Istanbul City at Night

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Historical and Modern

Cruise Ship in IstanbulMaking up Turkey’s historical, cultural and economic, Istanbul is the largest city of the country. It is the heart of the country and is known to be the perfect place where all of the historic and modern sites can be found. Touring the entire city is sure to give you the most unforgettable vacation of your lifetime. It is a city that is not only rich in culture but is also rich in history as its ancient remains, which took a partial place in the World Heritage Site under UNESCO.

Istanbul History

View of Istanbul Suleymaniye and Golden Horn and BosphorusThough there are many stories about where the name Istanbul came from, its etymology dates back from the Medieval times as its Medieval Greek phrase “is tim ˈbolin”. This phrase means “to the city” and is reflecting the fact that it is the only major city that is located just within the vicinity where people are staying.

Another view of its etymology is that, it has evolved from the previous city’s name Constantinople dropping the 1st and 3rd syllables. On the other hand, the modern Turkish is writing the name of the city as Istanbul with its “I” dotted, as distinguished in the Turkish alphabet. While the 1st syllable is stressed in English, Turkish people are putting the stress on the 2nd syllable. The name of the city was officially given in 1930. In English, people from the city are called Istanbul'lite while in Turkish they are called as İstanbul'lular in plural and İstanbul'lu in singular.

What to See In Istanbul

Istanbul history is known to be very rich and being able to see all the attractions within the city will give you some insights of how rich the culture of the entire country is with just visiting first the city. There are just many things that you should not miss seeing once you visit the place. The following are just some of the places that you should visit:

Topkapi Palace

It is the perfect place that you should visit once you step into the city. This palace holds one of the most important parts of Istanbul history as it was the palace where sultans of several generations have used as their home. It is a place where sultans have brought their wives and were closeted in the popular harem. Adore the lush green courtyards surrounding the palace as well as the entire design of its interior and exterior.

Blue Mosque
Istanbul Blue Mosque

This is the place that you should not miss especially when you want to see the 6 minarets that it has. A part of the rich Istanbul history, this mosque was built in the 17th century and houses the infamous tomb of Sultan Ahmed I. He was the man who has given his name for both the neighbourhood as well as the mosque.

Archaeology Museums

It is a 3-in-1 site that is equivalent to the Gulhane Park, Topkapi Palace and the British Museum. You can find the magnificent sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. This depicts that of the life of Alexander in 3D. Another sight within the place is the Trojan Horse model that can be found in the section for children. Visitors can also pop through the beautifully restored Tiled Pavilion where people can see some of the finest ceramics. This place is also included in the oldest Ottoman structures that can be found within the city. Moreover, visitors can also get a glimpse of the peaceful treaty in the year 1269BC from the history and was preserved as a part of the awe-inspiring museum.

Süleymaniye Mosque

A mosque designed for Süleyman the Magnificent by the popular Ottoman architect Sinan, this mosque has been one of the finest one among the 42 mosques surviving made by Sinan. Being a part of the history, people come and visit the place not only to visit the different places in the mosque but also to taste the popular Turkish baked beans called kuru fasulye.

Galata Tower

If you want an extreme kind of adventure when sight-seeing in Istanbul, then visiting the tower is the best addition in your list of itineraries. This is the place where you can get an impressive bird’s eye view of the entire watery Istanbul. It made an unforgettable trademark in the Istanbul history as it helped Hezârfen Ahmed Çelebi to fly through the Bosphorus in 1638 from Europe to Asia, which has inaugurated the very first intercontinental flight.

There are still many sights that can be seen in the city that has made a huge impact on Istanbul. These sights are just some of the things that you should not miss visiting in the place and is sure to make your vacation in the city worth remembering and worth returning for the next vacation that you would set in Europe.

As Istanbul being the most important and popular destination for tourists, also many tour options are available from Istanbul. You are able to see Ephesus ruins in same day with a Istanbul Ephesus day tour package or if you wish, stay overnight and explore Cappadocia at central Anatolia the next day.

Why Take Istanbul Tours in the Modern Part of the City

Istanbul BosphorusIf you think that the city just homes the ancient era of the history, then think again since there are still other things that you can discover as you visit the modern part of Istanbul. As you take any Istanbul tour, you will get some sights of the places that you can visit throughout your stay in the city. Here are some of the activities that you can do:

  • Appreciate edgy pieces art galleries like Galeri Nev
    If you think museums are the only ones that will hold the past art pieces in the Istanbul history, then why not discover the new edgy pieces from art galleries such as Galeri Nev.
  • Eat at some of the modern and cozy café restaurants
    Enjoy new treats and other cuisines as some of the café restaurants in different popular streets in the city.
  • End your day at rooftop bars
    For a restful retreat, you can always choose to end your day at rooftop bars with your companions and enjoy a drink or two of Turkish wines and beers such as Efes along with popular bar snacks like spiced nuts and black olives.

With all of these things in mind, you can really tell the differences that have happened in the Istanbul history from the past decades till now.


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