One of the main reasons of turning Istanbul into the worldwide metropolis is its geography. Istanbul is the only city in the world situated on two continents - it divides Europe and Asia and unites Black and Marmara Sea, lying on both sides of Bosporus.
Mainly there are three parts of Istanbul: on European side it is a historical peninsula, situated on the South of Halich; Galata - on the North of Halich, and New Town situated on the Asian side. Halich is a bay that imbeds in European side of Istanbul. Its second name is Golden Horn. If you give it a look from the birdís eye panorama on the sunset it would remind you a giant horn of golden-red color. European side of the city plays mainly a business role - it is crowded with trade centers and business offices. As for the Asian side - it is housing and residential.
Due to a special geographic location - between Europe and Asia - Istanbul always played a special geopolitical role on the stage of history. Empires with great invasive ambitions towards Asia or Europe turned to Istanbul first of all and held it under a tight control. Even though political and trade relations between Istanbul and Balcan Peninsula and Middle East take origins in a dateless antiquity they still are very significant.
Istanbul is considered as constantly growing city. With an area of 7500 square kilometers its population is somewhere between 12 and 15 million. Each year Istanbul gets about 1000 new streets and the body of the city grows rapidly two - Eastern and Western - ways. And of course the number of tourists who wish to visit Istanbul and all its places of interest is huge - bout 1,5 million per year. Museums and tourist attractions of ancient Istanbul are equal in value with almost all historical places and relics from all over the whole Turkey.
During its long historical past Istanbul has been a capital of several kingdoms - Eastern Rome, Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. With each new ruler they built new great landmarks, magnificent buildings and splendor monuments. Even though the title of a capital has been handed over to Ankara back in 1923 Istanbul grows and improves in appearance more and more, being the greatest manufacturing and trading center of the country and in the neighborhood.
Speaking about what to see and what to do in Istanbul - all depends on how long you are going to stay here. But even if it is just a couple of days that you have for this giant - it is still possible to see lots of tourist attractions having smart Istanbul maps with you.
Usually most of tourists find accommodation in Istanbul hotels in the area of Eminonu or Sultanahmet. You can start your Istanbul sightseeing right from the Square of Eminonu - it is the place with mooring area of most famous cruise-companies that offer very pleasant Bosporus tours which last from a couple of hours to the whole day. Very often there is a guide who gives you all important and interesting information. During the ride, no matter if it is long or a short one, tourists are get acquainted with a great quantity of picturesque landmarks and attractions of Istanbul. However there are some famous remarkable things among all others you definitely have to pay your attention to: Eminonu Port, Maiden Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Ortakoy, Bosporus Bridge, Beylerbeyi Palace, Galata Tower, Sariyer area, Anadolu Kavagi. You can check their location on our Istanbul maps.
Bosporus tour can be one of the most interestingthings to do in Istanbul along with fun things to do on land. During one day you could manage to visit many different interesting places of Istanbul without using any transport. Lots offamous places are situated close to each other, so with the help of Istanbul maps you can find those places at once and walk on foot from one to another.
Speaking of transport in Istanbul, there is a wide range you can choose from. They have an old fashion tram and a modern one, metrobus and regular public buses, cable-railway and rout taxis. Choose what is better traveling through Istanbul and its visit spots.
Enjoy exploring Istanbul and hopefully it will bring you unforgettable memories and wonderful impressions!