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Istanbul Travel Guide

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Plan Your Istanbul Vacation

The only city in the world that can lay claim to straddling two continents, Istanbul—once known as Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine and then the Ottoman Empire—has for centuries been a bustling metropolis with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Istanbul embraces this enviable position with both a certain chaos and inventiveness, ever evolving as one of the world’s

most cosmopolitan crossroads.

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Updated 1/20/2014

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Change continents Spend the morning in Europe and the afternoon in Asia, with just a ferry ride in between; how cosmopolitan is that?
  2. Cruise the Bosphorus Taking a boat ride up the strait, past scenic waterfront neighborhoods and forested slopes topped with fortresses, is quintessentially Istanbul.
  3. Haggle in the bazaars Bargain like the locals do as you make your way through the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar—it may be a bit touristy, but it’s fun.
  4. Marvel at ancient domes From the stunning Aya Sofya to the graceful Süleymaniye Mosque, the city’s greatest works of imperial architecture never cease to impress, especially from the inside as you look up.
  5. Ogle at opulence With their sumptuous decor and fascinating harem quarters, the Topkapı and Dolmabahçe palaces offer a glimpse of the splendor of the Ottoman Empire.

When To Go

When to Go to Istanbul

Summer in Istanbul is hot and humid. Winter usually hits around October and lasts until April, and the months from November and February see a f...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

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