Istanbul is one of the major cities in Turkey, and is falsely thought by many to be the country’s capital. However, Ankara is the capital city of Turkey. Even though it no longer serves as a capital, Istanbul served as one for hundreds of years, in the time of the Ottoman Empire, one of the most powerful Empires to exist. An unique blend of cultural diversity, architectural styles and Islam, Istanbul is without a doubt a magnificent city. Also called “The Gate to the East”, Istanbul has many attractions, besides the fact that it’s a city that lies on two continents.
Below you’ll find a list of some of the most loved attractions in Istanbul
Is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world, getting its name from the blue tile which covers its interior. Designed to express the splendor of Islam, the mosque has served as supreme Imperial Mosque of the Ottoman Empire. Nowadays, it’s one of the most popular attractions in Istanbul.
Served as the formal residence for sultans between 1456 and 1863, at the height of the Ottoman Empire, it was the home of over 4,000 people. Nowadays, it attracts daily a larger number of visitors. A tour can take hours, as there’s a vast collection of holy Muslim relics, many chambers, gardens halls and mosques to see.
# Dolmabahce Palace
Was designed in a time of crisis for the Ottoman Empire, when there was a decline both financially and military, as a desperate try to show that the Empire is doing well. Located right by the Bosphorus, this architectural gem has become a landmark of Istanbul.
# Grand Bazaar
When in Istanbul, a trip to the Grand Bazaar is an absolute must! It’s iconic for this city, and it’s a great place to experience Turkish hospitality. Comprising 64 streets, 4400 shops and 22 gates, this Bazaar is a shopper’s heaven.
Photo Credit: Daniela F. Gheorghe
# Hagia Sophia
Is one of Istanbul’s de facto symbols. Turning from a basilica to a mosque and now to a museum, Hagia Sophia is a great example of Byzantine architecture. Built in 537, it was the largest cathedral in the world for over a millennium, until the construction of the cathedral in Sevilla, Spain.
# Bosphorus Cruise
A day cruise on the Bosphorus is a must while in Istanbul, because it offers a great opportunity to see both sides of the city. A trip with a ferry on the Bosphorus will make for great memories.
Istanbul is free from comparison. It’s unique by nature, as it spans multiple eras, as it lies on two continents, as it is the place where Europe and Asia come together. Former capital of the Roman and Ottoman Empire, visiting Istanbul is a one of a kind experience. Have you ever visited Istanbul?
Sources: pinterest.com, ratestogo.com