Istanbul is the magical city where east collides with west. The only city built on two continents, it connect Asia to Europe and was the final port of the legendary Silk Road. It is the largest city and seaport of Turkey and serves as its capital.
Visit the city beautified by the magnificent monuments built by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.The endless variety of architectural heritage is fascinating to see. The most glorious is the Hagia Sophia. More than 1500 years old, it is often referred to as the eighthwonder of the World. The mosaics within the museum are the finest examples of 9th to 12th century Byzantines.
The Topkapi Palace Museum is also worth a visit. Hosting the mesmerizing Chamber of Holy Relics, the visitors can gaze upon the golden chests containing Prophet Mohammed’s Golden Banner and Blessed Mantle.
Take a trip along the Golden Horn, a horn shaped water inlet, which divides European Istanbul into two. It is lined with lovely promenades and parks on one side while the centuries old buildings are mirrored in the waters on the opposite side.
One the most intriguing places to visit in the city is Istanbul’s mysterious Basilica Cisterns. It is a massive underground water storage used by the old palaces. The captivating history of the cistern along with its mysterious atmosphere has made it one of the top tourist sites of the city. Experience the symmetry and the sheer grandeur of its construction while watching the ghostly sea life patrolling the water.
The local cuisine is delicious and diverse. The best restaurants of the country are located in Istanbul. From classic Italian to aromatic Asian food, visitors can sample mouth-watering kebabs, malleable mezes with flavorsome snacks, and freshly produced local ingredients. Try the national drink of Turkey, the Raki; a robust aniseed brandy.
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