With its rich culture, illustrious history, captivating landmarks, stunning scenery and vibrant nightlife, it’s easy to see why Istanbul is fast becoming a top travel destination for many.
This transcontinental metropolis is a cultural melting pot that merges the best of both the east and west, along with the old and the new worlds.
For some travelers, however, Istanbul is some distant place that doesn’t automatically come to mind when they think of holiday destinations. If you’re one of them, here are 6 reasons why you should book a flight to Istanbul right now.
It’s a city with a colourful history
Not a lot of people know this but Istanbul is actually as ancient as the two-and-a-half millennia old city of Rome, and for the most part, Istanbul was the more influential, bigger, and wealthier of the two. For hundreds of years, Istanbul served as the capital of four great empires particularly Roman, Latin, Byzantine, and Ottoman.
Remnants and ruins of each of these ancient empires can still be seen and explored today.
It’s a melting pot of diverse cultural background
Situated between Asia and Europe, Istanbul is where the east meets the west in terms of culture and geography. The city’s unique location coupled with its long history makes it a genuine melting pot of diverse backgrounds.
In fact, it’s not unusual to find century-old structures stand side-by-side with modern buildings in Istanbul. Even mosques, synagogues, and churches are a common sight in the city, remarkable for country where majority of the population identify as Muslim.
It’s a playground for fans of ancient architecture
Remnants from Istanbul’s four ruling empires remain intact up to this day. It’s a city that has preserved its cultural heritage well.
Popular landmarks include the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Grand Bazaar, and the Spice Bazaar. Equally impressive are Basilica Cistern, Süleymaniye Mosque, and the Galata Tower.
It has a vibrant food and nightlife scene
Like other cosmopolitan cities, Istanbul comes alive at night, and thanks to its location, many of its open-air night spots offer a fantastic view of the city. The city’s food scene is equally thriving, with an abundance of choices that will satisfy even those with the most discriminating taste.
If crowded parties are not your thing, there are many cafes that you can go to where you can bond with friends and family.
It’s a mecca for shoppers
Whether you’re looking for something luxurious or are hunting for the best bargain, you’ll never be disappointed in Istanbul.
The city offers the best products of Europe, Asia and the world in many of its modern shopping centers.
Head out to the less touristy part of town, and you’ll find beautifully crafted products made by local artisans and craftsmen. If you like to drive a hard bargain, then Grand Bazaar is the place where you should be.
It offers the best backdrop for those postcard-worthy photos
There is no shortage of stunning views and breathtaking hues in Istanbul.
Nothing can be more romantic than a boat ride by the Bosphorus during sunset, when the city transforms into a real-life painting of hues and shadows.
For a more immersive experience, head to the Galata Tower for a 360-degree panoramic view of city that once stood as the seat of power for many of the world’s greatest and most powerful empires.
Travelling to Turkey anytime soon? Experience the best of Istanbul by joining these tours and activities.
By: Brendelyn Balaga