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You HAVE to go to ISTANBUL!

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Istanbul is the only city that is located in two different continents, Europe and Asia. It has been a center of trade, culture, and history for centuries. With a population of over 15 million people, Istanbul is Turkey's largest and most populous city. It is a city that boasts a rich cultural heritage, unique cuisine, breathtaking architecture, and stunning views that can leave any visitor awestruck.


Hagia Sophia

History and Culture


Istanbul has a long and colorful history, dating back to its founding in 660 BCE by Greek settlers. Later, it was ruled by the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires, all of which have left their mark on the city. The Hagia Sophia, one of the most famous landmarks of Istanbul, is a testament to the city's historical significance. Originally built as a Christian church in 537 CE, it was later converted into a mosque, then a museum, and back to a mosque again. Walking around the outside of Hagia Sophia, especially at night, is absolutely breathtaking. The Topkapi Palace, which was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for over 400 years, is another must-see attraction that offers a glimpse into the city's imperial past.


Istanbul's cultural heritage is also reflected in its many museums and art galleries. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum is home to one of the world's most extensive collections of artifacts from the ancient world, including exhibits from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The Istanbul Modern Art Museum, on the other hand, showcases contemporary art from both Turkish and international artists.



Cuisine


Istanbul is famous for its unique and delicious cuisine, which is a blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Balkan flavors. Turkish food is known for its rich and savory meat dishes, flavorful vegetable stews, and sweet pastries. Some of the must-try dishes include kebabs, baklava, Turkish delight, and Turkish coffee. The city's many restaurants and street food vendors offer a wide range of culinary experiences, from traditional home-style cooking to modern fusion cuisine. Turkish food has been one of our favorites since beginning our travels together.


Hagia Sophia at night

Architecture


Istanbul is a city that is characterized by its stunning architecture. The city's skyline is dominated by minarets, domes, and towers that reflect its Islamic heritage. The Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and intricate blue tilework, is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. Unfortunately, the Blue Mosque is currently not open to visitors because of renovations. It probably will not reopen The Basilica Cistern, an ancient underground water reservoir, is another architectural marvel that showcases the city's ingenuity and engineering prowess.


Bosphorous

Views


Istanbul is a city that offers breathtaking views from every angle. The Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe and Asia, is a popular spot for sightseeing cruises that offer panoramic views of the city's skyline. The Galata Tower, a medieval stone tower that was once used as a watchtower, offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck. The Princes' Islands, a group of nine islands located off the coast of Istanbul, offer a serene escape from the bustling city and stunning views of the Sea of Marmara.


Istanbul Monuments

Conclusion


Istanbul is a city that has something for everyone. Its rich history, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, stunning architecture, and breathtaking views make it a destination that should be on every traveler's list. Whether you're interested in exploring the city's ancient ruins or indulging in its culinary delights, Istanbul is a city that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.

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