A city of world
Istanbul; the capital of three great empires, the host for the cultures of the communities that have been living in Anatolia for thousands of years, and the city housing the most significant structures of the three major religions.
Istanbul, extending to Asia on one side and to Europe on the other, is the only city that lies on two continents in the world. The Bosporus, passing through the middle of the city guides the waters of the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn.
Having served as the capital of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires respectively, Istanbul is hopeful for its modem future whilst preserving the heritage of the past proudly.
The variety one can enjoy in the city is really fascinating. Istanbul, known with its museums, churches, palaces, mosques, marketplaces and natural beauties, and has also begun to be known with its skyscrapers which are the necessity of modem life, makes its guests feel that it is one of the most famous cities of the world in every breath they take.
Istanbul is a very special place hosting several different areas of tourism with its historical heritage, cultural past and numerous attractions in addition to its very modem hotels, very special restaurants, night clubs, cabarets, historical markets and shops and international festivals.
The Pearl of the Orient
In the 19th century, Istanbul used to be laud up to the skies as “The Pearl of the Orient” or `The Mermaid of the East” by the daydream lovers. Seeing the lands of Asia while looking from the hill where the Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi) is located or the charming scarlet of the sun setting at the Golden Horn are just some of the daily life`s decorations.
The city that has been constantly changing in terms of culture and architecture, welcomes us with a unique and delicious mixture of East and West. Istanbul is an ever expanding metropolis. The ridges of Bosporus, the Anatolian side, and the neighboring areas of the airports located in both European and Asian sides have been continuously expanding.
Despite the inhabitants were reported to be some 9 million after the last census, the actual figure is estimated to be pretty more than that. The transportation in some parts of the city is fairly easy owing to the subway and other railway systems. However, the city is so huge that the best practice would be to determine two or three targets and having occasional breaks between them in order to enjoy the city.
The place for the break can be a park, a small interior court, or a scenic hill as well as a nice restaurant at the Bosphorus (Bogazici). You can easily walk through the old city and the small neighborhood. (Jemberlita§ and outskirts of Bogaziqci or Taksim and Pera (Beyoglu) can be reached from the old city. A tourist visiting Istanbul must absolutely take a ferry cruise through Bogaziqi and spare a day for seeing the Princes` Isles.
Among the cities that has been rising in congress tourism market, Istanbul creates significant opportunities in this area with its international airports, first class hotels, accommodation establishments as well as its historical and cultural richness along with Lutfi Kirdar Congress Centre that has all the necessary facilities and 21 meeting salons with a capacity of 2000 people in total.
The fact that the Centre is located at Harbiye, a culture and business centre circled by hotels, brings an additional advantage that enriches the activity of the tourism.
The ones that want to see Istanbul from where it can be seen the best, namely the sea, will have experienced an unforgettable journey if they take a ferry from Eminomu to Kadikoy. A ferry through Bogazici is another alternative.
You can sit on the deck, sipping your tea while at the same time; visiting once the Asian then the European shore, and so on, one after another, watching the waterside residences (Tail`s) and fascinating old wooden mansions, during the whole afternoon.
Living in this big city that is on both coasts of Bogazici, becomes much easier when you find small but lovely places for resting. Princes` Isles, for instance, or a tea garden established among columns and caps such as the one next to the Archaeological Museum; Yildiz Parki, a restaurant in a good hotel or at the seashore; or at a restaurant with plane trees and a small fountain at the interior court of a soup- kitchen in Suleymaniye Complex.
You can store some energy at such places before you mix into the chaos of the city that lies on the two continents.
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