Istanbul Travel Guide - Top Things to do in Turkey
Istanbul Travel Guide - Top Things to do in Turkey

Istanbul Travel Guide:

Settled In: 660BC by the Greeks as Byzantium, later by the Romans, Ottomans, and others (Historical Timeline).
Officially Founded: In 1930 Istanbul becomes the official name.
Language: Turkish, but basic English gets you by.
Suggested Stay3-4 Full Days

Overview of Istanbul:

Merhaba (Hello) and welcome to the 15 million people melting pot of Istanbul!

Over Istanbul’s 2,500 year history, it has been ruled by 4 major religions (Pagan, Orthodox, Catholic, Islam) the capital of 3 separate Empires (Byzantine, Latin, Ottoman), has had 4 names (Byzantium, Nova Roma, Constantinople,  Istanbul) and serves as a major hub of both trade and culture.  As a unique city that sits on both the European and Asian continents, Istanbul has gained much of its power over the centuries from its location along the Bosphorus Straight that the connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and further along the Mediterranean Sea.  This desired location has also made the City a place of war over the years as different groups have tried to control it, but out of all of the turmoil sprung a modern, enchanting, and inviting Istanbul.

The political capital may have been moved to Ankara, but Istanbul is still the city in Turkey with all of the spice.  Visitors are in for a treat that blends together not just historical treasures from different eras, but a wealth of cultures from around the World.  The best way to sum up an experience here is that Istanbul is a combo of the best experiences in the Middle East mixed the best experiences of Europe, and a dash of Oriental shopping.  If you are American don’t be shied away that the country is 99% Muslim as it is one of the most inviting places in the World and a great way for Westerners to get a taste of Islamic culture.

Top 10 Things To Do In Istanbul:

1. Visit The Blue Mosque

2. Explore Aya Sophia

3. Get Lost In The Grand Bazaar

4. Roam Topkapi Palace & The Harem

5. Check Out Chora Church

6. Enter The Underground Cistern

7. Investigate Galata Bridge & The Spice Market

8. Stroll New Town & The Dolmabahçe Palace

9. Eat Turkish Delights And Smoke A Nargile

10. Go To A Turkish Bath House

Bonus: Do A Bosphorus River Cruise