Istanbul- is not only one of the most beautiful cities. It’s unique because it is situated on the junction of Europe and Asia and unites the culture of two continents.
The history of this city is as magnificent as its beauty. Istanbul was a center of the Byzantine Empire, the capital of the Rome Empire – Constantinipol. In the middle of 15th century to Constantinopol came Sultan Mehmed II Fatih after 53 days of siege. Since then and till the World War I Istanbul has been the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Even after proclamation Turkey as the republic, when Ankara has become it’s capital, Istanbul has stayed historical, cultural center of Turkey, the city, which attracts tourists, the city, which can’t be not marvelous.
The city Istanbul separates on two parts theMagnificent Bosphorus (bovine ford), channel 30m long, which connects Black and Marble Seas. Obligatory go for a walk through the Bosphorus. You won’t forget such journey! Scheduled boats, plying between Europe and Asia – is a common traction like the buses, trams and subways. Tourists may travel also on a pleasure boats, which depart from the jetty Eminonu and jetty Kabatash not far from the castle Dolmabahche. From the jetty Kabatash ferries make sailings on Princes islands – a place, which is worth to go to.
Nowadays a prevalent recreations in Turkey are tours «all inclusive», but not everyone knows about a quantity interesting sightseeings of this country. During all its rich historyIstanbul has collected a lot of such sightseeings. That’s why, if you’ll be given an opportunity to go to this city of contrasts, visit, at least sone of them. And we can help you to choose the most interesting.
But firstly, let’s reveal some secrets of peculiarities of traveling in Istanbul. Before the journey some people ask themselves some defined questions:
Which currency to take?
It’s better to take dollars, because this currency is very prevalent in Turkey, unlike Euro, which is less demanded. And besides, change a small sum on lyre. You will have to pay them in a public transport and some little things – for example, little souvenirs.
In which district you have to look for accommodation?
Of course in Sultanahmet. It is a central district of Istanbul, where main sightseeings are situated. You can rent accommodation in another place, but then you will lose more money on a public transport, in addition, there are a lot of dangerous districts in Istanbul like Askaray. Also we should mention, that in every district of Istanbul you must be very careful. People there are friendly, but ,besides, there are also a lot of inhabitants, whose profession is to fool tourists. Don’t yield to provocations like, for example, to clean the shoes for free. There are a lot of cleaners of shoes in Istanbul (ayakbyboyadgi), this is a real mafia of Istanbul. Among them there are mobile shoe-cleaners and stationary. If you would like to take cleaners’ services – go to stationary cleaners. “Free` shoe cleaning can turn for you as moving stories about shoe-cleaner’s big family and that he has to feed them and then you will hear a rather big price for the service.
It’s better to book room in the hotel, or an apartment forward, especially, if you go in Turkey during the hot season. You can do it via Internet. Among the best and cheap hotels we can mention Lotus Hotel Istanbul, Minel Hotel, Angel’s Home Hotel, Modern Sultan Hotel, Villa Pera Suite Hotel, Lamp Hotel. And if you want to have a rest “luxuriously`, we should mention elite hotels RixosPera Istanbul, Radisson Blu Hotel Istanbul Pera, Elite World Istanbul.
On which transport to get to the downtown from the airport?
There are two airports in Istanbul: in European part – airport named by Ataturk, in Asian part – airport named by SabihaGyokchen (named by the first woman in the world – military fighter pilot, one of the stepdaughter of AtartukSabiha). You can get to the airport by two ways. You can take a taxi cab, but remember that the price will mainly depend on decency of taxi driver. You can also drive by bus “Hatavas`, it goes to the main square Taxim. A fare – in the bus, with Turkish lyres. From the Taxim square you can reach necessary place by taxi or by subway. On the square you should better buy ticket in Istanbulcard in order not to by tokens, and to refill it right there. From the airport named by Atartuk to the center of Istanbul it’s better to go by subway, for it you don’t even need to get out from the building of the airport. Subway is attractive by that fact that there are no traffic-jams in it, by which Istambul is famous.
Which cuisine you should try in Istanbul?
In Istanbul you won’t be hungry. But it is not obligatory to go to the restaurant, you can buy food just on the street. The city is famous by a street food – it is tasty and cheap. Among this food, what you have to try is sesame bagels “simit`. Sellers of bagels stay on every corner. You can ask your bagel to be cut and smeared with melted cheese – it tastes really good.
Try “kumpir` who is familiar for many people – this is backed potatoes with different adds, which you can choose by your own tastes.
You have to try roasted chestnuts, or famous eastern sweets. Sweets you should better buy in Koska shops – great brand- manufacturer. Also you can buy them in every supermarket.
