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Istanbul, paved with gold to some and the capital of chaos to some other, is a city that makes people say, “how and where to start telling about the city.” About 15 million people live in Istanbul which is deemed as the heart of Turkey in terms of both trade and tourism. Comprised of 39 districts, Istanbul has 25 districts in European side and 14 in Anatolian side. As the city is located in transit area of Black Sea and Mediterranean climates, the habitants experience hot and humid days in summers and mild and cold days in winter season. Sheltering about 2500 plant species, Istanbul owns ¾ of the diversity of plants in Turkey. Combining Black Sea and Aegean waters, the city has a quite rich species also in terms of marine species.
As shown by the residuals extracted from Yarimburgaz Cave, Istanbul holds a giant history of about 300 years and has hosted several civilizations throughout the ages. Byzantines, Romans, Ottomans had dominated the city in certain times and they all left their traces in the city; the abovementioned civilizations have the highest influence on Istanbul. The hippodrome of 100 thousand people in Byzantine period and Hagia Sophia, the biggest cathedral of the world are the primary works of this period. The number of the works of art belonging to Ottoman is so high that you can face the examples of it at any spot of the structure while touring. Palaces, bazaars, mosques, schools, baths constitute the principal structures of the city.
Eyup Sultan Mosque, Sultanahmet Mosque, Kalenderhane Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Fatih Moswue, Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque, Ortakoy Mosque, Beyazit Mosque, Rustem Pasa Mosque and Sehzade Mosque are the principal mosques that you must see if you’d like to take a short trip to the period of Ottoman Empire. Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Basilica Cistern, Rumeli and Anatolian Fortresses, Galata Tower and Spice Bazaar are the other works that you must visit. You can also find many spots to do shopping around the city; Eminonu and Kapalicarsi are two ideal spots for the tourists. Furthermore, Sile, Riva, Florya, Burgazada, Suadiye, Tarabya, Sariyer, Kilyos, Ayazma and Buyukcekmece are the places to swim if you’d like to benefit from the sea and nature of the city. In our opinion, you’ll need more than a couple of days to explore Istanbul.
The night life of Istanbul is ready to offer whatever you want; from tavern to night club, disco to live performances… For instance, Sulukule may be ideal for an authentic start. The bars and restaurants in Bebek and Ortakoy at seafront or the taverns in Etiler may facilitate your decision for an ideal entertainment spot. You can prefer Aksaray for Turkish taverns and Turkish nights and Kadikoy and Istiklal Street for bars and live performances. You can bump into numerous cafés, restaurants and patisseries at any spot of Istanbul.
Competing only with itself in restaurant and street food categories, Istanbul offers a greatly wide range of selection from luxurious fish restaurants in Bosphorus and Golden Horn (Halic), grilled fish sandwich sellers, many awarded meat and grill restaurants to vegetable dishes. Istanbul, as in any other subjects, satisfies both the locals and tourists with various alternatives in food.
As expected from any metropolis, Istanbul is a quite giant city and we recommend you seize the accommodation alternatives according to the purpose of your visit. If you’re visiting holiday purpose and tour the region, then the alternatives in European Side may be more suitable for you. Considering all the cities with crowded population, you may choose the properties close to the visiting spots regarding also the transport facilities. Istanbul offers many accommodation alternatives from the properties with affordable prices to ultra-luxurious properties and aparts to guesthouses. You can also accommodate in one of the world’s famous hotel chains or a boutique hotel. The local transport is provided by metro, metrobus, taxi, shared taxi, bus and tramway.
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