"ISTANBUL – ASIA OR EUROPE?" Istanbul by mtncorg

Istanbul Travel Guide: 7,887 reviews and 20,398 photos

OK. Just what VT needs, another page on Istanbul. There already exist fine offerings which can give you all you need for a successful visit. For me, VT is not just a place to find tourist information, however, but a place to stash my photos, my historical discoveries, my musings, so …. another Istanbul offering.

Istanbul is probably the largest city in Europe – as long as you count the Asian side of the city, as well. “Probably” because no one knows how many people the metropolitan area actually holds. The town is a magnet for people from all over Turkey. Suburbs sprawl far and wide on both sides of the Bosphorus. For almost 2,800 years people have lived here, first as the longstanding Greek city-state of Byzantium; second a thousand year run as Constantinople, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire; third, a 470 year run as capital of the Ottoman Empire – a realm that was vaster and more powerful yet; and lastly, for the past 80 years, Istanbul has been replaced as the capital of Turkey by Ankara, but the city remains the heart of urbanity for the modern Turk.

On my first visit to Turkey, a couple of years ago, I had only about ten days to visit and since I was visiting friends in Ankara and then going to the coast I purposely left Istanbul off the itinerary thinking Istanbul needs a week of its own just to begin to get an idea of what the town is. That time frame still feels about right except if you have devoted friends who dedicate themselves to showing off their city to you. With my good friend leading the way, we covered more ground in the 2 ½ days than others would see in 1-2 weeks. Constantly on the move, we saw and experienced a wide array of Istanbul. Of course we could only give a short amount of time, but I have a better idea of where I want to go back to or what other sights and experiences I want to enlarge upon in the future, for Istanbul is one city that will draw you back.

So, see some of the sights virtually here. Many will be repeats of the other many Istanbul VT pages because there are some places that everyone goes to and for good reason. There may be a couple places within that have not had as much press, however.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History, culture, food
  • Cons:The Turkish Language is not always an easy one to master
  • In a nutshell:Wow. This is one of Europe's most impressive cities ... or Asia?
  • Last visit to Istanbul: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated Dec 9, 2011
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Reviews (39)

Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Istanbul sounds quite daunting, but it’s good that you had a friend to show you around. Amazing that Aya Sofya is almost 1,500 years old.

mtncorg

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