Istanbul is Turkey's
most populous city
, and its cultural and financial center. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus straddling Europe and Asia
, Istanbul—once known as Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine and then the Ottoman Empire—has for centuries been a bustling and cosmopolitan crossroads. With a population estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, makes it one of the largest in Europe and the world.
Istanbul is a huge city with several districts and each with its own sightseeing opportunities, restaurants and nightlife options.
Each district has accommodations, villa rentals, condo rentals, vacation rentals and apartment rentals.
Sultanahmet (Old City) is where most of the famous historical sites, including Blue Mosque, St. Sophia museum, Topkapi Palace and the Grand Bazaar, of Istanbul are located.
Housing many of the nightlife venues of the city, Galata includes Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square has also its own share of sights and accommodations, vacation rentals, apartment rentals and villa rentals. New City is the main business district of the city, also home to many modern lodging, shopping malls, and districts such as Elmadağ, Nişantaşı, and Etiler.
The European bank of the Bosphorus is dotted by numerous palaces, parks, water-front villas, and bohemian neighborhoods
featuring unique accommodation, villa rental, vacation rental and apartment rental options. The banks of Golden Horn, is an estuary that separates European Side into distinctive districts. Eyüp with an Ottoman ambiance is located here.
The Princes’ Islands is an excellent getaway from the city
, made up of an archipelago of nine car-free islands—some of them small, some of them big—with splendid wooden villas, verdant pine forests and nice views—both on the islands themselves, and also on the way there.
Eastern half of Istanbul, known as the Asian Side has lovely neighbourhoods at the Marmara
and Bosphorus coasts. Western Suburbs is the western chunk of the European Side. Both of these districts have accommodation, villa rental, vacation rental and apartment rental options to suit all budgets.
Istanbul's historical bazaars with an oriental ambiance
, once sitting firmly on the western terminii of the Silk Road and spice routes, all dating back to Ottoman era, are all located in the peninsula of Old City. Enjoy Turkish Delight, or Lokum (as the locals call it). Try Turkish Tea, the national drink of Turkey, brewed from leaves grown on the steep, verdant mountain slopes of Turkey's eastern Black Sea Coast. Truly Turkish goods in rugs and kilims, which can be a good buy while in the city. Look out for chalcedony. A semi-precious gemstone named after the near-by town of Chalcedon.