Istanbul’s Old City is one of the main draws for visitors to the region, and like its many other European counterparts, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Istanbul is situated along one of the world’s busiest waterways, the Bosphorus. Part of the city lies in Asia and part in Europe. It is the latter where the Old City and commercial areas are found. The Asian side is primarily residential.
Today, Ankara is the capital of Turkey, but this was not always the case. Istanbul has been dated back as far as 660BC, making it one of the oldest settlements in the world. It served as the capital city through four Empires. It is now among one the most visited destinations globally. When you delve into the fascinating ancient history of this incredible city, it is easy to see what the big pull is to its visitors.
The Old City showcases some of Istanbul’s most incredible structures, including the Blue Mosque, or Sultan Ahmed Mosque, named because of the blue tiles which dominate the interior walls. Topkapi Palace, is the largest and oldest palace in the world and is not to be missed. Basilica Cistern is one of many underground cistern chambers that were built to provide the city with water back in the 6th Century during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Justinia. Hagia Sofia played an important role for both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, also during the 6th Century, and today serves as a museum. These are just some of the incredible sights the Old City has to offer.
Idyllic Accommodation in Istanbul
If you enjoy diving into history and culture, then Istanbul is the place for you. With historic buildings throughout the city there will not be enough hours in the day to get around them all. Enjoy exploring the ancient buildings, monuments and culture of this great city. Do not forget to pick up some souvenirs as reminders of your journey along the way, in some of Istanbul’s shopping areas. At the end of a busy day of sight-seeing, return to the comfort of a five-star hotel in the heart of the city. At the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Pera, you can do just this.