Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. With its vibrant lifestyle and natural beauty, Istanbul mesmerizes its visitors all the time. Countless various cultures have been living side-by-side in the city for centuries, and it can be seen in every detail of every street corner.
PLACES TO VISIT
The vast complex is a dazzling display of Islamic art, with opulent courtyards lined with intricate hand-painted tile-work, linking a warren of sumptuously decorated rooms, all bounded by battlemented walls and towers.
2.ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM
The museum complex brings together a staggering array of artifacts from Turkey and throughout the Middle East, which sweeps through the vast breadth of history of this region.
The mosque is one of the most recognised landmarks of Istanbul. The interior, dominated by its soaring 53-meter-high dome is notable for its harmonious proportions and unity of design. Outside in the tranquil garden area is an interesting Ottoman cemetery that is also home to the tombs of the Sultan Süleyman and his wife Haseki Hürrem.
4.MUSEUM OF TURKISH AND ISLAMIC ARTS
Interested in Ottoman and Islamic Art, this museum offers it all. The carpet collections of Turkish, Caucasus and Iran is on display and is heralded by textile experts as the world's best. There are also exquisite ceramics, calligraphy, and wood carving.
The fortress made up the southern section of Constantinople's defensive walls. The mammoth arch was known as Porta Aurea (Golden Gate), with doors plated in gold. When the city was conquered by the Ottomans, they use the fortress for there defense and later as prison and execution place. The fortress had been restored and you can climb up to the top of the battlements for superb views across the Sea of Marmara.
This thoroughly up-to-the-minute art gallery holds an extensive collection of Turkish modern art with an ever-changing calendar of exhibitions hosting both local and international artists throughout the year.
Istanbul's Asian shore is easily reached by ferry from Eminönü dock across the Bosphorus. On an islet just off the Asiatic shore stands the 30-meter-high Kiz Kulesi, (Maiden's Tower). Üsküdar was traditionally known as Scutari and has some handsome old mosques, winding lanes, and weathered brown timber houses.
This small fishing village with its artsy neighborhood under the first Bosporus bridge, offers trendy boutiques, seaside nightclubs, cafes, restaurants, and many historical monuments. The communities of Turks, Greeks, Armenians, and Jews all left their mark on the neighborhood, which features historical baths, palaces, mansions, mosques, a church, and a synagogue.
The marketplace is one of the largest indoor marketplaces in the world with its 5,000 shops. Here is where shoppers will find carpets, antiques, hand painted ceramics, old coins, jewelery with precious gems, inlaid weapons and antique furniture.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit, as the weather is good and festivals are in full swing. Summer can be unpleasantly hot and winter bone-chillingly cold.
Public transportation in Istanbul is pretty cheap and diverse. Buses, dolmuses, minibuses, sea buses, ferries, metros, trams, trains and taxis are at your disposal to travel within the city, and beyond.