Istanbul is Turkey's most populous city as well as its cultural and financial hub. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally.
What to visitIstanbul is a huge city with several districts:
- Sultanahmet-Old City: Essentially the Constantinople of the Roman, Eastern Roman/Byzantine, and much of the Ottoman periods, this is where most of the famous historical sights of Istanbul are located.
- Galata: Housing many of the nightlife venues of the city, this district includes Taksim Square.
- New City: Main business district of the city with many modern shopping malls and districts.
- Bosphorus: European bank of the Bosphorus dotted by numerous palaces, parks, water-front mansions, and bohemian neighbourhoods.
- Golden Horn: Banks of Golden Horn, the estuary that separates the European side into distinctive districts. Eyüp, with an Ottoman ambience, is located here.
- Princes’ Islands: An excellent getaway from the city, made up of an archipelago of nine car-free islands—some of them small, some of them big—with splendid wooden mansions, verdant pine gardens and nice views—both of the islands themselves, and also on the way there.
- Asian Side: Eastern half of Istanbul, with lovely neighborhoods at the Marmara and Bosphorus coasts.
- Western Suburbs: Western chunk of the European Side.
Suggested toursThe Blue Mosque , the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, the Dolmabahçe Palace and the iconic Topkapi Palaceare one of the most popular sites to be visited in Istanbul.
For shopping lovers, don’t miss the Taksim street and the Grand Bazaar, which today houses 4,000 merchants selling silken carpets, dazzling gemstones, lush fabrics and glittering treasures and trinkets to appeal to every desire