• About Istanbul

About Istanbul

Istanbul is the heart of turkey, the only city in the world on two continents and the most populated city in Europe. The country has over 2000 years of history and is the former capital of three successive empires, the Christian, Islamic and Ottoman Empires. The past is well preserved, whilst there is a modern streak apparent. The small waterway; the Bosphorous, runs through the city and creates a harmonic setting for the historic landmarks, including;


Hagia Sophia was built at the command of Emperor Justinian in the years 532 to 537. It was first constructed as a church, then became a mosque and is now a museum. It has the fourth biggest dome in the world, towering at 56m, it is the largest in Turkey...

The Blue Mosque, officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is without a doubt, one of the most spectacular sights of Istanbul and one of the architectural marvels of the world. It is referred to as the Blue Mosque, due to the blue tiles adorning the interior walls.

Topkapi Palace was the administrative centre for the Ottoman Empire, for nearly 400 years, from 1465 to 1853. The palace was the setting for many royal entertainment events. Topkapi Palace is certainly the most important historical site to be visited in Istanbul....

In the square in front of the Blue Mosque one of the most famous areas in Byzantine Constantinople can be found; the Hippodrome. The ancient Hippodrome, was a originally a gathering place, sports area and the scene of chariot races....

The Grand Bazaar is one of the biggest covered markets in the world. It was originally built in 1464, at the command of Fatih Mehmet II, shortly after his Conquest. It contains around 4400 shops, 2195 workshops, 497 stalls and 18 fountains..

This area was originally the bay, where the navy anchored in the early periods; when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul. Between the years 1611-1614, this bay was filled in and a timber building with a large garden called "the Besiktas Palace" was built by the order of Sultan Ahmet I. The land of the Besiktas Palace, which had become completely useless due to a fire....

Suleymaniye is a mosque located on the third hill in Istanbul. It is the second largest mosque in Istanbul. The mosque was built by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan..

The Golden Horn is a horn shaped inlet on the Bosphorus, which divides the European half of Istanbul, forming a natural harbour. There are walls built along the shoreline...

Istanbul's 17th-century Spice Bazaar, otherwise known as Misir Carsisi, was built to provide rent for the upkeep of the nearby mosque, the Yeni Camii. The Spice Bazaar is the second largest covered shopping complex, after the Grand Bazaar and one of the oldest Bazaars in Istanbul...

The Bosphorus is the waterway between the two continents of Turkey, the European part, known as Rumelia or Ortakoy and the Asian part known as Anatolia or Beylerbeyi. The name originates from Greek mythology...

Rumeli Fortress is located on a hill on the European side of the Bosporus, north of the Bebek district, on the narrowest point of the Bosphorus; giving the name of the quarter around it. It was built by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II between 1451 and 1452.....

The Bosphorus Bridge spans the Bosphorus Strait and provides the unique chance to step from one continent Ortakoy (European side) to another Beylerbeyi (Asian side), within a few minutes. The Ataturk Bridge carries 200,000 vehicles and 600,000 people a day......

Çamlica Hill is one of the highest points of the Bosphorus and Istanbul, 267 metres above sea level. Çamlica Hill is the tallest of the two twin peaks of Mount Bulgurlu. The Çamlica Hill has wonderful panoramic views......

Basilica Cistern is the largest of hundreds of underground cisterns in Turkey, capable of holding 80,000 cubic metres of water. It is located next to Hagia Sophia and was built during the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century.....

Istanbul offers a great variety of nightlife and entertainment. This ranges from the more traditional male-dominated cafes, to big nightclubs.

Traditional Turkish bars are called Meyhanes’s and are a combination of raki, beer and wine, along with food; including mezes (starters), kebabs and fruits of the season. The most popular area to find Meyhane’s is behind the flower passage in the Cicek Pasaj in Beyoglu. This area is a mixture of flowers, fish and vegetable stalls, where street musicians and vendors wander among the revelers.

Taksim square is considered the heart of modern Istanbul and is situated on the European side. It is composed of a main shopping street, a tram line, hotels, restaurants and a favourite location for public events such as New Year’s celebrations. It is a very popular place for tourists and the nightlife is bustling, with various different venues, depending on your preferences in music.

Istanbul Shore Excursions

Istanbul, with its historical peninsula, numerous scenic and historical beauties is a magnificently unique city that has been capital to many civilizations from past to present and still continues to be home to residents from all over the world. This rooted city, with a history dating back to 300 thousand years before, constitutes a mosaic of many civilizations and cultures combined. It leaves no surprises why it has a world-renowned reputation as a hot destination to visit while on a cruise.

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