Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul, historically also known as Byzantium and Constantinople; see names of Istanbul) is the largest city in Turkey and fifth largest city proper in the world with a population of 12.6 million. Istanbul is also a megacity, as well as the cultural and financial centre of Turkey. The city covers 39 districts of the Istanbul province. It is located on the Bosporus Strait and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosporus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.
In its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
You can find hotels close to the fairground by clicking here.
The hotels close to Taksim (city centre) can be found here.
Short Trips in Istanbul
Galata Tower: A Genoese construction of 1348. From the top there is a marvellous panorama of the Golden Horn and the Bosporus.
The 19th century Ihlamur Pavilion is named after the linden trees in its gardens. Now in the heart of metropolitan Istanbul, when it was originally constructed the pavilion was in the rolling countryside that surrounded the city.
Çamlıca Hill: The highest point in Istanbul. You can also drive here to admire a magnificent panorama of Istanbul, as well as the beautiful landscaped gardens.
Rumeli Hisarı or European Fortress was built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to his capture of Istanbul. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture in the world.
Istanbul City Walls: once an impenetrable fortification, stretch at seven kilometres from the Marmara Sea to the Golden Horn.
Turkish Mystic Music & Dance
Sufi Music Concert and Whirling Dervishes Ceremony. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sirkeci train station.
Half a Day
Bosporus Cruise: The best way to see the Bosporus is to board one of the passenger boats that regularly zigzag along the shores. You embark at Eminönu and stop alternately on the Asian and European sides of the strait.
Half a Day
The Princess Islands: Büyükada is the largest one amongst of the islands. Here you can enjoy a ride in a horse-drawn phaeton among the pine trees, or relax on a beach in one of the numerous coves that ring the island.