Istanbul – Turkey Latebreaks
The vast region – second largest city in Europe – can be located in both European and Asian territory making it the principle border state between the two cultures.
The actual province of Istanbul covers a huge 5,220 square kilometres, and with such a land mass there is plenty to see around the city.
Unfortunately, it also has a sad reputation for being prey to natural disasters.
Several earthquakes have shaken the region in modern history and the hallmarks of a reconstructed city are easy to see.
Thankfully, the country seems to be getting back on track following the recent crisis and tourists are beginning to flock to the richly cultured destination with much more eagerness.
Istanbul is blessed with many great sights and the sheer contrast between metropolitan European skyscrapers, and East Asian tradition make for an unusual experience if you decide to cross the entire province during your stay.
The Dolmabahçe Palace is a great place to start your travels with some vintage statues and beautifully crafted architecture.
It can be found on the western side of the Bosphorus, which means that it’s on European soil essentially.
The Bosphorus itself is referred to in some parts as the Istanbul Strait.
Acting as a connecting route between The Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, it joins Asia to Europe and is the world’s narrowest strait to actually be used in sea navigation.
The bridges that connect the two regions are the Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Bogazici.
It can be quite a surreal experience crossing between the divided city, and it’s certainly an appealing trip to make.
How many people can say that they’ve crossed continents on foot?
Across the shore on Asian ground, you can find the tiny Küçüksu Palace. Designed with a distinctly Arabic flavour, the little structure is one of the most unique palaces you’re likely to find on your travels.
Don’t plan on spending a whole day there though, you can get through every room within fifteen minutes.
Plenty of museums can be found in the hallowed city, ranging from the contemporary class of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum to the historical Istanbul Archaeology Museum.
There’s a museum to suit every taste, even aeronautic fanatics have been accounted for!
The more aging parts of the city are made up of smaller mosques and pleasant markets.
The Grand Bazaar attracts a quarter of a million visitors every single day, and represents one of the largest markets in the world.
One of the great exports of the city is jewellery and The Grand Bazaar, in particular, has plenty up for sale.
It’s easy to lose an entire weekend trawling the stools looking for novelties and souvenirs.
Taksim Square is a typically familiar location to many tourists, given that its where many of them will find themselves staying.
The area is littered with hotels and fancy restaurants to satisfy all comers.
If you happen to drop by on Istanbul during a certain season, you may even find military parades and festival activities circling the famous square.
Istanbul is a city of vast history, and it remains synonymous for being the only place in the world to represent both Europe and Asia.
If you can’t afford to visit the two continents separately, or can’t decide where to spend your time, Istanbul provides the best of both!
Find flights to Turkey and compare flight prices with all the major airlines and travel agents.