Where the West and the East intersect. The glorious city of Istanbul straddles two continents – Europe and Asia. The cultural diversity is thus apparent. Being the world’s fifth largest city, this Turkish financial capital sees a flock of tourists all year round. And why won’t it? Since the ancient past, Istanbul has been host to the Romans, the Greeks, the Venetians and the Ottomans – the reminders of their presence still seen and felt around the city.
Sundry colors, tastes, smells and sights give the marvelous Istanbul its glory. As soon as you step inside the city, you are met with a burst of amalgamated cultures. Perhaps this is the reason that, once visited, it glows in your heart forever.
Let us assist you with our succinct guide in planning the best way you can spend your time there.
Best time to travel
March to May and September to November are possibly the best times to visit Istanbul. This is because the weather is comfortably pleasant – from 60F to 70F – azure skies spread over wonderful architecture, and the crowd is manageable. Hotel rates are also average during these two times of the year. Make sure you carry an umbrella, though.
You’ll love Istanbul if
- You love history, art and culture
- You appreciate religious architecture, and architecture in general
- You enjoy delicacies and relish exquisite tastes
- You are a cat person. Yes, Istanbul is the city of cats!
- You devour in nightlife
Where should you head to?
The Bosphorus – the strait that divides Istanbul between Asia and Europe
Halic, the Golden Horn – the horn-like estuary that divides European Istanbul in two
The Princes’ Islands – places of exile for Byzantine princes around Istanbul
The Hagia-Sophia Mosque – Byzantine Emperor Justanian’s statement to the world of the kingdom’s wealth and glory
Topkapı Palace – where the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire ruled
The Hippodrome – the magnificent centre of Byzantine life
What you shouldn’t miss
The Grand Bazaar – technically the world’s first and most beautiful shopping mall
The Spice Bazaar – where you can taste Istanbul
The Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts – to bask in Turkey’s glory
The Galata Tower – climb up what formerly was the tallest tower in Istanbul
Look out for
- Bosphorus yacht tours
- Istanbul night shows
- Dinner Cruise tours
Did you pack your bags to be in between two continents?
After Turkey’s pride, visit Machu Picchu in Peru.