The Istanbul guide is written to give you a list of things to do and some of the most incredible dishes to try on your trip to Istanbul. It covers everything from accommodation options, what to read, where not to eat, and even a satellite view to show you the best restaurants and hotels in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey.
It is an amazing city, whose history dates back to the Romans and is superimposed by Ottoman-Turkish history. From Byzantium to Constantinople to Istanbul, this city has been the centre of civilisation and empire for thousands of years. The Byzantine Empire began in the fourth century and lasted until the 15th century. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire when the Ottomans took power and ruled until the end of the First World War. Modern Istanbul lost its capital status, although it is still the third largest city in Europe, but has since become an important economic and cultural center in its own right. Although Ankara is ruled by Turkey, Istanbul remains the financial, cultural and historical centre of the country.
Sultanahmet was built shortly after the conquest of Istanbul in 1453 and was the centre of the Ottoman Empire until the 19th century, when the more modern Dolmabahce Palace was built to the north of it. The oldest Turkish monument in the city is the Anatolian castle, sometimes called Anadoluhisari, located in the Asian part of Ottoman Istanbul.
The city of Constantinople (and later Istanbul) was the birthplace of Constantine, who declared himself the new nucleus of the Roman Empire in 324 AD, took over Constantinople from the Byzantine emperors in 1453 and became what was henceforth called Istanbul. From 14 53 to 1923 Constantinople became the capital of Ottoman Turkey, the second largest city of the Ottoman Empire and the center of its economy.
When the Republic of Turkey was born in 1923 after the War of Independence, Kemal Ataturk moved the capital from Istanbul to Ankara. This historic city was named Istanbul in honor of its founder Mustapha, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey has always behaved in a way that means "father of Turks" since the birth of Mustapha Kemals, known as AttaturK, and his image is everywhere.
He was an active diplomat of the Ottoman Empire and settled in Istanbul in 1580, and he was also a farmer with Istanbul customs. Istanbul, Turkey, was the capital of the Empire for 1700 years, but since there was a time when Constantinople was so weakened by almost constant invasions and battles, the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmet II were able to conquer the city.
The city, now called Istanbul, was founded in 660 BC on the Sarayburnu promontory in Byzantium and over the centuries developed into one of the most important cities in history. The city developed then as it does now into an important economic and cultural centre of the Ottoman Empire and its allies, with Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the second largest in the world, becoming the capital of the second largest Turkish economy after Constantinople and an important economic centre in Europe. It was founded in 660 BC on the basis of the Saraysburne doctoral project in Byzantine Constantinople, but over the years it developed into an important economic, cultural and military centre and became one of the most important in the history of the city.
Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which prospered for centuries, and its allies in the Middle East and North Africa.
The Topkapi Palace was the largest royal residence in Istanbul and served as the main residence of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years. For the Turks, one of the special places in the palace is the bedroom where Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, died. This rather unique miniature park is a replica of a structure found in other Ottoman areas that are now outside the Turkish borders.
If you want to be a little further from the city centre, there is a small park in the same area, but it has a different name and layout.
This is an interesting part of the city where you can really enjoy the sights and sounds of Istanbul. Besiktas is the place I fell in love with while my wife and I were hiking through Istanbul to make our Istanbul guide video. Beyond the old town is the historic Greek quarter, home to the Orthodox Patriarchate.
In Eminonu you can visit mosques, the spice market and famous restaurants or take a ferry that will take you to a number of places in Istanbul. Istanbul is relatively cheap compared to cities in Europe, but somewhat more expensive compared to cities in Southeast Asia. From Taksim Square to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, a taxi ride costs about YTL 16, which I thought was quite reasonable. The Turkish lira has an ATM (Halkali), which is just a few meters from the main entrance to the city and costs about 60 Y TL (16 $) if you prefer to drive directly from the hotel to the taxi.