Istanbul is such a diverse city that it's almost impossible to split it up into definable districts. The only real distinction that can be made is between the European and Asian sides, which are separated by the Bosphorus Strait. Stretching from the Black Sea, straddling across the Bosphorus, touching the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul, with an estimated population of between 10-13 million, has become a city of unlimited scope.
Most people who come to Istanbul land feet first in Sultanahmet. This peninsula (known as Sarayburnu) juts out into the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara. Rich in history, it's a natural magnet to millions of tourists every year. The home of Topkapi...
Interesting Facts About Istanbul:
2. A well-known, yet an important fact is that Istanbul serves the role of a bridge between two continents: Europe and Asia.
3. Istanbul is surrounded by Sea all around with the Bosphorus cutting it through. With so much water around, you may have thought that the climate would be mild year round. However, snowfall is actually common in Istanbul. The average annual snowfall is sometimes 18 inches.
4. This year (2010) Istanbul is one of three European Cities of Culture.
5. A weird fact is that Istanbul has been capital of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Latin Empire, and the Ottoman Empire; yet it isn't the capital city of modern Turkey. Ankara is the capital city of Turkey.
6. Grand Bazaar is as its name also suggests quite "grand". It is the biggest old covered bazaar in the world, with over 3.000 shops.
7. A very interesting fact about Istanbul is that Agatha Christie wrote her famous novel "Murder on the Orient Express" at Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul.
8. Going into sacred places, such as the mosques, one would have to remove their shoes.
9. Istanbul is as large as Belgium itself with almost the same population number -could be even more crowded...
10. A fun fact about Istanbul is that every one living in this city complains about one another, the traffic, the way things get done; but yet they would not go out of here to live in another city.
11. "Istanbul'un taşı toprağı altındır. / Istanbul's soil and stone are golden." This is an interesting phrase from the mid 50s that has brought many people out from their villages into Istanbul.
12. There are lots of street animals in Istanbul -not so common a trait in Europe and the US.
More Istanbul descriptions
Things to Do
Along Galata Bridge, fishermen looking for dinner dip their rods into the waters of the Golden Horn. Walk past them to buzzing, bazaar-filled Eminönü where locals stock up on fresh pistachios and crumbly sheep's cheese from the aromatic Spice Market. The sunset call to prayer from pencil-slim minarets brings welcome serenity, especially from mosques clustering the busy Old City, crammed with elegant Ottoman and...
More Top 10 Lists
- Boutique Hotels
- Brand Name Hotels
- Five Star Hotels
- Family Friendly Accommodations
- Luxury Hotels
- Apartments and Condos
- Business Hotels
- Cheap Accommodations
- Trendy Hotels
- Hotels Near Ataturk International Airport
- Hotels Near Galata Kulesi (Tower)
- Hotels Near Sultanahmet Mosque
- Even more lists