Situated between two continents, Istanbul benefits from both European and Asian influences. As a growing cosmopolitan city, it has been highlighted as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Elaborate mosques share the skyline with modern skyscrapers and the streets are enriched with the history of 3 empires.
Instantly recognisable, the iconic Blue Mosque stands watchful over Istanbul. Originally built as a church, it was redesigned as a mosque during the Ottoman reign. The mosque is surprisingly still a working place of worship and closes to tourists during prayer.
A must visit in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar, the largest market in the city, 3000 stalls spread through 61 streets – it welcomes an average of 300,000 visitors everyday! Whether you skirt around the edges or delve straight in you can definitely lose hours exploring what’s on offer.
The Topkapi Palace was home to the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years, now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site it has since been transformed into a major museum and tourist attraction - perfect for history buffs!
Of course you can’t visit Istanbul and not indulge in Baklava. Head over to Karakoy Gulluoglu to sample the best of the sweet delicious treats, pair with a cup of steaming tea, relax and let the world drift by.
Riding high on the list of places to visit, it’s clear to see why so many are drawn to the charms of Istanbul.
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