Top Travel Destinations of Istanbul, Turkey

Top Travel Destinations of Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul is an exotic city that melds two cultures thanks to its location on two continents. Part of the massive city lies in Europe while the rest is spread across the Bosphorus in Asia. The city itself is a contradiction of east and west as it takes influence from both cultures.

Architecture of Blue Mosque

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The Blue Mosque is one of the most amazing Islamic structures in Turkey. The painstaking detail is incredible to see. Tourists are graciously allowed in if they are respectful of those in prayer. This is a definite must-see for anyone who visits Istanbul. Of course, visitors should also see the famed Hagia Sofia. This massive structure was once a Byzantine cathedral that was converted into a Muslim temple. The history in this monumental landmark is incredible. One can even see Viking graffiti carved into the rocks of the balcony! If you want to see the best Istanbul has to offer, then this is where you need to start. The city was founded with the name of Byzantium on the Sarayburnu promontory around 660 BCE. The city was reestablished as Constantinople in 330 CE which served as an imperial capital for almost 16 centuries during the Roman and Byzantine Empire. It also served as imperial capitals for several other empires such as Latin, Ottoman and Roman Empires. It became an important religious site and the seat of Ottoman caliphate.

Places to Live and Eat

If you are looking for a great place to eat, then check out the Istanbul business directory. You will be pointed towards places that cater to tourists and locals alike. Nobody likes to stay in a tourist-packed spot when they can venture to neighborhood favorites. Therefore, a quick scan in the Istanbul yellow pages is one way to find a fabulous local place to eat.

Shopping in Istanbul is great as well if you want some local artisan crafts. Be forewarned that Turkish people do not like to haggle. This is not part of their culture, and they will not budge on prices unless you are really convincing. That said, local shops are a great place to find local souvenirs made from Turkish craftsman. You will not have to deal with crowded markets and pay the price you want.

Architecture of Istanbul

Istanbul has a mixture of traditions and architectures which becomes evident as we study the past of the empires thriving here. From Romans to ottoman and Christian empires, the city underwent massive architectural changes. Hagia Sophia, an example, was a church converted into a mosque converted into a museum, later on, was the largest cathedral ever constructed in the world for a nearly thousand years. The city can be primarily associated with Byzantine and Ottoman architecture and its buildings reflect a melancholy of culture smitten into one land. The Ottomans did extirpate the entire Greek structures but their remains are still preserved. The obelisk which was built by Theodosius in the Hippodrome of Constantinople is still visible in Sultan Ahmet Square.

Tourist Spots in the Instanbul

The city is blessed enough to have awesome tourist attractions, some of which are –

Sultan Ahmet Mosque

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Hagia Sophia

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Topkapi Palace

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Basilica Cistern

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Dolmabahce Palace

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Taksim Square

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Maiden’s Tower

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Golden Horn

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All Images have original attributions unless otherwise indicated so.  

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