Beverage “salep` is also being sold in Istanbul. This is a hot beverage made with dried mountain orchid tubers, flavored with cinnamon, ginger and clove. It is original and delicious variant, if you are tired of coffee and tea.
On the jetty sandwiches “balikekmek` are being sold from the boats – it is fish in a bread. They put fried fish to the bread, then add onion and lettuce.
If you want to sit in the caf?, restaurant and to eat fish, you have to go to Galata bridge. But if the place of having your meal doesn’t matter for you, and it’s not obligatory for you to eat in a beautiful place, you can go down under the bridge and turn to the left to the fish market, where situated a lot of fish restaurants. There are no music and barkers, but there are fresh fish and seafood, which can be fried on your eyes. Furthermore, it will be cheaper.
And a real show in Istanbul is being represented by ice-cream sellers. Turks call it “dondurma`. You can treat yourself and look on the seller’s work.
And how to dispense in Istanbul without coffee? You should obligatory visit one of the caf?s. In a famous caf? “Simvol`, you won’t just drink a coffee, you will also find out your destiny, which is being determined on coffee grounds.
On which beach you should have a rest?
In the north Istanbul is being washed by Black Sea, in the south – Marble Sea.
On the marble Sea beaches are situated in the district Fenerbahche and Gaddebostan. There the Sea is more shallow, warmer and an amazing views on the Princes islands, ships, which are in the Bosphorus. Blacksea’s islands are situated in the uptown of the European beach, in Saryer.
One of the most popular beaches in Istanbul is situated in Kilose, on the Black Sea’s beach. Beach is covered by a petty white sand. In addition, here you can get free complex of qualitative service, that’s why is evaluates by tourists the same as the inhabitants.
One of the cleanest beaches of Istanbul, Poiraskyoiis situated in the place, where the waters of Bosphorus fall into the Sea. On the beach there are situated a lot of fish restaurants, where you can eat tasty food.
What to bring from the Istanbul?
A choice of the presents, souvenirs from Istanbul – is your choice, we will just recommend you a couple of things. Just remember, that in Turkey you can buy an elephant, even if you weren’t going to. That’s why don’t yield on the suasion of the barkers and attentively choose your purchasing.
On the streets near the mosque’s stand street perfumers, you can buy one of the aromas, they are mainly sweet, but you can find something interesting for yourself and to carry a part from Turkey away.
Almost everybody smokes hookah and one of the purchases can be it. For it you can buy different types of tobacco, there are a lot of them in Istanbul, there are also a lot of unexpected variants.
There a lot of the best flavors are being sold on the Egypt’s market, here you can buy different mixes for various dishes. Also there you can buy a good weighed out coffee.
A calling card of Istanbul is carpets, you can buy it on every corner. But don’t hurry up, choose carefully and high sellers’ prices. Yes, and remember – bargain, obligatory bargain! Because in Istanbul you can make prices lower in several fold, if you’ll try.
Copper, steel and ceramic kitchen items that look very beautiful and rich – might also be interesting. And well-known to all Turk –is actually a symbol of Turkey.
You can also buy antiques, find it in the qdistrictsCihangir, it is near Chukurdzhuma and Uskudar.
Good gifts and souvenirs can be pashmina products. Pashmina –is a fabric made of natural wool Himalayan mountain goats, it can be supplemented with silk.
In Turkey, people can do wine not worse than wine in Armenia or Georgia. Pomegranate wine is not only delicious, but it is also useful for blood circulation. Turks drink it in small quantities. Prices are not small, but it’s worth it.
In Istanbul, you will not think what to buy, rather – what not to buy. Because trading for Turks – it’stheir life.
And some peculiarities of visiting Istanbul. If you have come to the city during the holiday of Ramadan, you know that on the evening after sunset ramadansk’s shot Turks begin to eat, eat and eat – cafes and restaurants packed,there are even form a queue. But the city at this time takes on a festive atmosphere. During the holiday alcoholis not being sold, and at the day some cafes and restaurants may be closed. There can be only in Ramadan from dusk till dawn. Ramadan ends with the holiday SekerBayram, it lasts for three days, at this time there Fitr. They are usually being made a public ones, and the Turks come to visit their relatives. Therefore, if you plan to travel around the country on their own during SekerBayram, take care of a bus ticket in advance. And remember that Ramadan – is primarily a holy day for Muslims, at that time many people come to Istanbul not only for sightseeing, but also for prayers. Try to be respectful when visiting mosques.
And what sights worth to be seen in Istanbul, you can find out in the following sections of our guide. Enjoy youryourney!
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