Istanbul Overview

Istanbul is one of the largest and most important cities in Turkey. Geographically strategically located, Istanbul is a crossroads that connects two continents and acts as a bridge between Europe and Asia. The city is situated on the northern coast of the Sea of Marmara, around important waterways such as the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn.

Throughout history, Istanbul has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires and the centre of the Islamic world. The city has an urban history of almost 3000 years and has been home to many cultures. Istanbul fascinates visitors with its magnificent natural beauty, sky-high minarets, gilded domes, palaces, mansions, museums, parks and gardens, monuments, towers, culture and much more.

The places to visit in Istanbul are also unlimited. At first glance, the most impressive places in Istanbul are the Historical Peninsula and the Bosphorus. Sightseeing in the Historic Peninsula, which includes historic sites such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Basilica Cistern, and the impressive Istanbul Bosphorus tour from Eminönü Galata Bridge to Anatolian Kavağı is one of the must-do sightseeing activities for visitors to Istanbul. The nightlife of Istanbul is completely different. Especially Taksim, Istiklal Street and the Tunnel Line host the most important venues of Istanbul nights.


What to buy as a gift or souvenir


Turkey’s incredible world of souvenirs will drive you crazy. Turkey is the country where there is something for everyone. You will be amazed at the variety and prices to suit every pocket.


Turkey has a history of ceramics that stretches back thousands of years, from the primitive sculpture of prehistoric Anatolia to the ornaments and tableware of the Hitites and the intricate hand-painted tiles of the Izniks. From scalloped plates to ashtrays, wall clocks to giant urns, the stunning indigo and coral patterns of Iznik are sure to catch your eye.

Turkish Rugs and Carpets

Turkey has a long and rich history of carpet making and is home to some of the most beautiful hand-knotted and hand-woven carpets in the world. Turkish carpets range from simple, bold and colourful nomadic Anatolian kilims to the more faded Usak and high-end Ottoman court silk hereke carpets. The Turkish (symmetrical) knot, also known as the Ghiordes knot, was developed here in Turkey.

Leather Goods

Turkey is one of the largest producers of quality leather products in the world. It is best known for its sheep and goat leather. You will be amazed by unusual designs that you may not see in other places.

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Destination details

  • Language Turkish
  • Currency Turkish Lira, Euro, Dollar
  • Time Zone UTC+03:00
  • Drives on the Right
  • Calling code +90
  • Emergency Number 112
  • Activities Culture, History, Landscape, City Sightseeing