“If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul”- Alphonse de Lamartine
Istanbul is one of the oldest cities in the world and worth visiting. You will find amazing things to do here, regardless of your particular interests, Istanbul has something for you.
If you’re thinking; “Why should I go to İstanbul?”
Here are general reasons for you:
1. To witness the history of the Byzantine Empire, which was formed when the Roman Empire split up as eastern and western empires in 395,
2. To see the lands which the Byzantine Empire existed on for over one thousand years. To see the capital which has been carried from Roman times to today’s Istanbul,
3. To witness the 600 year long adventure of the Ottoman Empire’s most glorious times, and the founding of the Republic
4. To see the palaces which summarize the 600 year Ottoman adventure, especially the Topkapı Palace and the marvelous buildings, churches, bazaars, fountains, cisterns and streets in the surrounding Sultanahmet area,
5. To witness the magnificent atmosphere of Hagia Sophia, the greatest Christian temple which still stands,
6. To feel the pulse of Europe’s first, and the world’s 5th largest city, with its population of 13.8 million,
7. To become a part of the cultural wealth brought on by the coexistence of the modern and the traditional,
8. To experience going from Europe to Asia in five minutes by boat or by car (during low traffic hours),
9. To watch Asia from Europe, Europe from Asia, and be a part of the “fish by the Bosphorus” tradition while watching,
10. To be able to answer the question “How can the people of one city be both Westerners and Easterners?”
There are more “Reasons to Go”:
History of Istanbul is very rich. You can witness the opulent past that remains from the Ottoman Empire and Byzantine Empire periods.
Istanbul was Constantinople once. And it was Byzantion before that. The city you will discover will let you see the crown city of three empires.
Grand Mosque of Suleymaniye Complex, Spice Market, Saint Sophia, Dolmabahce Palace and Blue Mosque in Istanbul are the places to be seen at least once in a lifetime.
Turkish food is very delicious and Turkish cuisine is one of the best cuisines of the world. You will be surprised of the wide range of dishes.
- Only seeing Bosphorus is a reason itself. (“Bosphorus” is misspelled commonly as: “Bosporus”. The two are the same place.) Shore excursions on Bosphorus are a must-do. And a cruise dinner is a delicious option for a night ride on Bosphorus.
- Istanbul has boutique hotels and they are really good. And you will see that there are lots of Istanbul hotels in Old City and Taksim. There are countless cheap hotels in Istanbul if you are on a budget too.
- Shopping in Istanbul is a very funny adventure. You have lots of options like Grand Bazaar and Spice Market for an authentic taste of shopping and lots of shopping facilities, modern shopping malls, picturesque neighborhoods full of stores and little antique shops.
- And Istanbul life at last, but not least… Nightlife and cultural life is very vibrant and colorful. Istanbulites have their own way of going out and having fun. You will find countless options for any taste.
Practical Reasons to Go”:
- There are frequent flights to Istanbul from all over Europe, America and Asia. You don’t have to worry about rare flight schedules and you are free to prepare your plans according to your free time.
- Istanbul is a tourism friendly city. Walking routes of Istanbul city tours are perfect. And you can attend to private Istanbul tours too.
- The weather in Istanbul is nearly always wonderful. Only the winter months are rainy and cold. If not for anything else, you’ll love Istanbul for the weather.
- If you have a hobby like photography, this is heaven for you. You will find all kinds of people, interesting streets, amazing light nearly all year, authentic neighborhoods, sea and forests along the shores, vibrant open markets and so on…
And you can;
- Buy a carpet,
- Buy an evil-eye talisman.
- Witness the ceremony of the Whirling Dervises at Galata Mevlevihanesi: The whirling of the sufi mystics and soothing tones of their music will take you to another place,
- Sweat in a historic Hamam, discover the soothing effects of a Turkish rubdown, relax and leave the worries there,
- Cross the Galata Bridge on foot, the view from the bridge is spectacular. You will see the Fishermen waiting for a catch and the silhouettes of the mosques,
- Buy clothes made of “Şile bezi” (textile made in “Şile”, a small village at the North of İstanbul