Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.
Istanbul is an old city; you can see the remains of many ancient civilizations and their culture in harmony with Turkish culture. The old versus the new, the traditional versus the modern is a conflict a visitor often observes. The city is full of contrasts, and colourful views, where the blowing winds from the seven peaks of Anatolian Olympus merge into each other… Where Amazon’s cooled their bodies in the waves that break apart from the Black Sea and roll mightily against the shore … Where love is symbolised in the Maiden’s Tower … Where stand the rocks of Symplegad that brought nightmares to the Argonauts …
Built on seven hills on Asia and Europe … Capital of three empires … Where romance and traffic jam go hand in hand … Lively and exciting …A world metropolis …
Sometimes described as ‘the crossroads of Europe and Asia’, Istanbul – formerly Constantinople – is a vast, heaving metropolis with an imperial history that stretches back for more than 1,600 years. No longer Turkey’s capital but still the cultural heart of the nation, this city of 13 million sprawls across both sides of a land bridge spanning two continents. Istanbul’s unique position on the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, has resulted in the city being a jealously guarded centre of world trade since the Byzantine era.
Offering a wide range of alternatives, Istanbul welcomes its dear guests with special dishes for all tastes. A variety of cuisines from all over Turkey blending with the Ottoman culinary culture comprise a variety of specialties of incomparable taste.
Having started the day with a Turkish breakfast, which is famous for its diversity, you may take a trip to the islands of Istanbul where you will encounter an entirely different environment. You may enjoy the sun and the sea or prefer to ride a bike if you like.
Alternatively you may opt to take a city tour in Istanbul which is definitely worth the time. Beginning your tour at the historical peninsula, you can sightsee many monuments belonging to civilizations that had settled here. The Grand Bazaar, Nuru Osmaniye, Çemberlitas, the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern and Archaeological Museum are among the major venues you may particularly enjoy sightseeing. After that you can cross the Golden Horn Bridge and give a coffee break at Karaköy before heading to Tünel and going up the Galata Tower to watch the splendid view of Istanbul.
Finally, you can try the tasty dishes of Turkish cuisine at any of the restaurants at Beyoğlu and eventually drop by the coast of Bebek or Arnavutkoy to enjoy the rest of the magnificence and beauty of Istanbul by night.
On the other hand, Pierre Loti, one of the most tranquil and charming corners in Istanbul, will invite you to drink some Turkish Tea and enjoy the view on site.
Eminönü is a convenient place to buy souvenirs and gifts that will remind you of your Istanbul experience all through life. For bigger shopping tours you may prefer to go to the great shopping centers in the districts nearby.
If you prefer to be carried away by the beat of the night you may consider visiting Kalamış, Fenerbahçe, Moda and Caddebostan located on the Anatolian side. Likewise, the coast of the European side, such as Ortaköy, Kuruçeşme, Bebek, Tarabya and Suada offer popular entertainment venues with doors open to guests until early sunrise.
The official language is Turkish. English is usually spoken in touristic areas.
Turkey time (TRT) zone varies within UTC/GMT+3h according to the region.
Electrical system in Turkey operates on 220 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets are of type F, thus you will need a voltage converter and plug adapter to use U.S. appliances.
The dialling code of Turkey is 90. Every cities have different codes. To make international calls, you need to dial country code, city code, and the remaining numbers.
Local currency is Turkish lira (TRY). Dollars and Euros can be easily exchanged in hotels, authorized banks, and exchange offices. International debt and credit cards (Visa and Master Card) are accepted in most places.
Tip & Tax
Taxes ae included in the labels, tips are up to you.