Why Travel to Istanbul, Turkey?

With a population of 13.9 million, Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey which comprises its cultural, historical and economic hub. Founded around 660BC as Byzantium, Istanbul is today one of history’s most significant cities. Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate with only two summer months which are ideal for touring the city. The ancient grandeur and contemporary design of this modern city is just one of the many reasons why you should visit Istanbul.

So, why would anyone want to travel to Istanbul?

Here are some of the reasons you should visit Istanbul (the list is open, please share your reasons):

  • Grand Bazaar

Nothing provides a true feel of an exotic place such as a visit to its central market. When in Istanbul, be sure to take the tram to the Grand Bazaar, the 500 year old iconic landmark of the city. A model for other Turkish markets, the Grand Bazaar offers an endless array of over three thousand shops to browse through. Here you can buy some high quality goods including hand woven cotton hammam towels as well as exquisite prints of whirling dervishes.

  • Palatium Restaurant

After a busy day touring Istanbul, settle down for some Turkish tea and baklava in one of the numerous cafes around the city. Palatium Restaurant is a good spot where you can have some tea while viewing the remains of the Great Palace of Constantinople through the glass door. For a taste of traditional Turkish cuisine, go for some kebab or meatballs at one of the many small restaurants around town, most of which are family run.

  • Bosphorus

Take the ferry across the mile-wide Bosphorus which separates Europe from Asia and where you can enjoy one of the world’s finest city views. You could also cross from Eminonu to Kadikoy, Kabatas or Karakoy, which will provide you with a spectacular view of the old city and the Hagia Sophia. If you’re not up for going into the water yourself, you could sip some tea at the tea garden under the Topkapi Palace and watch the evening ferries crossing the Bosphorus.

  • The Hagia Sophia

At the most visited attraction in Turkey, the Hagia Sophia, you should expect to queue for your ticket. Built in 537, the Hagia Sophia was for 900 years the greatest cathedral in Christendom. The cathedral was converted into a mosque in 1453 when the Turks took over the city and remained one until 1935 when it was converted into a museum. Its wondrous mosaics, mighty columns and arched windows do not disappoint

I’m sure you have plenty more reasons to travel to Istanbul – why not add them here!

 

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    The Pera Museum

    Istanbul is a thriving hub of art and design culture, as evidenced by its contemporary galleries, slick restaurants and boutique hotels. Art lovers should not miss out on a visit to the Pera Museum, the leading art museum in Istanbul, which hosts contemporary exhibitions in addition to its permanent collection of ceramics and tiles dating back to the 13th century.

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