The only city in the world situated on two continents, İstanbul is a metropolis conjoining cultures, ethnic groups, religions and history in its own way a way that some find harmonious, others chaotic, but no one denies its beauty and charm. Inhabited by humankind since the 7th millennium BC, the area became the crossroad of ancient civilizations from Persian to the Roman. Named as Constantinople, it was the Eastern capital of the Roman Empire and Byzantium until Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city in 1453, and declared it the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Since the declaration of the Republic of Turkey, İstanbul is the cultural capital of the republic as well as the economic center of Turkey.
A home to millions of people with different beliefs and ethnicity, İstanbul is the city of conflicts and diversity. A visit to the Old City will take you to the glorious settings of the Roman and Ottoman Empires including Hagia Sophia, the Topkapı Palace as well as the holy sites of Islam and Christianity like Suleymaniye Mosque and Chora Church. You will feel like an Ottoman sultan during your stay at the Çırağan Palace Kempinski, a former Ottoman palace or the luxurious boutique hotel Les Ottomans by the Bosphorus.
On the other hand, when you have a walk on the tidy streets of Nişantaşı, you will feel that you are not far away from Milan or London with world-famous designers' shops, smart cafes, luxurious hotels and the Turkish jetset hanging around. You will be surprised seeing the skyscrapers rising in the middle of a neighborhood with old Anatolian houses.
You will never have enough time to discover all when you are in İstanbul. With a daily tour to the main spots, you will have a first impression, but the real İstanbul is hidden in its back streets. Walk from İstiklal Street to Galata to see the underground and contemporary culture that modernizes the country with modern art, fashion and literature.
See a resident exhibition of Sabancı or Pera museums to understand the Ottoman and Turkish fine arts. You can watch a world-famous singer performing in a concert hall while an international dance company performs in another venue. Film, opera and theatre festivals, important exhibitions and big events like Formula 1 İstanbul Grand Prix go on all through the year. Just decide on the event you want to attend, and we will arrange the best seats for you. Shop at the Grand Bazaar for the best traditional carpets and jewelry. Eat delicious Turkish dishes at the luxurious Feriye Restaurant, and don't miss the chance to taste some street food at one of Nevizade's small cafes and bars.
You can watch the sun going down behind the mystical Old City while sipping your cocktail on a luxurious boat on the Bosphorus or have a closer look at the ancient mansions on the seaside while touring on a traditional Sultan's Boat. Alternatively, visit the Maiden's Tower located on a very small island in the middle of the Bosphorus where you can have a panoramic view of the city.
With the sunset, the city gets ready for entertainment that goes on until sunrise. İstanbul is a city that never sleeps. Dancing at Reina on the Bosphorus all night long is very trendy while drinking some champagne at Sunset's elegant bar overlooking the breathtaking view of the Bosphorus is very cool.
After a long night, you can relax the next day and purify in the luxurious traditional Turkish hammam, Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hammam. The therapists and rubbers will pamper your body and your soul, and you will leave the hammam refreshed.
Even if you stay for a few days or for months, İstanbul will always have something new to surprise you and evoke your senses, either with something that dates back to ages, or with something that reflects the latest inventions of modern times.