Istanbul is a city of contrasts. An expression well known to all from good old-fashioned cinema. In fact, it is. Istanbul is a city with an incredible energy that captures everyone who enters it.
Being one of the oldest cities in the world, the former capital of one of the great empires, the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empire, doesn’t it say something about the greatness of the city?
Location, since Istanbul lies in two continents, Asia and Europe, is also one of the advantages of Istanbul. In fact, the culture of this city is so diverse that it has both European and Asian flavor.
Talking about Istanbul sights can be very long; therefore we have to confine ourselves to mentioning only its main attractions.
If to follow the chronology, it is logical to begin with talking about monuments that are preserved since the times of Great Rome and Byzantium.
These include, of course, the Basilica Cistern – the city’s ancient underground reservoir, the Hippodrome, the Column of Constantine and many other beautiful churches from Byzantine times.
However, despite all this wealth today Istanbul is still attracted by the history of the Ottoman period.
It is no secret that the palaces of the sultans are one of the trump cards that lure millions of tourists to Istanbul.
For example, Topkapi Palace, which served as the residence of the sultans for several centuries, is a model of oriental wealth. Today it is one of the most popular and largest museums in the world. There are more than 60,000 exhibits on display, reflecting different eras of history, not just the Ottoman Empire, but the entire region.
The Dolmabahce Palace, built on the European side of the Bosphorus, is another masterpiece of Ottoman architecture which rivals any other European palace and today is the seat of Turkey’s Prime Ministers.
Of course, the city’s calling card, if you can call it that, is the iconic architecture. Local mosques are world famous, especially the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia complex.
While in Istanbul you cannot miss a boat trip on the Bosphorus, a trip to the famous oriental markets, the Galata Tower, and the famous Istanbul bridges.
Istanbul’s nightlife is a separate topic, but it’s a fact that you’ll find it the most unusual and colourful in the world.