September 2010
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Istanbul: A truly magnificent city

Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey and its most important financial and cultural centre. With a population of 12.8 million people, it is the largest metropolitan city of Europe and the only city in the world that lies in two continents, Europe and Asia. It is located on the shores of the Bosphorus, the strait that lies between the Maramara Sea and the Black Sea. Istanbul is a huge city with 39 districts. It overflows with museums, palaces, bazaars, mosques, castles and of course natural beauty. A combination of both the west and the east, it is a blend of all those civilizations that have controlled and conquered it since the 7th century BC. Besides its unique historical and cultural background, it’s also the fashion capital of Turkey. The fashion world cannot stop writing about Istanbul. The hipness of its night life is infectious. There are numerous nightclubs, bars, modern restaurant’s, exclusive shopping malls which make the city reek of glamour. Istanbul is truly a magnificent city, a reflection of all the great ancient civilizations that once ruled it and all the glamour, lifestyle and youthfulness that a modern city can boast of, which is why it has been announced as the 2010 European Capital of Culture.


Istanbul is a city of all the four seasons. Spring is short and cool, lasting only two months, April and May. Summers are hot and humid, July and August, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees C. Autumn, from September to December, is moderate with frequent rains. Winter from December to Mach is cold, but not freezing cold. The best time to visit Istanbul is in spring and autumn when the weather is cool and moderate.


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By Air: Istanbul has two international airports. One in Asia: Ataturk Airport and one in Europe: Sabiha Gokcen Airport. Turkish Airlines and many other international airlines fly directly to Istanbul, regularly, from many parts of the world. Besides this, there are many local airlines flying to Istanbul from different parts of Europe and the world.

By Land: Istanbul is well connected to other parts of Europe by a number of highways. Many Turkish bus companies have buses running regularly between Istanbul and a number of major European cities. Once in Turkey, many local buses are available to take you to different parts of Turkey.

By Train: Turkish Railways Authority (TCDD) has regular trains running between Istanbul and other European cities. International trains arrive at the Sirkeci station in Europe or the Haydarpasa station in Asia. From there, local trains can be taken to other parts of Turkey.

By Sea: Many maritime companies run passenger ferries from Greece and Italy to Turkey. Most of them arrive in Izmir, but some in Istanbul as well.


There are a number places to stay in Istanbul, from two star to five star hotels, and bed and breakfast places to campgrounds. Hotel rates may vary during different times of the year, getting high during summers. Some of the top rated hotels are given below:
1. White House Hotel Istanbul
Alemdar Mahallesi Catalcesme Sokak no:21 | Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34110, Turkey
Phone:+90 2125260019
2.Tomtom Suites
Bogazkesen Caddesi Tomtom Kaptan Sokak No:18 | No:18 Galatasaray – Beyoglu, Istanbul 34433, Turkey
Phone:+90 2122924949
3. Sirkeci Konak Hotel
Taya Hatun Sokak #5 | Sirkeci, Istanbul 34120, Turkey
Phone:+90 2125284344
4.Hotel Amira Istanbul
Kucuk Ayasofya Mh. , Mustafapasa Sk. No: 79, Istanbul 34122, Turkey

Source: Trip Advisor

Istanbul is a fabulous place for eating, no matter what your budget is. From local eateries and sidewalk cafes to posh restaurants, you would find ethnic cuisines of every country here. Turkish food is the most popular, being low cost and flavour ful.
Some of the top rated restaurants are as follows:

1. Kathisma Cafe Restaurant
AkbIyIk Street, No:26 | Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34400, Turkey
0090 212 5189710 / 0090 2125179031 |

2. Amedros Cafe & Restaurant
Divanyolu Cad Hoce Rustem Sok No / 7 | Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34400, Turkey +90 212 522 83 56 |

3. Aloran restaurant
Cuisines: International, Seafood, Turkish
akbiyik caddesi adliye sokak no: 11 | Cankurtaran, Istanbul, Turkey
00902124588528 ]

4. Imbat Restauran
Sirkeci Hudavendigar, Istanbul 34120, Turke
+90 212 520 71 61 |

Source: Trip Advisor


1. A brief history (

“However, the history of Istanbul generally begins around 660 BC, when the settlers from Megara, under the command of King Byzas, established Byzantion (Latinized as Byzantium) on the European side of the Bosphorus. By the end of the century, an acropolis was established at the former locations of Lygos and Semistra, on the Sarayburnu. The city experienced a brief period under Persian rule at the turn of the 5th century BC, but the Greeks recaptured it during the Greco-Persian Wars. Byzantium then continued as part of the Athenian League and its successor, the Second Athenian Empire, before ultimately gaining independence in 355 BC. Long protected by the Roman Republic, Byzantium officially became a part of the Roman Empire in 73 AD.”

2. Things to do, sightseeing and attractions: (
“Istanbul’s most prominent attractions are of the architectural variety, a selection of formidable and historical structures that make sightseeing in Istanbul educational as well as visually rewarding.
Sightseeing in Istanbul offers attractions such as the Hagia Sophia, a huge museum and former cathedral that is adorned with stunning mosaics. Another iconic Istanbul attraction is the Blue Mosque, with its graceful minarets and tiered domes. The 1st century Sunken Palace is supported by hundreds of underground columns, an essential Istanbul landmark.
While sightseeing in Istanbul, Galata Tower offers visitors a 360º panoramic view of the old town. Nearby, the 5th century Land Walls stand testament to the city’s resistance of its 1453 conquest by the Ottoman Empire. The Covered Bazaar, or Kapali Çarsi, is the oldest and biggest enclosed bazaar in the world, a must-see while in Istanbul.”
“Shopping in Istanbul is most likely the least expensive in entire Europe, food is varied and exquisite combining unique tastes of European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines -thanks to the Ottoman Empire once spanned from eastern Europe to Northern Africa and deserts of Arabia-, and the twelve million who live here mingle with a wide variety of people walking its streets. Like a lost and forgotten kingdom, Istanbul is waiting to be discovered again. Istanbul is a very old settlement with its 8000 years history. Istanbul is a living museum with its historical sites in open air; one can continuously find new beauties and interesting places. Istanbul is also a meeting point for all the religions.”


Photo Gallery:
Various pictures of Istanbul:
Pictures of the Landmarks in Istanbul:

You Tube Videos:

Istanbul Grand Bazaar:

Istanbul City Tour:

A small overview of the beautiful city of Istanbul:

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