A travel guide to Istanbul

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. During its long history it has served as the capital of Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Istanbul is one of the most visited destinations. The progressive city has been unstoppable in developing restaurants, bars, galleries and clubs around town that over populated the numbers of Ottoman mosques. The city’s generous historic buildings and exciting new art galleries and museums provides visitors with more than enough to see during the day, but it’s at night that the place is very active. Locals are flocking to see and be seen at an ever-growing array of bars, clubs and restaurants, bringing with them an infectious sense of joie de vivre and a discerning ability to judge these places on their standard of service, drinks, music and food as well as their position in the what’s-hot-and-what’s-not stakes.

Due to its vast size, diverse topography and marine location, Istanbul has distinct microclimates. Summer is on July and August which is relatively warm but extreme heat visits the place only five days per year. There are only five rainy days per month and visit summer too. Winter is on January and February, wet and often snowy. Spring and autumn are mild but often wet.

Where to Go?

Spice Market in Eminonu
Locally known as Misir Carsisi, this still functioning marketplace opened in the 1600s. Although its actual name is ‘ Spice Market’, you can also find herbs here. Handicrafts, dried fruits, Turkish delight and caviar are all regular items. Serving tourists and locals alike, this marketplace is an excellent people-watching destination.

Suleymaniye Bath in Suleymaniye neighbourhood
The Hamam (or Turkish bath) has been a very popular attraction for tourists to fulfill their ultimate Turkish experience. Traditionally, the baths have a changing room, a cold room and a hot room. In the past, both men and women were segregated in the Hamam. But because there are families that would like to enjoy the bath with their family members, it was decided to have the same gender on one bathing time.

Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara
These islands are situated in Istanbul’s Asian shore; it is composed of nine islands that is definitely a day – worth trip. It offers a long and interesting history, with attractions to match their heritage like the Victorian villages and hilltop chapels. Regular ferry trips to hope to each island of Bostanci, Burgazada, Eminonu, Heybeliada and Kinaliada are offered. Buyukada is called as the “Great Island” and it is the biggest of all islands.

The place is peaceful, quiet and tranquil; locals regularly retreat to these islands for picnics, beach-side attractions and general respite. Cozy rental homes, along with a number of historic buildings, create a pleasing atmosphere. As automobiles are prohibited, transportation consists of horse-drawn carriages and bicycles, creating a strong feeling of history. Residents of Istanbul tend to refer to the nearby Princes’ Islands as simply the ‘Adalar’, which translates as ‘The Islands’.

Istanbul’s traditional food includes skewered lamb kebabs that are the town’s ubiquitous mainstay, served in pita pockets alongside a garden salad. Their local meal begins with mezes (reminiscent of Spanish tapas) before moving on to main courses serving fresh, local seafood. Despite the city’s tenor of Islam, alcoholic beverages are still readily available. The anise-flavored raki liqueur is the ideal complement to an authentic dinner in Istanbul.