Why is it worth visiting?
Just like the New York, Paris and London, Istanbul is one of the greatest cities in the world. Strategically situated on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait, the city separates Asia from Europe and has both Asian and European part.
This mega city is rapidly expanding and has a population approaching 20 million people. Because of its large business districts and vibrant stock exchange, the city reminds tourists of Manhattan. Istanbul has an ancient history and has always played an important part in the fate of nations ever since it was founded in the seventh century BC by the Greeks.
The city became known as Constantinople in the 4th century AD and stood as the center of the Byzantine Christian world for more than 10 centuries. It prevented the Ottomans from invading Europe before it finally fell to the Turks in the year 1453. These great two powers left relicts worthy for everyone to see – Hagia Sofia, the Byzantine Church of the Holy Wisdom, and the Topkapi Palace, the power center of the Ottoman Empire, among them
Usually, during the hot months of June and July, locals move from the capital to the Mediterranean and Aegean resorts or the rural retreats. This means that the city is less crowded at the time and there are fewer issues with the public transport.
The evenings bring new opportunities. Tourists can dine at a Bosphorus-front fist restaurant or enjoy a drink at a roof-top bar. During the months of September and October the weather is usually clear and sunny, which provides the ideal opportunity to explore the city by foot. The weather is still warm enough for people to have a meal outside, swim in the Sea of Marmara or take a Bosphorus Cruise.
Regardless of the season and whether you are admiring the Istanbul Modern’s latest contemporary art, taking a ferry across to Asia, bargaining on the price of a Turkish carpet in an ancient bazar or marveling at the Church of St Saviour’s stunning Byzantine mosaics, this is a great city where the east meets the west and for which all the rumors are true.
Where should you go
Although there are countless historic sights to visit in Istanbul, one should definitely see Hagia Sofia, the holy symbol of Orthodox Christianity, and the Topkapi Palace. Equally splendid are also the domes and minarets of the Blue Mosque. The conical cap of the Galata Tower is across the Golden Horn and marks the entertainment quarters of Beyoglu, Galata and Karakoy. The ferry rides are cheap and allow visitors a ride to the Asian suburbs and an opportunity to observe the ancient land walls of the city.
When should you go?
Although Istanbul is open to tourists at any time of the year, if you what to enjoy sunny and warm days and a perfect weather for exploring the historical marvels on foot, pay it a visit during the late spring or the early autumn.
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