Istanbul, a 2600-year-old city, has become the latest hotspot. Here the hip meet up with the even hipper in trendy nightclubs, exclusive boutiques and designer cafés. The new hotspots are part of a tapestry of majestic temples, traditional tea houses with sweet pistachio cakes and hookahs – waterpipes – and spice bazaars where you’ll see street vendors wearing fezzes – felt hats – and carrying water tanks on their backs.
Tulips, the symbol of Holland, originated in Istanbul and were sent to the Netherlands.
As the former capital of the Roman Empire, the Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul oozes historical grandeur. The atmosphere is heavy with financial and cultural magnificence. Check out the spectacular art at the Istanbul Modern, head towards Kumkapi for the best fish restaurants in town – and wrap up the day with a relaxing time in the traditional Turkish hamam baths and a round of the liquorice flavoured raki drink from one of the local taverns.
Restaurant meals in Istanbul cost 47% more than in New Delhi
A typical train ticket is 49 INR
Taksim Square , situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major tourist and leisure diClick here
Taksim Square , situated in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network. Taksim Square is also the location of the Monument of the Republic which was crafted by Pietro Canonica and inaugurated in 1928. The monument commemorates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the BlueClick here
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is still popularly used as a mosque.
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of ConstantinClick here
The Hippodrome of Constantinople was a circus that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire. Today it is a square named Sultanahmet Meydanı in the Turkish city of Istanbul, with a few fragments of the original structure surviving. The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos , horse, and dromos , path or way. For this reason, it is sometimes also called Atmeydanı in Turkish. Horse racing and chariot racing were popular pastimes in the ancient world and hippodromes were common features of Greek cities in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
The Yeni Cami, meaning New Mosque; originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque and later New Valide SClick here
The Yeni Cami, meaning New Mosque; originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque and later New Valide Sultan Mosque after its partial reconstruction and completion between 1660 and 1665; is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul, Turkey. It is situated on the Golden Horn, at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, and is one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul.
The Galata Tower — called Christea Turris by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the GaClick here
The Galata Tower — called Christea Turris by the Genoese — is a medieval stone tower in the Galata/Karaköy quarter of Istanbul, Turkey, just to the north of the Golden Horn's junction with the Bosphorus. One of the city's most striking landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista of Istanbul's historic peninsula and its environs.
The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in the EminClick here
The Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey is one of the largest bazaars in the city. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the most famous covered shopping complex after the Grand Bazaar.
Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica , later an imperial mosque, and now aClick here
Hagia Sophia is a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal basilica , later an imperial mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935. The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia , sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας, "Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God". Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture". It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek scientists Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. The church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre silver iconostasis. The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius on the part of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act which is commonly considered the start of the Great Schism. In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who ordered this main church of the Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. By that point, the church had fallen into a state of disrepair. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque. The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels and other relics were removed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints and angels were also removed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931, when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia is currently the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually. From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby larger Sultan Ahmed Mosque in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Blue Mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61Click here
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. In 2014, it is listed No.1 among world's most-visited tourist attractions with 91,250,000 annual visitors.