life on the coasts of this strait (connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea) is tremendously lively and a visit to Bebek and Ortakoy on the European side and Cengelkoy and Kucuksu in Asia. Do not miss out on the various cruises that take thousands of tourists every day for a walk along this strait. Now let’s discuss some of the well-recognized places you can see while your visit to this city of Turkey.
UNESCO defines the Topkapi Palace as one of the greatest examples of what the Ottoman Empire was. Built by Sultan Mehmet II – known as the conqueror, known to date as Constantinople; The collection presented at the museum is absolutely astounding and the highlights are the Topkapi Dagger (the most expensive weapon in the world, in gold with three huge emeralds on the cape) and the Kasikci Elmasi , an 86-carat diamond.
The fantastic views of the city
With one of the most charismatic urban sights in the world, the Galata Tower is an icon of Istanbul, which means that the queue is usually long and time consuming. If you’re not a big fan, you can sit at the bar of Hotel Anemon Galata – right next to the tower – and enjoy the same view with a fantastic cocktail.
Dining is one of the highlights of any trip to Turkey and Istanbul is the ideal place to enjoy the country’s cuisine. There are several good restaurants in Istanbul but if you want to do as the locals have no problem in ordering your meals on street benches. And do not go away before you taste a fish sandwich by the Galata Bridge.
Love Bargaining, visit the Grand Bazaar!
There is no more lively and thrilling shopping experience than bargaining in the lanes of yourself in an interminable and lively negotiation.
The Church of Saint Sophia or Hagia Sophia is a beautiful treasure. Its four minarets and its huge pink dome have been erected in the historic centre of Istanbul for more than a millennium since the time when the Byzantine capital was called Constantinople. It is really amazing to think that this gigantic structure was built so far away from ours and with such perfection. It was the largest Christian temple of the Byzantine Empire. With the taking of Constantinople by the Ottomans it was transformed into a mosque and today it is a museum that has to be enjoyed inside and out. A good way to admire its surroundings is to climb on the terrace of the Four Seasons Hotel Sultanahmet to have Turkish tea with the Hagia Sofia almost within reach.
The mysterious Basilica Cistern
In a hidden entrance near the Church of Saint Sofia is the descent to the most incredible cistern of Istanbul, the Yerebatan Sarayi. When descending, in a half-light scene, 336 Roman colonnades in various styles gain orange tones and reflections in the water. More than an obligatory visit; the reservoirs supplied the city and had the capacity to store 80,000 cubic meters of water. Its construction was made during the Byzantine Empire in the sixth century and was used until the fall of Constantinople. It also served as a backdrop for James Bond’s film From Russia with Love. Then, a good request is to take a few steps to the street Divanyolu Caddesi and enter the Turkish sweets shop Hafiz Mustafa to smear with the national baklava dessert.
A boat trip on the Bosphorus
The Bosphorus is the “street” that connects the Black Sea and Marmara in which it demarcates the territories of Asia and Europe. It is a tour that needs to be included in a trip to Istanbul whether in the form of a simple ferry crossing, a usual means of transportation for those who want to escape from the nodes in transit, or a longer tourist cruise that can reach the friendly Prince Islands. These 9 islands in the Sea of Marmara were named after the princes who were exiled during the Byzantine Empire. The largest of these is Buyukada; the second largest is Beybeli, followed by Burgazada, Kinaliada, Sedef and other very small ones. Worth the tour for those who will be staying in Istanbul for quite a while.
Blue Mosque at sunset
The restaurant is only good, but the view is unforgettable. On one side the Hagia Sophia and the other the Blue Mosque mark the orange sky at sunset. The Blue Mosque is the only mosque with six minarets and this detail was already a problem in the past, because Mecca also had six and no other could be superior to her. The solution is given by Sultan Ahmet I was simple. He financed the construction of the seventh minaret in the Mecca mosque. And then, there’s the Blue Mosque, beautiful with its six minarets built in 1609 around several domes cascaded from an immense central dome. Its interior is lined by 20 thousand Iznik tiles. I would say that when visiting this city with amazing discounted flights to Istanbul, it’s perfect to end the day with a golden key!
These are just a few reasons to love Istanbul. A really passionate, vibrant, thought-provoking, colourful, strong city; Its contours are marked by minarets and their chaos whispered five times a day by the calls of the muezzins for the moment of the prayer. The story unfolds in every corner. A perfect blend of Asia and Europe!
Author of this content is Obaid Ahmed who loves blogging and making creative content. Currently, He is working as a Digital Marketing Executive at Dream World Travel, Ltd. You can find him at Facebook and Twitter to learn more about him.