History buffs and party goers, architecture enthusiasts and thrill seekers, foodies and shoppers, there is something for everyone in Istanbul. While it is no longer Turkey’s capital, Istanbul is certainly the most populous and popular city in the country, as well as the historical high seat of the Byzantium, Roman and Ottoman Empires. Old meets new, Christianity meets Islam, and Europe meets Asia in this beautiful and historically rich city, the only city in the world that straddles two continents.
Old World Charm
One of many reasons to visit Istanbul is its stunning architecture, which transform the skyline into something out of a fairytale. The myriad of domes, spires and towers speaks to the city’s tumultuous past. Worth a visit of course is Hagia Sophia, a structure which truly displays the marriage between new and old in the city. Originally built as the seat of rule for the Greek Orthodox church, it was later transformed into an Imperial Mosque when the Ottoman empire conquered Constantinople (Istanbul’s original name). The beautiful building is now a museum, where travellers and locals alike can marvel at the unique architecture that features both the original Christian characteristics as well as the newer Islamic ones.
Also of great interest to those looking to partake in the storied history of the city is a trip to the Grand Bazaar, one of the first “shopping malls”in the world. It is comprised of 61 covered streets, and has more than 4,000 stalls to shop at. Expect to find anything from rugs and carpets, spices and jewelry to books, leather goods, toys and art.
Out with the Old, In with the New!
For those looking for a more modern get away, look no further than the “Istanbul Pub Crawl”! This popular tour runs every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and is a great way to experience the extensive night life of Istanbul. Join like-minded international tourists on an adventure for this 7-hour pub crawl, hitting up all the local hot spots for partying, dancing, and of course, drinking. You are shuttled around the streets of Istanbul and have exclusive and free access to the hottest spots off the beaten path where locals go to unwind.
Foodies rejoice, and visit “Nicole”! Ranked one of the best restaurants in the world, the modern seasonal cuisine will dazzle you, as will the rooftop view of the city. Located on the top floor of TomTom Suites hotel, the restaurant provides a gastronomic “Discovery Menu”, which showcases the best Nicole has to offer. Indulge in the fresh, local ingredients and take in the view, which captures both the urban buildings and the Old City spires and domes.
Travel to Istanbul!
Whether you are looking to soak up culture and beauty, learn about history, embark on a culinary adventure or indulge in the night life, Istanbul has the perfect balance of Old world Charm and Modern Living and has something for everyone!
Posted thanks to content by contributor: Erin Brooks