Turkey, Istanbul – Colorful Gateway Between Europe and Asia – VIDEO
The city on both shores of the Bosphorus Strait, which separates Europe from Asia, has an incredibly rich history. You can still find the influences of ancient Greece, the times of the Byzantine Empire and the proud Ottoman Empire.
Do not be fooled, in history books about Istanbul you can read under his older names Byzanc and Konstantinopol. The name Istanbul officially started to be used only in the mid-20th century when the Turkish Republic was founded. Today, in a metropolitan city, in a very strategic location, around 15 million people live, making it one of the largest cities in the world.
Istanbul annually visits about 12 million visitors and is rightly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Almost everyone will come to town and its surroundings. Sightseeing and history admirers can spend a few days exploring the old city, including, among other things, the magnificent Hagia Sophia. The first part of it was built by Byzantine Christians as a cathedral of the Greek-Catholic Church in 537. In the middle of the 15th century, the architects of the Ottoman Empire rebuilt it to a mosque. Since February 1935, you have a museum here. We'll come back to him in a separate article and video.
Other attractions include the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, and, of course, the Grand Bazaar, where shopping lovers will come. And that you really buy anything here. If you do not want to squeeze into a crowd of people in confined spaces and guess the price, you can still choose among the thousands of small shops in the old town, the Galata district, Kadiköy on the Asian side, and the modern shopping malls of the European Edge.
Local gastronomy is also worth mentioning. The traditional kebab does not offer much variety, but in Istanbul you can taste food from any corner of Turkey and from many other countries. I was surprised to see the small Uzbek district, fresh fish were excellent as well. In addition, the lives of local people would not go away without the constant sipping of sweet black tea and "real" Turkish-style coffee from the jujube. And if you love sweet, you will feel like a paradise here. Istanbul also offers excellent bars, clubs and modern cafés and bistros.
Those who need to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city can go to the sea, to some interesting places just outside the city or the beautiful "Prince's Islands" - the nearby islands that can be easily reached by regular shipping. Surely take the boat trip between the European and Asian parts, cost a few cents and is part of the Istanbul public transport system.
What most enjoyed me was just sitting with the tea on the street watching people. Alternatively, talk to them if they were at least a little English. The locals are mostly very friendly and will be happy to advise you where to go or tell you about city life.
It is closer to Istanbul from Bohemia than from Spain and you can easily reach one of the flights of great Turkish Airlines. If you have the desire to discover and a few days off, definitely go out!
GPS: (Istanbul airport) 40°59'00.1"N 28°48'43.1"E
Text, photos, and video: Matouš Vinš
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