Visiting Istanbul

Inside info

Istanbul – Turkey’s biggest city with 13 million inhabitants – is a gate to the Middle East and Asia that is built on the two banks of the Bosphorus. The richness and diversity of Istanbul’s historical sites make the city a top destination for tourists who seek a change of scenery. The 2010 European Capital of Culture will definitely take your breath away.The reputation of Istanbul can not be refuted. On every corner of the streets, one will meet a building steeped in history, witness of civilisations that were the pride of the city. These ancient monuments include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque, and Basilica Cistern that are located around Sultanahmet Square. Some others are dispersed throughout the peninsula of the old city, such as the Church of St Saviour in Chora. Last but not least, north of Taksim Square is New Istanbul, the main business district of the city.A visit to a ‘hamam’ (Turkish bath) is an essential part of any trip to Istanbul. This is something you'll be sure to repeat before leaving. Most historical hamams in Istanbul are located around Sultanahmet, and they are beautiful. Most places will offer a scrubbing or a massage. So lie back and enjoy being pampered.The discovery of this cultural crossroad that is Istanbul is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the sophisticated cooking. Turkish cuisine will remind you of the Mediterranean flavours of Greek and Lebanese food.

Travel review

“With some friends, I went to Istanbul last November. We decided to go in autumn, to avoid the very high temperatures, and the crowd of tourists that there usually are in summer. We offered a friend, as a birthday gift, a week-end in this emblematic city of Turkey. Visiting Istanbul was one of his biggest dreams.I already knew that I would love the buildings. We visited the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque. Getting to a hamam is also a lovely experience that will relax you. However, take care in selecting a hamam, as they can vary greatly in cleanliness and the massages they provide are not necessarily better than in Western countries.Whilst in Istanbul we tried the local food which was fantastic. I would strongly recommend roasted chestnuts which are sold by hawkers on the streets. They were an absolute delight! You’ll find their red and white striped carts all over the Sultanahmet area and they even sell corn on the cob which is very popular with the locals.Istanbul is a city that remains loyal to its traditions and customs. Istanbul is both proud of its glorious past and resolutely future-oriented. I surely will visit Istanbul again, in a few years.”

Did you know ?

Istanbul was founded in 660 BCE as Byzantium. In 330 CE, it was renamed Constantinople and become the capital of the Byzantine Empire. In 1204, the city was sacked by Crusaders. Two and a half centuries later, the Turks took over the city. Finally, Istanbul was chosen as the official name in 1930.

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The weather for Istanbul in Turkey

Today’s weather and a 12 day weather forecast for Turkey available on Weather Wherever. Get the week’s weather forecast for this city in Turkey.

The climate in Istanbul

The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul is found in the northwest of the country between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. It is also a transcontinental city with a third of its population in Asia and its commercial and historical centre in Europe. One of the largest cities in the world, Istanbul has a population of almost 14 million. Founded in 660BC, the city has a rich history and culture, which has been attracting a growing number of tourists. The city offers many palaces, mosques, and churches of historical significance. The Grand Bazaar is the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Istanbul has a borderline Mediterranean climate and humid subtropical climate. The city is very humid all year. Average high temperatures in the summer are around 27 to 30°C, and in winter, they are about 4 to 6°C. Average annual precipitation is 850mm.