Imagine you wake up in a mansion by the Bosphorus connecting Asia and Europe. You inhale the fresh air, watch the fishermen collecting the nets and you feel numb viewing the thrilling beauty of the Bosphorus. You hear the horn of the continent-crossing boats and Azan. And you start thinking about how many times people heard the Azan and the church bell at the same time.
Beating Heart of Istanbul
You leave the house and take a ride to Beyoglu where Taksim Square is located. You see thousands of people walking in and out from Istiklal Street which is one of the oldest streets in Istanbul and the center of cultural attraction. The nostalgic tram comes along the street ringing its bell and you start thinking about the early occupiers of this street, elegant men with ties and women with hats.
History is Alive in Istanbul
Historic peninsula is your next stop where you can feel the deep history of Istanbul. Many different civilizations, many different religious and many different cultures reigned especially in this region enriching the Istanbul culture.
Connecting the two prominent continents Asia and Europe with a ravishing strait and being the capital city of many civilizations, Istanbul definitely deserves the reputation of being the most beautiful city of the world. It features both oriental and western characteristics on seven hills.
Where Is Istanbul
Istanbul is located at the northwestern part of Turkey and divided into 2 peninsulas by Bosphorus. These peninsulas have the coasts on Marmara and Black Sea.
Getting to and around Istanbul
In Istanbul, there are two airports that you can prefer. Istanbul Ataturk Airport, the main airport of the city is located in Yesilkoy (on European Side) and 22 km away from the city center. For the detailed information about transportation options from airport to the city center, you can visit the official website of the Ataturk Airport.
If you will stay on the Asian side, you can prefer Sabiha Gokcen Airport located 40 km away from Asian city center, Kadikoy. If you need more information about the transportation options, you can visit the official web site of Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
Attractions of Istanbul
Museums in Istanbul
Used to be a church, then converted into a mosque and now a museum, Hagia Sophia is a beautiful example of the combination of historical culture with modern times.
Istanbul Archeological Museums
Istanbul Archeological Museums, located in Sultanahmet is one of the most important world-class museums of the top 10. There are three different museums on site; Archeological Museum, Ancient Orient Museum and Tiled Kiosk Museum. These three exhibit different forms of art that belong to different period of times.
Organizing modern and contemporary art exhibitions, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, opened in 2004. As well as having a lot worldwide famous exhibitions, the museum also has got one of the best views of the Bosphorus as it is located on the shore line, in Karakoy district.
Museum of Innocence
Inspired by the Nobel Prize Winner author Orhan Pamuk’s novel, Museum of Innocence is a concept museum. The novel takes place between 1950’s and 2000’s and the objects in correlation with the characters’ lives are exhibited. It is not a must to have read the novel in advance to enjoy the museum.
Palaces in Istanbul
Used to be one of the main offices for Ottoman Empire’s administration, Dolmabahce Palace is located on Besiktas district in Istanbul.
Actually built as a summer residence for one of the Ottoman Emperors, Sultan Abdulaziz, and the palace has still as beautiful as the day it was first built.
Served as a palace to Ottoman Emperors for almost 400 years, Topkapi Palace is the place you should go to change your ideas into experience about Ottoman Empire. As the palace is quite big, more than 2 hours should be saved to discover all parts of it.
Dining and Nightlife in Istanbul
Reina is certainly of the most prestigious night clubs in Istanbul. It is located in Ortakoy, offering its guests a quality understanding of nightlife.
Anjelique is among the first choices of Turkish celebrities when it comes to nightlife. An atmosphere of party combined with the beautiful view of Bosphorus can make your night out a remarkable one.
Another good quality club which is located in Besiktas, Istanbul is Sortie. We are pretty sure that you won’t notice how time flies while you are dancing to the rhythm of the city. There are also several luxury restaurants in Sortie.
Restaurants in Istanbul
360 has got three different restaurants in Istanbul but the one we recommend is located in Misir Building, on Istiklal Street. It is suitable for both lunch and dinner and we can assure you that you’ll be accompanied by one of the best views of Istanbul.
Leb-i Derya, Kumbaraci is a well-known restaurant by Istanbullers not only because they serve good quality dishes but also it’s easy to reach and offer you a stunning Istanbul view.
Suada is a tiny island located by the Kurucesme shore and it has got a lot to offer. This time we offer you a kebab restaurant that will bring you the eastern touch of Turkey right on your plate. You'll also enjoy dining right in the middle of the Bosphorus.
Shopping in Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar in Beyazit, Istanbul is known to be attracting 400.000 tourists per year. The number speaks for itself: don’t miss your chance to discover this special place that has more than 5.000 shops which sell beautiful handmade jewellery, carpets, leather clothing, and painted ceramics, as well as oriental, all natural spices.
The Egyptian Bazaar
Having similar sort of shops with the Grand Bazaar, The Egyptian Bazaar is in Eminonu district. It is said that all the herbs and spices to cure the illneses, were used to sold here during old times. The bazaar still keeps its shape from 1940 that it got after the renovation because of the continous fires that occurred before.
Located on the European Side of Istanbul, on Levent district, Kanyon is the only open air shopping mall in Istanbul. It has got the world’s best brands’ stores as well as a rich food court.
Opened in 2007 in Istinye, Istinye Park is still one of the best shopping malls in Istanbul in which you can find anything you need.
Excursions and Tours in Istanbul
The tour through the Bosphorus is surely going to be count as the best hours of your life spent on a boat. Surrounded by beautiful buildings, the bluest of Marmara is awaiting to offer you a bit of sea air.
A mixture of Greek and Jewish culture can still be seen in Balat district of Istanbul. The difference between the architecture styles creates the beauty of the synthesis.
Events in Istanbul
Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey with a population of approximately 15 million. With regards to history, arts, culture and economy, the city of Istanbul is the center of Turkey. Being the rising star of the congress and meeting sector, Istanbul is at the 7th row on ICCA’s World Congress Cities List of 2012. Every year, reputable international events such as conferences, symposiums, congresses, trade shows, fairs, exhibitions and seminars are held in Istanbul and draw global attention.