The strategic location of the city has drawn the attention of various conquerors and their armies for centuries. The city has seen Greek Empires, the mighty Roman Rule, the Venetian civilization and eventually the Ottoman Empire, which made the city their capital and their very culture can be seen today as well in Istanbul, through clothing, art, and architecture. The town was the bridge between the two continents, and additionally, it was also the last leg of the historically significant Silk Road that linked the continent of Asia with Europe. The merchants who often came into the city to trade goods often went on to extend their stay, and this helped in shaping the culturally diverse population of the city, that is reminiscent today as well.
These are some of things that make Istanbul so great, besides being one of the cheapest destinations in the continent.
The rich history of the city has resulted in it in having a trove of artistic treasures, with much of the credit to the Byzantine Empire that took pride in their frescoes, palaces decorated with mosaics and the magnificent churches.
When you visit Istanbul, you must visit the Hagia Sophia, which is the face of not just the city but also the country of Turkey, globally. The Hagia Sophia has in the past been a mosque, a cathedral, and currently, it is a museum. The Hagia Sophia is a fundamental contribution of the Byzantine Empire to the city.
When you visit Istanbul, you must visit the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is popularly known as the Blue Mosque. It is precisely opposite to the Hagia Sophia, and it gets its popular name from its stunning blue interiors. The Topkapi Palace is one of the key attractions of the Turkey holiday plan as it was the residence of the emperors of the Ottoman Empire and today, it is also a museum which must be visited.
The country has had a rich history, and its cultural and religious diversity can be seen through mosques and churches. Every person in the world must visit Istanbul to soak the entire culture and history of the city. It is in the last few years that the Government and the banks have started working, hand in hand to realize the Ottoman ambition of making the city a grand place and hence they, have re-established various festivals, art galleries and palace museums for everybody to enjoy.
The cuisine of Istanbul also represents its historic past along with a touch of modernism. The kebabs of Istanbul are popular across the globe, and the freshly caught and cooked fish is another specialty. The people of the city love their cuisine and take great pride in their food and drink, especially their rakı, which is a type of aniseed brandy, often consumed along with their delicious kebabs.
To summarize the city of Istanbul, one must visit the city to soak in its splendid culture and its history. The kebapçıs (kebap restaurants), meyhanes (Turkish taverns,) kahvehans (local coffeehouses) and the çay bahçesis (tea gardens) along with the places mentioned above shall be the most memorable parts of your visit in Istanbul.
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