The Province of Istanbul or Istanbul Ili is famous in the entire world for its richness and excellent touristic services, but also for its developed society. It is located in north-western side of Turkey, being bordered by Tekirdag, Kocaeli and the Marmara Sea. Istanbul is the only city in the world that spreads on two continents. The Asian and the European side of the city differ in many ways but they are both highly appreciated by the tourists who decide to visit this historical city each year. It is the largest city in the country and the economical, historical and cultural centre of the Turkish territory. The old is combined with the new, the West with the East and the modern with the ancient in Istanbul, offering its guests some of the most diverse experience in the world.
The history of today’s largest city in Turkey is long and filled with important events. The city was founded in 660 BC and it was known as Byzantium, but there is archaeological evidence that this territory was inhabited since the 7th millennium BC. Its name changed into Constantinople during the rule of Constantine the Great. During the Ottoman era, order was reinstalled in this territory after years of chaos and a cosmopolitan society was created by Mehmet II. The past centuries were marked by the great works of artists, architects and rulers, offering today’s society a great inheritance.
Istanbul is a thrilling destination where the travellers enjoy the complexity of the Turkish culture in every field. When it comes to visiting the most important landmarks, it is hard to define which area is the richest of all, because the city is filled with touristic attractions of all kinds. The mosques, bazaars, modern buildings, Turkish baths, entertainment centres, bridges, museums and ancient ruins, as well as the restaurants and cafes around the city are extremely popular and fulfil any tourist’s desire of discovering each side of the greatest city of Turkey.
The historic areas of Istanbul are large and complex and they are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. The Suleymaniye Mosque is an architectural gem and a large spiritual place where everyone is welcome. Also, Rustem Pasha Mosque, Basilica Cistern, the Blue Mosque, Eyup Sultan Mosque, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque and many more religious sites with great value are simply breathtaking. The travellers will enjoy visiting Rumeli Fortress, the Square of Besiktas, the Castle of the Seven Towers and many other sites that require a few free hours.
Istanbul hosts a large number of museums where the tourists can admire the old collections and most of the historical inheritance. Some of the most impressive are hagia Sophia Museum and Church, Kariye Museum, Dogancay Museum, Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul Modern Museum, the Museum of Innocence, Istanbul Archaeological Museum and many others that have an infinite value to the humanity.
Istanbul is not only about history and culture, but also about natural reservations, an amazing natural environment that impresses through its complexity and its well preserved parks. The city port is another popular attraction, as well as the coastline, the beaches, the amusement parks and aquariums. Istanbul’s cuisine is highly appreciated, which is why the tourists can enjoy the private culinary tours and attend the cooking schools.
The province of Istanbul is defined by diversity and beauty and everyone is welcome to discover its mysteries throughout the year.