Sometimes described as 'the crossroads of Europe and Asia', Istanbul - formerly Constantinople - is a vast, heaving metropolis with an imperial history that stretches back for more than 1,500 years. No longer Turkey's capital but still the cultural heart of the nation, this city of 13 million sprawls across both sides of a land bridge spanning two continents. The old versus the new, the traditional versus the modern. Istanbul is the city where East meets West.
Istanbul's unique position on the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean, has resulted in the city being a jealously guarded centre of world trade since the Byzantine era. The city has become increasingly cosmopolitan of late: the arts and music scene is flourishing, and new bars, clubs, private art galleries, restaurants and designer fashion outlets are opening all the time.
Istanbul has a very unique history and sightseeing places, which are Sultanahmet Mosque (The Blue Mosque), Dolmabahçe Palace, Topkapı Palace, Aya Sofya (Hagia Sofia), Hang outs under the Galata Bridge, Bosphorus Night Cruises, Galata Tower, Küçüksu Kasrı, Princes' Islands etc.