Historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey and also the economic, cultural, and historic center of the country. It is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, straddling Bosphorus strait lying between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. It is amongst the world’s most populous cities and ranks as the 7th-largest proper city in the world and the largest European city.
Considered a global city, it has one of the fastest-growing metropolitan economies in the world. It is also a highly favored tourist destination in the world with over 12 million tourists visiting the city every year. It is also home to headquarters of many Turkish companies, media outlets and it accounts for over a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.
The historic city of Turkey offers so many sightseeing and touring opportunities that almost everybody can find something to savor. The art and history buffs can spend a lot of quality time exploring Historic Areas of Istanbul, Sultanahmet District, Topkapi Palace, Kariye Museum, Rahmi M. Koc Museum, Kucuk Ayasofya Camii (Church of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus), Istanbul Modern Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums, Sakip Sabanci Museum and Galata Tower. You can also discover some spectacular architecture with Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya), Basilica Cistern, Suleymaniye Mosque, Rustem Pasha Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, Eyup Sultan Mosque, Fatih Mosque and Complex and New Mosque. The Nature romantics can find a lot to their delight with Bosphorus Strait, Gulhane Park, Emirgan Park and Miniaturk.
For the foodies, El Pescador Restaurant, Teras Kebab House, Constantine’s Ark, Sans Restaurant, Arch Bistro, Turkuaz Gurme Restaurant, Old House Restaurant and Café, Old Ottoman Cafe & Restaurant, Harem Istanbul Cafe & Restaurant and Massa Bistro Cafe & Restaurant are some of the must stopovers to relish some of the most mouthwatering meals in the city.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the Turkish city is from September to November when you can find fewer crowds, bargained rates and a pleasant climate. The peak season i.e. summer sees a rise in the temperatures and the room tariffs. However if you looking to save some money you can catch some cheap flights to Istanbul in the seasons of spring or fall. However if you looking for a weekend trip, then flight deals can be found throughout the year.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) is the major international airport serving the city and is also the biggest airport in Turkey in terms of total numbers of passengers served, destinations covered and airliners movements.