Last Updated on March 28, 2021
Given that Istanbul is one of the most diverse, fantastic, and vibrant cities in the world, there is always a reason visit the city in any time of the year. There are only few cities in the world that can be so delightful to experience and enjoy as Istanbul. Its geographical position as well as its rich history are responsible for a fascinating melting pot of cultures. Here you’ll find reasons why Istanbul is truly an unmissable city, to help you make up your mind if you consider visiting Istanbul as your next destination.
A quick look at Istanbul’s features
- more than 8,500 years of history,
- capital of 3 glorious empires, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires,
- a magical composition of two continents, two Worlds, the East and the West,
- Islamic and Mediterranean mixture of cultures in a captivating atmosphere,
- population of more than 15 million,
- one of world’s main air traffic hubs with 2 international airports,
- 5th most visited city in the world,
- 2010 European Capital of Culture,
- 2012 European Capital of Sport,
- one of world’s leading congress destination,
- connecting 2 continents; Europe and Asia,
- more than 75 museums,
- more than 100 lively shopping malls, and 4 historic bazaars,
- 5 imperial palaces, and many summer palaces, pavilions and mansions,
- huge transportation network of metro, subway, tram, buses, ferries, sea-buses, etc,
- 4 seasons throughout the year.
Top 11 reasons to visit Istanbul
Istanbul is a diverse and fantastic metropolis with some of the world’s best attractions, sights and activities. Tourists are flocking to experience this magical city full of contrasts for themselves, making it the 5th most popular tourist destination in the world. If you are still unsure about booking a trip to this vibrant city, check out these 11 reasons why you should visit Istanbul.
1. To enjoy the Top 10 Istanbul Attractions
You can’t fail to be excited with the unique experiences and attractions of Istanbul. Discover the historical sights of the city that has been capital to 3 great empires; enjoy the stunning views of the city; examine some of the world’s most precious treasures at the Topkapi Palace or enjoy the art art the numerous museums. Continue reading…
2. To witness the amazing landmarks
The beautiful silhouette of Istanbul combines historical sites and monuments such as Roman aqueducts, Byzantine churches, Venetian towers, Ottoman palaces from the Byzantine, Ottoman and Turkish periods.
And the skyline covers monumental minarets with skyscrapers and plazas. And especially the Historical Peninsula and the Bosphorus will cheer up your hearts. Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Basilica Cistern, Maiden’s Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Grand Bazaar and Galata Tower are some of the most visited historical sites in the city.
3. To experience the lively Metropolis life
Istanbul is one of the most lively metropolises in the world that offers variety of intercontinental events, international film, music and theater festivals, international biennials, and more than 80 museums and many art galleries showcase all the culture, arts and history; including painting, sculpture, photography and many more.
4. To admire the Hagia Sophia
Istanbul’s, as well as the World’s one of most visited sights. Formerly church and mosque, now a museum. First built in 325 AD, collapsed 2 times and rebuilt 3 times. Built in the year 532 AD, as the world’s largest place of worship.
Converted to a mosque after Ottoman Empire’s conquest of Istanbul in 1453. Converted to a museum in 1935. Declared as one of the world’s greatest architectural works. Accepted as the 8th wonder of the world. Hagia Sophia is one of the most visually breath taking monuments you’ll find in Europe.
5. To admire the unique Bosphorus
Istanbul has a unique beauty with the Bosphorus (Bogazici), a 19 miles long strait running across the city, and separating the two continents, Asia and Europe, as well as Marmara and Black Sea. Bosphorus is one of the world’s most beautiful and charming natural formations and will definitely cheer up your hearts.
You can explore the Bosphorus by cruising along and visiting the shores of both continents lined up with summer palaces, mansions, fortresses, groves, parks and gardens, by motorboats, yachts and public ferries. A unique experience.
6. To enjoy the stunning views
There are plenty of great places and viewpoints that you can enjoy a panoramic view of Istanbul, from historic places like towers, mosques and palaces, to rooftop terraces to groves and hilltops.
7. To taste the authentic Turkish cuisine
The richness of the Turkish cuisine will let you experience and enjoy new flavors, from exquisite pastry choices to delicious meat, fish and vegetable specialties. The gastronomy of Turkey reflects a remarkable culinary synthesis that comes from its cultural heritage. The traditional Turkish cuisine is really worth a taste. Travelers may choose from a wide range of Turkish kebabs, mezes (starters) and dishes that are mostly based on meat. Also Turkish sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight are worldwide famous.
Istanbul also offers wide range of world cuisine such as Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian, French, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Thai food.
8. To enjoy the vibrant nightlife
The nightlife in Istanbul is one of the best in the world with lively clubs by the Bosphorus, and lively neighborhoods like Taksim and Kadikoy. Istanbul can also considered to be the city that never sleeps.
With its numerous little bars, pubs, cafes, and restaurants, you can easily spend the night bouncing from one venue to the next in Istanbul. You can enjoy the city’s dining, wining, shopping, music and entertainment scene throughout the year of its variety of lively events, concerts, festivals, art exhibitions and more.
9. To enjoy the shopping scene
The shopping variety of the city ranging from traditional and modern products makes Istanbul an attraction center for shopping lovers. As being a very big metropolis, travelers can easily find almost every world brand in the shopping malls and the districts of Istanbul.
From popular outdoor markets, bazaars, carpet & kilim workshops, copper working shops, antique and handicraft shops, to designer shops, traditional shops, modern department stores and very big shopping centers; Istanbul has everything for every budget and style.
The Grand Bazaar definitely will be a unique experience and a shopping adventure for you. A series of covered streets feature over 4,000 merchants, all selling their products and wares. You can find anything here from spices, dried fruits, basketry, drapery, haberdashery, boots and slippers to gold and silver jewelry.
10. To experience traditional Turkish Bath
This will is one of the one time experiences on your Istanbul visit. With a Turkish bath, also called Hammam, you can enjoy an authentic experience, relax your muscles, refresh your body.
11. To choose from a wide range of accommodations
It is important to find of quality and budget accommodation for every one, when looking for a holiday or travel destination. With almost 112,000 bed capacity, and over 222 five & four-star hotels, a range of deluxe hotels situated in the Bosphorus shore and the historical peninsula, as well as suitable lofts near the city center, this is definitely something that is on offer in Istanbul.
No matter how much or you want to spend, you can always find something that is perfect for your needs.
Aerial view of Istanbul