Istanbul, a city that blends civilization, history, and beauty, straddles the continents of Europe and Asia and encompasses a wealth of tourist, cultural, and artistic landmarks.

Founded by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in the 4th century AD, Istanbul has since played a pivotal role in the history of human civilization. Today, the city bears witness to urban development and cultural diversity through its magnificent landmarks and vibrant neighborhoods.

Istanbul spans a total area of about 5,343 square kilometers, including both the European and Asian sections of the city. Uniquely divided by the Bosphorus Strait, which serves as the natural boundary between the two parts, Istanbul’s characteristic of lying across two continents makes it one of the few cities worldwide with such a distinction. Home to millions, Istanbul's population exceeds 18 million, making it one of the most populous cities globally. This large population contributes to the city's diversity and vitality.

Istanbul attracts millions of visitors annually to enjoy its wonderful climate, scenic views, bustling markets, and delicious cuisine.

Why is Istanbul considered one of the world's most important tourist cities?

The History of Istanbul:

Visiting Istanbul is incomplete without exploring its historical side, where numerous ancient monuments and buildings reflect the history of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires that ruled the city. Among the most famous landmarks is the Hagia Sophia museum, which has served as a church, a mosque, and now a museum, and is considered one of the greatest architectural works in the world, containing beautiful paintings, mosaics, and decorations. The Blue Mosque, known for its large dome, six minarets, and blue tiles covering its walls, is among the world's most beautiful mosques. The Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman sultans, with its collection of halls, gardens, and museums displaying historic jewels, artifacts, clothing, and weapons, is also worth visiting.

The Strategic Geographic Location:

Situated on the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and separates Europe and Asia, visitors can enjoy a cruise and witness the natural landscapes, palaces, villas, and bridges along the strait's shores. Ferries, bridges, or a tunnel can access the Asian side of the city, with vibrant and diverse districts like Uskudar, Kadikoy, and Beyoglu.

Istanbul's Markets:

The city hosts numerous markets and shopping centers catering to all tastes and budgets. The Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, houses over 4,000 shops. Alongside traditional markets, Istanbul features modern, luxurious shopping centers with both international and local shops.

The Rich Turkish Cuisine:

Istanbul offers a chance to enjoy rich and diverse Turkish cuisine, blending Eastern and Western flavors based on meats, vegetables, grains, dairy, and sweets. The city has various restaurants and cafes providing unique dining experiences, ranging from simple and affordable to luxurious and expensive, with some overlooking the Bosphorus or the Golden Horn.


Istanbul, a Hub of Culture and Arts:

Istanbul hosts numerous art and cultural festivals throughout the year, reflecting its diversity and richness. Notable festivals include the Istanbul Music Festival in June, featuring classical, jazz, rock, and pop performances by local and international artists. The Istanbul Film Festival in April showcases films from different countries and awards directors, actors, and producers. Additionally, the Istanbul Theatre Festival in November presents plays and performances by local and international groups, including experimental and contemporary theater.

Istanbul, a Place for Relaxation and Recreation:

The city is home to many Turkish baths, spas, and sports centers. Turkish baths, an ancient tradition in Turkish culture, consist of cold, warm, and hot sections for body cleansing, massage, and relaxation in hot water pools or steam rooms. These baths help stimulate circulation, purify the skin, and reduce stress. Istanbul also boasts luxurious spas and sports centers, offering treatments inspired by Turkish culture blended with Western modernity.