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Istanbul for long has been a hub for both seeking a holiday or a series break. It is a city that wears its culture and history well, blending them greatly together that offers the tourist from around the world a great experience.

Istanbul stands true for its historic heritage and its rich Ottoman culture through its mosques, basilicas, ancient bazaars, food, and music. Travel to Istanbul to rejoice in its land and beautifully divided culture. 

We all have heard that Istanbul bears a bridge between the two cultures. This city is beautifully divided between the east and the west. The blend of both the culture where people can truly experience and enjoy the Middle East and Western culture all at once which offers an aura of curiosity that appeals to all tourist. Silk Road linking Asia with Europe the city is fully packed with culture, art and architecture that goes back to the Ottomans era. For centuries the Ottoman empire was the middleman of the world and Istanbul is one of the main hubs of Turkey, it bears a great periodic history, rich in cultural diversity and has many tourist attraction streets and places to visit. 

Best Places to visit in Istanbul:

  •  Taksim Square: A Dense web of a side street in Istanbul

Doesn’t this word ring a bell? haven’t we all seen this street before? Well, you won’t be wrong if the word seems familiar to you. Taksim square was very much highlighted in the movie Dil Dhadakne Do! This street is where you get to experience and explore Modern Istanbul.

This square is the most famous streets of Istanbul which is the common meeting point for local filled restaurants, hotels and it also has the longest shopping street. For all the shopaholics it is where you want to start your tour from. Taksim Square is also known for its Tram Line. If you visit during summer vacations you get to experience the energy of the Taksim square in its full spirit and also get to know the locals during the summer festival of Arts and Culture.

 A tour to Taksim Square is definitely one of the things to do in Istanbul!  Although, your tour in Taksim Square is incomplete without a good meal. There are countless of eating spots. To get a true Turkish experience, you need to taste the local street food ‘ Hamburger’, a traditional burger can be paired with either beef /chicken filled with herbs and tomato sauce. This meal is incomplete without the most famous beverage ‘ Ayran’, it is a cold yoghurt drink which is quite popular, especially during the summer heat.

 Taksim Square is also filled with  Street Art. Street musicians and local graffiti performing live which is a treat to watch and ear.

 What is a vacation without a Nightlife right? This is the best street to find cheap bars and discos. Yup! The clubs here are still called Disco’s, which remind me of the ’90s. The clubs/discos are for every kind of entertainment. All you have to do is find your spot and enjoy the night.

  • Basilica Cistern: Largest Ancient Cistern of the World

It’s the oldest underground water tank. Boring right? You must be wondering why to visit the underground tunnels. But the beauty of this tunnel is the way it has been constructed, it reminded me of the ‘Harry Potter- the chamber of secrets’, where the end fight between Harry  Potter and Voldemort took place in the tunnel.

It holds such a beautiful look of the entire place that it had become so famous and was featured in the ‘JAMES BOND ‘ movie ‘ FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE’.  If you are lucky and they have not drained the water out that given time, you can then experience a rowboat too. It also holds ancient wonders like Medusa Pillar Bases and Hen’s Eye Column to look for.

  • Grand Bazaar and Egyptian Bazaar: Largest and Oldest Covered Bazaar

Every city tour is incomplete without fun-filled shopping experience. Where you not only shop for yourself but you also take back souvenirs and a sweet memory of the city back home. So, to get a complete gist of Istanbul tourist map these two most famous shopping places are mandatory to visit. These shopping street are known worldwide.

GRAND BAZAAR Istanbul is one of the biggest shopping bazaars, it’s a maze of small tiny shops having filled with bags, accessorize reminds me of the Narnia closet, where the door opens to this magical place, it’s just like that. From Turkish rugs, eye-catching colourful ceramic dishes, kaleidoscopic colourful lanterns hanging up the wall, bags and traditional Turkish hookah it’s so overwhelming.

EGYPTIAN BAZAAR also known as SPICE BAZAAR  is one of the oldest bazaars in Istanbul. This bazaar has a wide range of species and Turkish sweets. The most famous dessert of Turkey ‘KUNAFA’ dip in Mozzarella cheese, I don’t think there is anything that tastes so heavenly than the sweetness of kunafa with melted cheese can!

  • Topkapi Palace:  A Large Museum in Istanbul

Was once the home of emperors of 3 continents. It is a must-see,  for everyone, as it holds a great history of the city of Istanbul and  Islam. It also has priceless treasures. The palace holds beauty in its architecture and gives an overview of the lavish lifestyle of the then emperors.

  • Blue ( Sultan Ahmed) Mosque: A Popular Tourist Site in Istanbul

It was built during the Ottoman time and has become a very popular tourist site to visit in Istanbul. It is also an active mosque. This is one of the most important mosques and is famous for its construction.

This is the only mosque in Istanbul having 6 Minarets. Other then this speciality the mosque holds a very good background history of its making.  

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek (@himalayan_gypsy) is a travel photographer and blogger known as Himalayan Gypsy over the internet. Academically from an engineering background and born the Himalayan valley of Dehradun, he found himself in love with nature and ever since he has been on a journey to travel India and showcase the beauty of the country through his pictures, motivating and encouraging people on the go to feel the same and also take responsibilities to conserve our rich heritage, culture and environment. He is a Certified Digital Marketer and a Travel Influencer who is efficient to create visually appealing content for Travel Brands, Property Owners, Cafes and other Product Shoots. He also specializes in running Facebook & Instagram Ad Campaigns for Brand Awareness, Brand Promotion and Online Reputation Management.

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