The striking Istanbul is an all time classic destination for hip or not travelers who want to discover the secrets of the unique city in the world that extends between two continents. The magnificence of the city of minarets and palaces will enchant you from the first moment of your visit. Apart from the cultural capital of Europe in 2010, last year he was awarded as Best European Destination 2013, according to the organization European Consumers Choice. This historic crossroads between East and West combines European and Asian elements in every facet.
The majestic mosques are built next to modern buildings, hotels and traditional bazaars compete worthily the footpaths with luxury shops. Spring is probably the best period to visit Istanbul. The winter rains have subsided and the city parks earn back the green color. Temperatures during April and May ranging from 15 to 20 degrees, the ideal temperature for rides in traditional neighborhoods or along the Bosphorus.
The Blue Mosque, is a huge and impressive building. The six towering minarets, the courtyard with the fountain of cleansing, the interior dome with stained glass are some of the elements that will charm you. The symbol of Christianity and one of the largest and most famous architectural world is the Hagia Sophia. Today it serves as a museum and is one of the places that really worth a visit.
The Blue Mosque, Istanbul
The imposing dome of reflecting light, colonnades with carved capitals and details of green, white and pink marble awe. It is a monument to special sentimental value for Greek visitors. The Topkapi Palace was built by Mehmed II, shortly after the fall of the city. A tour of the gardens will take you back to the place that housed the concubines of the sultan until 1909. Worth seeing the treasury of the sultan with expensive jewelry. The Galata bridge between the East and the West. The feeling alone will be unforgettable, while restaurants and cafés beneath will give you moments of relaxation.
A stop at the Ecumenical Patriarchate is more than required. The central door is closed since hanged at this point the Patriarch Gregory V. Inside you will see the church of St. George. In Lantern is the Virgin of mold, one of the few Greek Orthodox churches that were not converted into a mosque.
İstiklal street, Istanbul
The large pedestrianized Istiklal has been dubbed by many the City of Hermes. It is the busiest pedestrian area of the city and its characteristic feature is the tram that crosses from Taksim Square to Square tunnel. Right and left will discover all sorts of stores, from shops, to restaurants and bakeries. One thing is certain, the Istiklal never sleeps. The biggest bargain of the city in Kapali Carsi consists of a maze of tiny shops whose vendors revive the old custom of the bazaar. Do not hesitate to haggle a better price.
Egyptian Spice Market, Istanbul
Highly impressive is the Egyptian Spice Market. A long walk to find known and rare spices that will tickle your nose. Finally, with a walk in Nisantasi, you’ll find all the branded fashion at your feet.
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By Nicole P.
Istanbul photos: Sam LeBarron, aydin sertbas, Moyan Brenn, Eddie Crutchley.