Istanbul is a city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. The Old City reflects cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here. In the Sultanahmet district, the open-air, Roman-era Hippodrome was for centuries the site of chariot races, and Egyptian obelisk. Istanbul is a huge city with several districts with a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, dinning, nightlife and with a rich history, culture with a mix of religion and architecture.
Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city as well as its cultural and financial hub. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul’s population is estimated to be between 17 million people, making it also one of the largest cities in Europe and the world.
Essentially the Constantinople of the Roman, Eastern Roman/Byzantine, and much of the Ottoman periods, this is where most of the famous historical sights of Istanbul are located.
Housing many of the nightlife venues of the city, this district includes Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square also its own share of sights and accommodation.
Main business district of the city with many modern shopping malls and districts such as Elmadağ, Nişantaşı, and Etiler.
European bank of the Bosphorus dotted by numerous palaces, parks, water-front mansions, and bohemian neighbourhoods, such as Beşiktaş and Ortaköy.
Banks of Golden Horn, the estuary that separates the European side into distinctive districts. Eyüp, with an Ottoman ambience, is located here.
An excellent getaway from the city, made up of an archipelago of nine car-free islands—some of them small, some of them big—with splendid wooden mansions, verdant pine gardens and nice views—both of the islands themselves, and also on the way there.
Eastern half of Istanbul, with lovely neighborhoods at the Marmara and Bosphorus coasts.
Western chunk of the European Side
Istanbul has a temperate oceanic climate which is influenced by a continental climate, with hot and humid summers and cold, wet and occasionally snowy winters.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport is the main international airport serving Istanbul, and the biggest airport in Turkey by total number of passengers, destinations served and aircraft movements. Opened in 1924 and located in Yeşilköy, on the European side of the city, it is 24 km (15 mi) west of the city centre and functions as the main hub for Turkish Airlines. It was Europe’s 4th busiest airport in 2014. The first quarter of 2015 saw 15 million people visiting Turkey attracted by business, shopping, history, art, culture, food and nightlife as well as religion.
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey. As of February 2015, it operates scheduled services to 265 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas, making it the fourth-largest carrier in the world by number of destinations. THY has been a member of the Star Alliance network since 1 April 2008. Turkish airlines currently owns a fleet of over 260 aircraft which will grow to over 400 in the next five years with over 30,000 employees.
Turkish DO & CO
Catering company based mainly in Istanbul which is jointly owned by DO & CO and Turkish Airlines
Since 2007, Turkish DO & CO has been operating nine gourmet kitchens all over Turkey and 27 kitchens around the world. Over 60 national and international airlines are catered from these locations. While Turkish Airlines represents 85% of the sales, Air France, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Pegasus Airlines are also among its wide range of customer portfolio.The company also operates Turkish Airlines’ business class lounges, one of the largest in the world as well as high profile sports events like Formula one racing, UEFA football and tennis. Flying chefs are now part of the Turkish ailines experience since 2010 operating on long-hail flights.
With its long history at the center of empires, Istanbul offers a wealth of historic and religious places to take in. The bulk of these ancient monuments, dating back to Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman periods, including the Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), and Basilica Cistern are located around Sultanahmet Square, while some others are dispersed throughout the peninsula of old city, such as Church of St Savior in Chora (Kariye Müzesi), entire inside of which is covered by mindblowing frescoes and mosaics.
Hagia Sophia is the one of the most visited museums and most prominent monuments in the world in terms of art and the history of architecture. It has also been called “the eighth wonder of the world” by East Roman Philon as far back as the 6th century. The current Hagia Sophia is the third construction, done in a different architectural style, even though it occupies the same location as the previous two. The original building was constructed by the most important architects of the fifth century.
It was used as a church for 916 years but, following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmed, the Hagia Sophia was converted into mosque. Afterwards, it was used as a mosque for 482 years. Under the order of Atatürk and the decision of the Council of Ministers, Hagia Sophia was converted into a museum in 1935.
One of the world’s most strategic waterways, Bosphorus is the strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara separates Europe from Asia. This is a very busy strait with many commercial ships and oil tankers, as well as local fishing and passenger boats.
There are two suspension toll bridges over the Bosphorus Strait and the third one is being built to be completed in 2015 will be one of the biggest suspension bridges in the world..
There is also a tunnel under the Bosphorus, called Marmaray, which was opened in October 2013. This tunnel is for the subway system. Another tunnel is being constructed and planned to be completed by 2015. The second tunnel will be for the cars.
The Bosphorus is lined with palaces, ruins, villages, and gardens, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Turkey. The best way of seeing the Bosphorus in all its beauty is to take a trip on one of the coastal boats. You can also stay in some of the best hotelsor eat in some of the best restaurants along its shores during your stay in this magnificent city.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 5,000 shops, and attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. It is well known for its jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by type of goods, with special areas for leather, goldjewelry and the like. The bazaar has been an important trading center since 1461 which was constructed by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror.