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Istanbul straddles two continents, Asia and Europe, and has been a bustling metropolis for centuries. What was once the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Istanbul is now a unique place where many travelers go to visit and explore. This city is definitely a top place to see the history of the region and experience a mix of cultures.

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Accommodations

Over the years, more and more visitors have made their way to Istanbul. Hotels have been working steadily to keep up with the demand, and more hotels are opening throughout the region. Visitors will find everything from five-star hotels to quaint boutique inns and bed and breakfasts and budget-friendly hotels. The variety makes it possible to visit Istanbul no matter what you travel budget or vacation needs are.

Popular hotels in the Istanbul area include:

Dining

Istanbul is definitely a place for food lovers to visit. Travelers will find everything from simple kebabs to fine dining establishments. There is definitely a variety of mouth-watering dishes to be found in Istanbul, including Yaprak Sarma, Taze Fasulye, Lahmacun and Kurufasulye. Plus, because of its proximity to the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, one of the most popular dishes available throughout Istanbul is seafood.

Popular restaurants in Istanbul include:

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Things To See

Istanbul is home to a variety of unique historical and cultural locations. There is so much to see and do while visiting that it might seem a bit overwhelming. But knowing what you want to see before leaving and making a plan will make it possible to see and do everything you want while visiting Istanbul. A majority of the attractions and must-do activities can be found in the Sultanahmet area. In this area, and many other parts of the city, you will find everything from bazaars to museums and historical buildings to places of worship. You are sure to enjoy the city’s rich history as you explore palaces, mosques and castles.

Must-see attractions in Istanbul include:

Festivals

If you time your vacation just right, you might be able to enjoy one of the many festivals held in the city. Istanbul hosts several festivals throughout the year, all themed around the history and lifestyle of those who call Istanbul home. Many of these festivals treat both locals and visitors to the area’s culture and history.

Popular festivals held in Istanbul include:

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Transportation

There are many different means of transportation to get visitors to all of the many things to see and do in Istanbul. Though travel by car is possible, traffic can be very dense during some hours of the day. Car rentals are available from most major car rental companies. Taxis are plentiful, however, it is best to avoid hailing a taxi near main tourist areas. If you want to take a cab, have the hotel call one for you. Public transportation is available through a system including ferries, trolleys, tramways, buses, subways and catamarans. Using the different means of public transportation should be enough to take you wherever you want to go while visiting Istanbul.

Istanbul offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences, where you can immerse yourself in the country’s culture and history. Istanbul is not only a fun and exciting destination, it also offers an educational experience. There are so many things to see and do, travelers will not have to worry about being bored for a single moment of their vacation.

Heather Landon (Heather Leigh Carroll) is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.


 

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