What is Istanbul in Turkey like?
The Bosphorus Strait divides Istanbul, one of the most remarkable cities in the world, which is a fascinating city constructed on two continents. The European Union also named Istanbul the 2010 European Cultural Capital.
Ancient mosques, cathedrals, and markets happily coexist alongside contemporary eateries, galleries, and nightclubs throughout this lively city. Along the Marmara coast, this city is expanding rapidly and developing in a dynamic manner.
The history of Istanbul
Istanbul has always played a significant position in the history of humanity in this region of the world, beginning with the establishment of Byzantium in the 7th century BC. Because of its strategic location, everyone sought to conquer it; empires were founded here on the ruins of earlier ones.
Istanbul has been expanding ever since the Republic was established in 1923, and as of today, 15.636 million people call this sprawling metropolis home. Istanbul is now both one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in Turkey, it’s a wonderful location to invest in Turkish real estate.
Sightseeing in Istanbul
The Hagia Sophia, Galata Tower, serves up incredible vistas of the city. Dolmabahce Palace on the Bosphorus is the most expensive palace on the globe. There are important archaeological museums, the renowned Turkish and Islamic Art Museum, and the famous Spice Bazaar which is rich in aromas is among many other important locations to visit. Take a boat over the Bosphorus which is a fantastic opportunity for visitors.
From the top of the suspension bridges and from Great Camhca Hill on the Asian side, one can overlook the city and the Bosphorus. The Hippodrome, the Topkapi Palace Museum, the Suleymaniye Mosque, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, and the eight wonders of the world are all within an hour’s ferry ride of the Princes Islands.
The culture of Istanbul
Night tours are made more colourful by the performances of folk dancers and belly dancers. It takes a minimum of four days to fully explore Istanbul’s breathtaking world. Istanbul is a fantastic city with a large diversity of cultures and ethnicities dispersed among its 39 distinct districts, 25 of which are located on the European side and the remaining 14 on the Asian side.
Areas of Istanbul
BAHCELIEVELER – is located in the heart of Istanbul’s European side and offers a warm, diverse, and multicultural neighbourhood. There are many facilities here, including gorgeous retail centres, parks, top-notch restaurants, educational institutions, medical facilities, banks, small enterprises in the area, and public transportation. The heart of Istanbul, including Taksim Square and the Blue Mosque, is only a short walk away. Since the E5 motorway is only 1.2 kilometres distant and the TEM highway is 6.3 kilometres away, Bahcelieveler has good transportation options. A bus stop for the metro is 1.2 kilometres distant, and there is a train station 100 metres away.
BAHCESEHIR – is a nice neighbourhood 30 kilometres west of Istanbul’s centre surrounded by lush greenery. The area has fantastic stores, pubs, restaurants, a lake that has been artificially created, as well as all other services and amenities. Excellent transportation options are available from Bahcesehir to both the old and new Istanbul airports.
BEYLIKDUZU – Previously a rural community along the Marmara Sea west of central Istanbul, it is now a warm and dynamic face of the city. With its sizable retail centres and supermarkets, it is renowned as a place for shopping. The neighbourhood is also a favourite among commuters because it has a direct 60-minute metro bus connection to Istanbul’s city centre.
CEKMEKOY – is a particularly family-friendly neighbourhood on Istanbul’s Asian side that offers a wonderful blend of traditional and rustic appeal. There is a lot of outdoor space available in Cekmekoy, which also has a lot of parks, houses, and other buildings with various services. Within a short distance are numerous local conveniences like shops, cafes, and restaurants. The neighbourhood also has excellent transportation options because the TEM highway makes it simple to get to both the European side and the city’s centre.
ESENYURT – is a well-known and lively neighbourhood on Istanbul’s European side. It has fantastic malls, neighbourhood markets, restaurants, pubs, and other amenities like banks, schools, and hospitals. It also has excellent transportation options because the TEM highway is nearby and the Beylikduzu metro bus station is close by.
KUCUKCEKMECE – is a neighbourhood close to Gunesli on Istanbul’s European side. It is particularly unusual because The Basin Express is nearby and there is a peaceful park that cannot be developed. The region has fantastic shopping centres, business areas, residential areas, and a wide variety of restaurants and bars. Additionally, Kucukcekmece provides excellent access to Istanbul’s city centre.
SANCAKTEPE – is a very well-liked neighbourhood on Istanbul’s Asian side that is filled with local companies, fantastic restaurants, cafes, stores, lovely gardens, parks, and other amenities including hospitals, schools, and universities.
SISLI – is home to several significant businesses and is located on the European side of Istanbul next to the Bosphrous Bridge. This neighbourhood provides excellent access to major highways like the TEM and E5 highways, as well as quick access to the metro line and metro bus. Sisli is an excellent area to live since it has several fantastic retail centres, eateries, cafés, pubs, gardens, and other neighbourhood facilities including schools, hospitals, and a university.
Click on the links below for more information on the European and Asian sides of Istanbul
One of the biggest airports in the world, Istanbul’s brand-new airport opened its doors in October 2018.
A number of yearly motorsports competitions are also held in Istanbul, including the Formula One Turkish Grand Prix, the MotoGP Grand Prix of Turkey, the FIA World Touring Car Championship, and the 1,000-mile races for the Le Mans Series and GP2.
