Istanbul used to be called Constantinople and Byzantium and it is the most populous city in the country of Turkey. This transcontinental city straddles the Bosphorus Strait, which separates both Europe and Asia. The commercial and historical center lies within Europe while approximately a third of the people live on the Asian side.
Here are the best attractions to see while in Istanbul:
This church has been around since 536 AD, yet since then it has been converted to a mosque and then a museum during the 20th century. Despite the changes, it is one of the most cherished landmarks in the city.
This mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 and while it only had six minarets in the beginning, it was gifted a seventh one after some time. Dusk is the best time to visit, because this is when the call to prayer echoes out from the minaret.
The Basilica Cistern is an underground hall that is similar to a palace. The hall is supported by 336 columns that are distributed in twelve different rows. This construction of this area began when Constantine the Great ruled but it was finished when Emperor Justinian was in charge during the 6th century. Anyone who visits will be surprised when they walk amongst the columns as light softly glows and water trickles down around them.
Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Artifacts from Turkey and the Middle East can be found within this museum. There are three separate sections to this museum which include the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the Archaeology Museum, and the Tiled Pavilion of Mehmet the Conqueror.
Shopping is part of every vacation and the Grand Bazaar is the place to go in Istanbul. This huge covered market is considered the world’s first shopping mall and takes up an entire city quarter. People can enter the Grand Bazaar through one of the eleven gates and browsing has been made easy since the trades are kept together in their own areas.
Not too many people think about Istanbul when they are planning a trip away, yet they should so that they can learn about the cultures and traditions of this old city. Turkey is a wonderful country to visit and Istanbul can be one of many stops that people can make while they are there.