About Istanbul

Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisks also remain. The iconic Byzantine Hagia Sophia features a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics. The Ottoman-era Sultan Ahmet Mosque or the Blue Mosque was named for its blue interior tiles. Topkapı Palace is home to Ottoman sultans until the 19th century, contains royal artifacts and rooms that once comprised a large harem. Nearby is the Spice Market and rambling Grand Bazaar. Spanning the Golden Horn estuary, the atmospheric Galata Bridge is a popular fishing spot and leads to the city’s modern heart. The Galata area is known for its medieval tower and upmarket boutiques. Beyoğlu's stylish bars lie south of Taksim Square. The city's eastern, Asian side encompasses residential areas and waterfront districts such as Kadiköy.
Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia, officially the Hagia Sophia Holy Grand Mosque and formerly the Church of Hagia Sophia, is a late antique place of worship in Istanbul, designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the eastern Roman emperor Justinian I as the Christian cathedral of Constantinople for the state church of the Roman Empire between 532 and 537, the church was then the world's largest interior space and among the first to employ a full pendentive dome. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have changed the history of architecture. In 1453, after the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire, it was converted into a mosque.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is an Ottoman-era Friday mosque located in Istanbul. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah, and a hospice. The hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. It incorporates many Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Topkapı Palace

Topkapı Palace or the Seraglio is a large museum in the east of the Fatih district of Istanbul. During the 15th and 16th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Topkapi Palace was walled off from the city to provide the necessary security and privacy of itself. The palace was used by many important people such as Fatih Sultan Mehmet to Sultan Abdulmecid for 400 years long. The richness of Topkapi Palace makes it an attractive place for visitors and is one of the biggest palace museums.
Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is often regarded as one of the first shopping malls in the world. There are numerous charming shops to explore for local as well as luxury shopping and you can buy a wide range of Turkish delights and spices, kilim rugs, silver, and gold jewelry.
Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern or Cisterna Basilica is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. It was built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and today it is kept with little water, for public access inside the space. The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love.
Dolmabahçe Palace

Dolmabahçe Palace located in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul served as the main administrative center of the Ottoman Empire from 1856 to 1887 and from 1909 to 1922. The Palace was ordered by the Empire's 31st Sultan, Abdülmecid I, and built between the years 1843 and 1856. The design contains eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo, and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture to create a new synthesis. The Dolmabahçe Palace is extensively decorated with gold and crystal.
Taksim Square

Taksim Square situated in Beyoğlu in the European part of Istanbul is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. Taksim is the main transportation hub and a popular destination for both tourists and residents of Istanbul. İstiklal Caddesi the Independence Avenue, along the pedestrian shopping street, ends at this square.
Maiden's Tower

Maiden's Tower also known as Leander's Tower since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower on a small islet at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul. The interior of the tower has been converted into a café and restaurant, with views of the former Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman capital.

Miniatürk is a miniature park situated at the north-eastern shore of Golden Horn in Istanbul and one of the world's largest miniature parks. The park contains structures from in and around Turkey, as well as interpretations of historic structures. There are 62 structures from Istanbul, 60 from Anatolia, and 13 from Ottoman territories that today lie outside of Turkey.
Chora Church

Chora Church or the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora or Kariye Mosque is a medieval Greek Orthodox church used as a mosque today in the Edirnekapı neighborhood of Istanbul. The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine Christian mosaics and frescoes; they were uncovered and restored after the building was secularized and turned into a museum.

Rumelihisarı or Boğazkesen Castle is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul built between 1451 and 1452 on the orders of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II. Today, the fortress is a popular museum open to the public, and further acts as an open-air venue for seasonal concerts, art festivals, and special events.
Best Time To Visit Istanbul

The best time to visit Istanbul is from March to May and from September to November when the days are longer, drier, and sunnier.

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