Istanbul has long been thought of as the perfect blend of Europe and Asia; in fact, it is where Europe and Asia meet. Istanbul is an ethnic, yet familiar experience; it is exotic enough to be different, yet comforting enough for ease of travel. The people are friendly, the architecture is magnificent and the food is divine. So take a gander at some of the must-sees in Istanbul that make it one of the most intoxicating cities in the world. Get a taste for it in 24 hours, but it is a guarantee you will be back!
First a basilica, then a mosque, and now a museum, the Hagia Sofia, built in the early 6th century, is one of the most historically important monuments in Istanbul (although every monument in Istanbul is important). The inside is filled with striking mosaics; the main area, famous for its impressive dome and gold mosaics, are so eye catching most people are reluctant to leave. Since being converted into a museum, the upstairs houses many galleries where you could spend the day wandering and learning Istanbul’s history.
The Grand Bazaar: and overwhelming assault on all your senses. Step into this cultural mecca to experience such vibrant colors and smells that the rest of the world will after seem mundane. You could easily spend weeks wandering the heart of the old city; it is chaotic and crazy, yet not at all overwhelming. Wander the alleyways to watch local artisans at work, wander the back streets to discover some of the hidden hotspots and try not to get lost wandering this grand, historic labyrinth. There are obvious tourist spots, but explore off the path a bit and you will unearth a complete different and intoxicating way of life.
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