It’s a great place to buy a Property in Turkey!!
What’s on in Istanbul throughout 2024!!
International Istanbul Film Festival – 17th April till 28th April – The festival comes to Istanbul once a year in April and shows dozens of films from countries all around the world. The festival will be filled with people from the film industry as well as the general public. There will be face to face meetings happening between the creators, actors and the guests.
Presidential Cycling Tour – April (date to be confirmed) – This 8 day cycling tour begins at Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square. After travelling by air over to Izmir, the race then continues through the Aegean and heads to the Mediterranean.
Istanbul Tulip Festival – April (date to be confirmed ) – During the month of April you will get the chance to see millions of Tulips that have been planted throughout the city bloom. It is a truly a beautiful and colourful site.
International Istanbul Dance and Music Festival – 20th June till 25th June – Performers taking part in this annual festival will showcase their talents through a variety of different dance styles such as folk dancing and modern dance plus gymnastics. There will be musical performances from choirs doing both traditional and folk music. The festival also offers street games and dace theatre workshops.
Istanbul Coffee Festival – 14th September till 17th September – This event enjoys people coming together to taste different blends of coffee beans from all around the world. You can enjoy trying all the different flavours. Besides drinking all the coffee you could possibly want, the festival will also be offering barista shows, acoustic style concerts, seminars, art exhibitions and there will be custom designed products on display.
Ferries between Turkey and Greece
Lesbos from Ayvalik: If you’re staying close to the beach town of Ayvalik, consider taking a day trip to the stunning island of Lesbos. There is a ferry that travels between the two locations three or four times every day. The ferry journey takes just 90 minutes.
The traditional market in Kadikoy on Tuesdays and Fridays. In Fikirtepe, there are at least 4,000 booths and a parking lot. This market is well-known for its enormous crowds of shoppers and vendors.
THURSDAY: The city’s largest and oldest market, Faith Market. You may find anything from fruit and vegetables to apparel and home goods among the 4800 kiosks and 1290 dealers.
This well-run market is known for its more upscale and environmentally friendly atmosphere, and you can discover a wide variety of high-quality goods there. 2000 vendors, floral arrangements, sporadic tea cafes, and restrooms are there. The majority of the stalls accept credit cards, but pricing may be a little bit higher than in other markets.
THURSDAY: The Ulus Market in Ortakoy offers both genuine and fraudulent goods, as well as well-known brands like Gap, Adidas, Fred Perry, Ralph Lauren, and Louis Vuitton. Along with various designer makeup items, actual fur and leather things are also available. The market is open from 8am until 7pm.
SUNDAY: Despite having only 400 vendors, Besiktas Market nevertheless has the majority of the goods you may get elsewhere. It is one among the smallest markets. Although shoes, bags, jewellery, and home textiles are also available, clothes is the market’s main focus. The market opens at first light and is open until sunset.
Things to do in Istanbul!
Trips on boats
Bosphorus Tours/Cruise in Istanbul
For almost a thousand years, this amazing structure served as a church before it was converted to a mosque. The museum has beautiful interior vistas, amazing architecture, and historical value. This spectacular sight is situated in Sultanahmet and is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Tuesday through Sunday.
The largest tourist attraction Istanbul has to offer is this. With its flurry of domes, semi-domes, and minarets, it is certainly a spectacular sight to witness. Given that it is a busy religious location, conservative attire is required. Entry is limited during prayer, particularly on Fridays.
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Istanbul’s spectacular historic Istanbul Archaeology Museum can be found in the Eminonu neighbourhood, next to Topkapi Palace and Gulhane Park. There are three museums in the complex: the Museum of Archaeology, the Museum of the Ancient Orient, and the Museum of Islamic Art. More than a million items from practically all historical ages and civilizations are on display at this wonderful museum.
After serving as the Ottoman Sultans’ residence from 1465 to 1856, this magnificent and one of Istanbul’s most well-known attractions was turned into a museum in 1924. It has stunning architecture, well-kept courtyards, and amazing displays. The museum is open daily from 9am to 7pm but is closed on Tuesdays and situated a little more than a mile northeast of the Hagia Sophia.
A little over a mile west of Sultanahmet is one of the largest and oldest indoor shopping markets in the world. The market is home to thousands of stores and a wide variety of goods, including chessboards, rugs, and apparel. Along with mosques, there are numerous eateries and cafes in this area.
From the Beyoglu side, this iconic building atop the hill opposite the Golden Horn offers breathtaking panoramas of all of Istanbul. The Galata Tower offers guests not only breathtaking views and historical significance, but also a restaurant and, at night, a nightclub at the top. This wonderful destination is close to the Sishane Metro Station and is open from 9am to 5pm, with extended hours for patrons of the nearby restaurants and bars. The Tower has a price for entry.
Near the Suleymaniye Mosque, there is a historic Turkish bath that largely caters to visitors. This is a co-ed bath, which is great for families and couples, but visitors should be aware of it. The reputation of this particular Turkish bath is that it is spotless and unpretentious. You can get a lockable changing room, the use of clothes and slippers for baths, and an hour and a half of cleaning and massaging for about 45 USD. Open every day from 10am to midnight, with the final entry accepted at 10pm.
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