About Istanbul

Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul) is Turkey’s most populous city, and its cultural and financial center. Located on both sides of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally. Istanbul’s population is estimated to be between 12 and 19 million people, making it also one of the largest cities in Europe and Western Asia.

The former capital of three successive empires, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, Istanbul today honors and preserves the legacy of its past while looking forward to a modern future.

It is Istanbul’s endless variety that fascinates visitors. The museums, churches, palaces, grand mosques, bazaars and sights of natural beauty seem innumerable.

Reclining on the western shore of the Bosphorus at sunset contemplating the red evening light reflected in the windows of the opposite shore, you may suddenly understand why so many centuries ago settlers chose to build on this remarkable site. At such times you can see why Istanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities in the world.

To İstanbul with love

On May 12 our cruise ship sailed into port in İstanbul. I didn't know much about Turkey, but was instantly captured by its beauty. We were overwhelmed with the colors, fabrics, art, architecture and most importantly the people. Everyone was so friendly and inviting....

Life along the Haliç – A ferry nice ride

As the ferries, cruisers and container ships seemingly miss each other by a hair’s breadth at the start of the Bosporus, a smaller ferry weaves its way through this finely calibrated chaos on its way from Üsküdar to Eyüp. As the ferries, cruisers and container ships...


Ortaköy is a cosmopolitan area, with communities of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Jews. The neighbourhood hosts many different religious (Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox, and other Christian) structures. It is also a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its art...

Getting around in Istanbul

Public transport Istanbul's public transit system can be difficult to figure out; maps are rare and you often have to transfer, and pay another fare, to get where you are going. However, if you put some effort into it, you can avoid taxis and not walk too much. Public...

Getting to Istanbul

Information on how to reach Istanbul. By plane, by boat, by train, by bus and by car. By plane Duty Free area, inside Ataturk Airport Planes arrive at Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST), 20 km west of the city centre. From the airport, there are various options for...

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