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Istanbul



Often described as the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Istanbul is a city of contrasts. A centre of world trade since the Byzantine era, when its silks, religious artefacts and luxury goods were the envy of all empires, today's Istanbul is vibrant and cosmopolitan. The Bosphorus Strait is the soul of Istanbul, and ancient sites such as the Yildiz Palace and Park and the bustling Grand Bazaar provide an insight into Istanbul's historic past, while the buzzing atmosphere of the pedestrianised Istiklal Caddesi reflects Istanbul's future. A walk through the streets of Istanbul will enable you to take in evidence of Istanbul's impressive past on every corner. Wherever you spend your time in Istanbul, a warm, welcoming smile will greet you.

Istanbul Attractions

Yildiz Palace and Gardens
The second largest palace in Istanbul, Yildiz Palace is set within large gardens and woodland and includes a complex of pavilions and a mosque.

Dolmabahçe Palace
Built in the mid-19th century at the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the Dolmabahçe Palace is vast and located on Istanbul's west shore of the Bosphorus.

Topkapi Palace
Now one of Istanbul's leading museums, the Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence of the great Ottoman Empire for almost 400 years until the reign of Abdülmecid. Its spectacular museum is famed for its large collections of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.

Haghia Sophia
This Byzantine church is one of Istanbul's most well-known landmarks and few visitors to Istanbul miss a trip to view its extraordinary interior.

Blue Mosque
Dating from the 17th century, this is one of the largest mosques in Istanbul and is one of the principal features on Istanbul's skyline. On the east side of the mosque is the Arasta, a bazaar for the various tradesman's guilds.

Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi)
A vast labyrinth of little streets lined with over 4000 shops selling rugs, pottery, jewellery and countless other goodies.

St Savior in Chora Museum (Kariye Camii)
This museum is famous for its fascinating mosaics and frescoes, many of which date back to the 13th and 14th centuries, and are by far the most important works of Byzantine pictorial art known today.

Basilica Cistern
Discover the grandiose nature of the past when touring through Istanbul's largest and most magnificent underground cistern. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century to supply water to the nearby palace complex, the cistern has a total of 336 decorated columns.

Istanbul 562
 

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