Istanbul - the only city in the world that spans across two continents, Asia and Europe.
Like Athens, the rich heritage of Istanbul would take pages if not books to introduce. Read wikipedia on Istanbul prior to your trip. That could help you appreciate the citya great deal more.
We spent 4D/3N here and intentionally stayed at the historical district area for sightseeing purposes.
Blue mosque and Hagia Sophia are both magnificant. THe interior architecture was quite splendid and definitely a great place for photography.
The Grand Bazzar is very fun to visit; one can easly get lost in its 61 covered streets and 3000 shops. The boat ride on the busy Bosphorus strait was relaxing. Cruising along the strait gave visitors a chance to see the luxurious palaces and mansions of the wealthy ones.
Strolling in Taksim area was pleasant. A good place to explore the modern Turkey where there are plenty of upscale restaurants and shopping malls.
What I enjoyed most is the Topkapi Palace. My only self-inflicted regret was that I skipped the Istanbul Archeaological musuem due to my "hangver with the archeological artifacts/sites" at the time. I wish I had visited the musuem as I missed seeing the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, built during Nebuchadnezzar II period,with my own eye. I would not mind to go back just for that.
Istanbul is probably the second noisiest city I had ever visited. For the most part it is due to the 14 millionns of population. The traffic can be a nightmare. Another part is that to my astonishment, there are roughly 3000 mosques in Istanbul alone. In every corner of Istanbul one can hear the trilling call for prayers, also knwon as ezan, five times a day. During these 10 minutes, the voice of muezzin from the minaret will be heard through the loudspeakers. The contrasting levels of noise coming from far and near through the surrounding loudspeakers definitely creates a rather chaotic concert. At times the noise can be entertaining; at another, not quite so.
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