Ideal duration: 4-6 days
Best Time: March to May or September to November (Spring or Autumn) Read More
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Although not the official capital of Turkey, Istanbul is still very much the heart of all activities in the country. It is Turkey's largest and most populated city and also the centre of tourism. Istanbul is located on both sides of the Bosphorus and thus lies in both Europe and Asia.
Istanbul is known for the marvellous structures of Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the Dolmabahe Palace. Almost all of these buildings today serve as museums, providing insight into the grand lives of the emperors and kings, and the spectacular Byzantine and later European architecture. Istanbul also has some splendid gardens, such as the Gulhane and the Emirgan, which come alive during spring when the tulips start to bud, and the colours start to flourish. Cruises along the Bosphorus Strait is a hugely popular activity with spectacular views of the cityscape. Istanbul is also a shopper's paradise, with one of the world's first shopping malls, the Grand Bazaar, and several streets dedicated to small stores and stalls.
Known as Byzantium and Constantinople throughout history, Istanbul has always been one of the most important European cities. Today, it is the 7th largest city in the world and one of the most heavily populated. Its vibrance and imperial heritage make it one of the most beautiful cities to visit. It served as the capital of the Byzantine and the Ottoman empires, and the numerous cathedrals, mosques and palaces erected by the rulers can still be seen all over the city. The Bosphorus Strait, the thin dividing waterway between Europe and Asia, divides Istanbul into different parts. Most of the beautiful historical structures are located around Sultanahmet Square (old city). The New Istanbul is the main business district of the city housing skyscrapers, mansions and picturesque neighbourhoods. Across the Bosphorus is the Asian side while off the coast of the Asian Side is the Princess' Islands.
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sanjay arya4 years ago