Gate to the Orient
This ancient city spreading across the border between Europe and Asia offers countless historic sights from various eras and cultures. This is Istanbul, formerly also called Constantinople or Byzantium.
Above all, you can look forward to a specific cultural mosaic containing the influence of both Christianity and the Orient. The most striking sights are Hagia Sophia, one of the world’s most beautiful sacral buildings, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern with the famous head of Medusa and the Topkapi Palace, home of the emperor, all completed with the stunning nature of the Bosporus strait which you can admire during a boat trip. Listen to the muezzin’s call summoning the faithful to prayer and visit breath-taking mosques with proud minarets.
Paradise for shopping fans
Here, you can find anything from traditional products at the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s largest roofed marketplaces, to an evening dress from a luxury fashion shop.
After a challenging day, relax in the Turkish bath or hamam, which originated from the Roman bath, or dine out in one of the local restaurants. Turkish cuisine is the result of the influences of many cultures, offering a rich variety of tastes, diversity and balance. Try kebab or gözleme, large, thin flat cakes containing various spiced fillings.
Istanbul is worth a visit, no matter whether you prefer boat trips, exploring history, shopping at markets or strolling through the lanes of ancient cities.