Istanbul has a long history that dates back thousands of years. The city is among the oldest European cities. Due to its location, the city has always been the subject of struggle and the desire of many rulers and civilizations. But only some of the rulers were able to conquer this wonderful city. So, the last one was Sultan Mehmet, who in 1453 took Constantinople, which belonged to the Byzantine Empire, and renamed it Istanbul.
Thanks to its rich historical heritage and a mixture of cultures, traditions and religions, Istanbul has managed to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Every year, the city is visited by millions of tourists and admire the city, where Europe and Asia meet.
Istanbul How to get there?
Istanbul is one of the largest tourist centers in the world, so getting here is quite convenient.
By Air. Direct and connecting flights to Istanbul are organized daily by many global airlines. Planes land at one of three airports. The main one, Ataturk International Airport, is located within the city limits. However, the opening of the new Third Airport in December 2018 made it possible to transfer part of the flights. As the terminals are being prepared, the city authorities plan to transfer all flights from Ataturk to the Third Airport. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is located in the Asian part of the city. It is much smaller in size, accepts some international charter and domestic flights.
From the airport to the city you can get by metro, taxi or bus.
You can get to Istanbul by rail. Trains from most European cities arrive at Sirkeci Station, and from Asia to Haydarpasa Station. Ferries run regularly between the stations, as well as the trains of the underground railway Marmaray.
In addition, you can reach Istanbul by bus. Regular buses from Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and Macedonia regularly depart to the city. Buses arrive at Istanbul’s Buyuk Otogar (Central Bus Station). It is located 10 km from the city center.
Sights in Istanbul
Every tourist who arrives in Istanbul for the first time immediately goes to the famous Sultanahmet Square, where there are several main sights of the city. In the first place, of course, the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) and Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia). Here, not far from the square is the Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace.
Another famous symbol of the city is the 14th century Galata Tower, which is visible from any area of Istanbul. It is built on a hill and has a height of 61 meters, offering an incredible view of the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. The second most popular tower in the city is the Maiden’s Tower, located in Uskudar and shrouded in many legends.
For tourists with children, the Miniatures Park, TurquaZoo Aquarium, Jurassic Land Dinosaur Theme Park, Toy Museum or Dolphinarium can be interesting.
Here are some attractions that you can also visit:
- Grand Bazaar
- Dolmabahche Palace
- Suleymaniye Mosque
- Istanbul Archaeological Museum
- Spice Bazaar
- Istiklal Street
- Eyup Sultan’s Mosque and Tomb
- Fortress Rumeli
Hotels in Istanbul
Istanbul guests have no problems with accommodation in the city. Hotels of different levels are located here literally at every turn.
Tourists wishing to see the sights, most often choose the areas of Sultanahmet and Beyoglu. There are many inexpensive hostels in Taksim and Akbiyik Caddesi streets. Lovers of nightlife is best to stay in the area Istiklal, lovers of true luxury – along the coast of the Bosphorus.