is the most populated city in Turkey
, also coupling up as Turkey's central historical, cultural, and economic city. The city straddles the Bosporus Strait, thus separating Europe and Asia in the area between the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea. The old town of Istanbul is a vivid reflection of all the past ruling empires and their cultural impacts.
The District of Sultan Ahmet is one such spot, featuring the Roman Empire era in its outside Hippodrome area used in the past centuries for chariot races. Another prominent place is the iconic Hagia Sophia made from Byzantine, a vivid feature of mighty domes of the sixth century and other Christianity works.
The outstanding Sultan Ahmet Mosque, commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque, was built in the Ottoman era, made of blue tiles in the interior. Other ancient artifacts from the ruling classes can be found in the Circa Topkapi Palace of 1460, which was also a residential area for the Ottoman sultans during the ancient times up until the nineteenth century.
In the same area, visitors pride in visiting the Spice Market for their needs, and create even more memories by visiting the famous Grand Bazaar.
From the Scenic Galata Bridge, the entire city is visible in all its grandeur, while partaking of activities like fishing and relaxing. It is the entry into the deeper parts of Istanbul and spans a stunning Golden Horn estuary, yet another lovely spot. From the bridge, enjoy the beautiful medieval tower and the several boutique stalls. Most of the modern architectural designs are best viewed from the Galata region. For more vibrant nightlife, bars and lounges are lined up in the southern part of the Taksim square.
To the eastern side of Istanbul, Kadikoy, a beautiful waterfront District, and other Asian residential estates reign.
Istanbul receives visitors practically all-year-round, but the peak time is between May
. During this period, the weather remains warm and pleasant, and touring the city is a lot easier. Winter lasts from November
, and is often wet, cold, chilly, and snowy, and sees minimal outdoor activities. In April
, the locals celebrate the International Istanbul Film Festival. In June
, the Istanbul Music Festival is celebrated amid colorful musical and presentations.