Istanbul Hotels

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About Istanbul

Istanbul is located in the Marmara Region of Turkey. It is also located at where two continents meet; both Asia and Europe. European Side is the western half of Istanbul, located west of the Bosphorus and the Anatolian Side is the eastern half of the city that located east of the Bosphorus. Also, Bosphorus connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. The city has a strategic position in past and present and built on seven hills. These seven hills are The Topkapi Palace, Cemberlitas, Beyazit, Fatih, Yavuzselim, Edirnekapı, and Kocamustafapasa.

The History of Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the most important cities in the world because of its cultural and historical richness. It is the only city that stands on two continents: Europe and Asia. This position brings Eastern and Western cultures together.

Istanbul used to be the capital of two great empires of history. Roman Emperor Constantine the Great moved the main capital of the Roman Empire from Rome to Byzantium and Roman Empire was divided into East and West.

Before that, Megarians from Greece came to the city in the 680s BC. Byzantion, the oldest known name of the Istanbul, was a name given to the honor of the Megarian King Byzas. When Constantine moved the capital here and gave it the Nova Rome (New Rome) name, it was called Constantinople (The City of Constantine) after his death.

The Edict of Milan was a declaration issued in 313 by Emperor Constantine which permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire, but Romans reacted against this decision. Paganism was the official religion of the Empire. This was one of the most important reasons why the Romans were divided into two parts. The conflict between Christianity and Paganism. Istanbul had all the qualities of a new capital. Constantine thought that the city Nova Rome was indeed a place for Rome to be rebuilt. And there was an interesting detail that both Rome and Istanbul were built on seven hills. To build Istanbul was one of the most important decisions of history.

The Eastern Roman Empire was never referred to as the Byzantine Empire. This usage was introduced only in 1555 by the German historian Hieronymus Wolf, a century after the Empire had ceased to exist.

In the following periods, Arab attacks and crusades gave great damage to Eastern Roman Empire. In 1204 Constantinople was conquered by the Crusaders and was looted mercilessly. The largest city of the Middle Ages, with a population of nearly 500,000 lays impoverished, and in ruins. In 1204, a Latin empire was established at Constantinople. 57 years later, their land was diminished, the decentralized power weakened and the people became poor.

In the meantime, the Turks were in the Mediterranean, and Aegean coasts. When the Turks had taken all of the Thracian, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks under the command Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in May 1453 after ten centuries of wars, defeats, and victories. One of the greatest achievements of Fatih Sultan Mehmet was giving life again to this ruined city.

The name İstanbul is commonly held to derive from the Medieval Greek phrase "eis ten polin” which means "to the city" and is how Constantinople was referred to by the local Greeks.

The Best Istanbul Hotels

In Istanbul, you can see five-star luxury hotels rising from all over the city. Also, there are so many cheap hotels in every district of the city. Most famous hotels of Istanbul are located on Çırağan Street, Maslak, and 4th Levent. Beside all these, if you like to be on crowded streets of the city or enjoy the nightlife, you can stay in a hotel around Taksim, Kadıköy, and Beşiktaş.

The Most Important Places to See

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Istanbul that it has more places than you can shake a stick at. You can see all the beauty and details side by side in almost every corner of the city where Eastern and Western cultures come together. Istanbul was the capital of two of the greatest empires and two sacred religious in history. So, you can see traces of the past from all over the city. As the former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, present day Istanbul retains the history that emerged form the city and integrates its historical values to the modern life. The famous buildings in the city which are among the places to visit in Istanbul are within walking distance of each other.

Generally, touristic points are collected in the area called the Historical Peninsula. The oldest urban area in the city, the historic peninsula is completely encircled by the city walls. Let's start with Hagia Sophia. Because of the first visit of Fatih Sultan Mehmet, Hagia Sophia is still the first place to visit in Istanbul as a tradition. Galata Tower, Istanbul Archeology Museum, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Topkapı Palace, Dolmabahçe Palace, Grand Bazaar, Golden Horne, Gülhane Park and Emirgan Park are also some places that have historical importance, so you should visit them certainly.

Istanbul Dining

Istanbul cuisine is a mix of Ottoman and Byzantium Empire’s culinary culture because of being the capital of them. However, most of the traditional food has been forgotten and left to be replaced. Beside this, Istanbul offers tastes from every region of Turkey. The mix of Turkish culinary culture makes Istanbul cuisine one of the most appetizing cuisines in the world. You can enjoy your meal in the restaurants or you can prefer to eat Street foods. The foods that you should definitely try are Menemen, Simit, Kokoreç, Döner, Kebap, Boza, Mantı, Lahmacun, Baklava, Lokum, Börek.

Istanbul Nightlife

Nightlife in Istanbul is always very lively. The nightlife usually starts at 9 pm and lasts with the sun’s first rays. Especially, Taksim, Bebek, Nişantaşı, Cihangir, and Ortaköy are the famous areas to have fun and enjoy the nightlife of Istanbul. Also, there is a cultural nightlife in the city, too. Istanbul offers tons of activity options such as city theaters, operas, and concerts.