Reasons why Istanbul should be in every tourist's bucket list
'If the Earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital' - Napolean Bonaparte
The towering minarets, breathtaking architecture and a potpourri of cultures await you in the ancients of Istanbul, which lies cozily between the mainland of Asia and Europe.
Istanbul has beautifully preserved its splendid past as well as gracefully complying with the modern world and liberal views. The vibrant and old-worldly streets paint a rendition of the Arabian nights, while the lively night life brings you back to the voguish present.
More than 13 million tourists visit Istanbul each year making it one of the most visited cities in the world. Let's have a look at what makes Istanbul stand out as a destination.
1. Aheaven for shopping enthusiasts
Istanbul boasts of the regal and historical Grand Bazaar, spread over an area of more than 30,000 square meter and covering around 60 streets. The bazaar has more than 4,000 shops selling a huge variety of clothes, decorative items, books, leather, jewelry, carpets and what not!
You may also want to take your gastronomic palates on a flavorsome voyage to the Spice Bazaar where you can find a huge range of authentic Turkish spices, dried fruits, nuts, local delights like lokum, rose water and caviars.
Worth of a visit also are the likes of Cukurcuma, Jeniffer's Hamam and Kadikoy are also worth a visit.
2. A gastronome's delight
Istanbul would leave no stone unturned in tantalizing your taste buds with its delectable Ottoman cuisine. Traditional delights such as tender Keskek or melt-in mouth milk kebabs and an abundance of vegetarian dishes to enjoy like the delicious Gozlema, kaymak, Cig Kofte, Cind Pide and Cay or simply Turkish Tea.
Those with a sweet tooth can savor the mouth-watering Revani or visit one of the bakery shops to relish the traditional pastries.
A visit to Istanbul would be incomplete without a stroll to the colorful farmers markets where you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade jams, pasta and farm-reared honey.
3. A history lover's paradise
The streets and monuments of Istanbul narrate a million tales of conquest, victory and defeat. The empires that ruled Istanbul ever since its inception have contributed a lot to the city's culture, traditions and architecture.
Satisfy your retrophile within by spending some time at the magnificent Aya Sofya, the beautiful Topkapi and the Dolmabahce Palaces, the tranquil Blue Mosque which gets its name from the blue-colored Iznik tiles used in its construction, the breathtaking Basilica Cisterna and the colossal Hippodrome.
You can also visit the Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts and Istanbul Archaeology Museum to gain a better insight into the history of this place.
4. A tourist's wonderland
A cruise across the Bosporus strait offers spectacular views of Istanbul, especially the sparkling lights after sunset. You can also spend a day at the Sea life Aquarium or pay a visit to the Istanbul Aquarium, the world's largest thematic aquarium.
Go on a tryst with nature at any of the 25 nature parks where you can spot animals like red deer, roe deer, falcon and magpie’s or take your kids to the Miniature Park or the Jurassic Land for some fun-filled activities.
With its abundant activities, Istanbul won't give you a second to spare!