Istanbul is a city of great history, it is where the two great continents of Europe and Asia meet and because the sprawling city strides the mighty Bosporus, it is the only city that is in both continents. Epic journeys start and end at Istanbul and it is a place with ancient traditions and cultures. Layer after layer can be peeled back to reveal different colors, smells, and history. Everything portrays a story in this exotic city, the people the food and its architecture. Istanbul is a city on the move, constantly with a buzz and people scurrying hither and thither.
Although some people are skeptical of visiting a Muslim country there is absolutely no need to be. Dress and act appropriately at all times and you will not incur any problems. Leave your prejudices behind and embroil yourself in the hot-potch that is Istanbul. The more you discover the more you will understand what makes this place tick, and then you will truly fall in love with it. The city is huge, over fourteen million people live in Istanbul and it is one of the largest European cities that there is. And the great thing about visiting this part of Turkey is that it is not expensive, your money will certainly go a long way in Istanbul.
If you are visiting Istanbul for the very first time, then make sure you give yourself enough time to really look around. There are so many things to do and see from ancient ruins, unbelievable shopping, and endless coffee shops and of course famous religious buildings. To get around all this then you should list the top places that you want to see before you go as this will make things a great deal easier.
- The Grand Bazaar – whether you are a shopaholic or not you cannot ignore one of the greatest bazaars on the planet. The Grand Bazaar if over five hundred years old and still remains one of the largest covered markets in the world. There are sixty streets to get lost in which contain over five thousand stores. Also there is over fifty restaurants, and even twelve mosques. Most people head to the leather and jewelry stores as they are high quality and reasonably priced. A local guide is a good idea or you could find yourself getting hopelessly lost.
- Dolmabahce Palace – this impressive palace is huge, containing no less than two hundred and eighty-five separate rooms, together with a further forty-three salons. Dolmabache Palace dates back to 1856 to impress the world that the Ottoman Empire was still mighty, the truth is that after completion the Empire was almost in tatters. No expense was spared on this opulent building and only the finest materials were used. When the Turkish Republic was established, Ataturk used the palace as his own home such was its significance.
The great ruler remained living there until his death in 1938, his passing was timed at exactly 09:05, and today every clock in the palace is set permanently at this time out of respect. Istanbul offers so much to the tourist than many other fashionable destinations and is certainly worth a visit.