Istanbul might have a reputation for its cosmopolitan population and increasingly modern attitude, but the heart of the city still beats in the historic old town of Sultanahmet, located on the European peninsula bounded by the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus. First founded by Greek colonists in 667BC, the area of Sultanahmet was once the walled city of Istanbul known as ‘Constantinople’ and today the peninsula is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and teeming with examples of Byzantine and Ottoman era architecture.
Tag Archives: Istanbul free things to do
March 4, 2013
With exchange rates plummeting, Istanbul isn’t quite the bargain destination it used to be, but those on budget will still find plenty of opportunities to stretch out their dollars. From marveling at the city’s famous minarets to taking advantage of the legendary Turkish hospitality, here are some ideas for free things to do in Istanbul.
February 18, 2013
Istanbul’s Çiçek Pasajı, or Flower Passage, is the most renowned example of the city’s ornate late 19th and early 20th century arcades, beautifully restored to its Ottoman-era glory. Running between Istikal Caddesi and Sahne Sok in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the L-shaped passageway was once the courtyard of the historic Cité de Péra building, built in 1876. The building was later purchased by the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sait Paşa, who renamed it the Sait Paşa Passage, but the modern name of Çiçek Pasajı was adopted in the 1920s in ode to the Russian flower sellers that lined the passageway throughout the war years.
May 29, 2012
Going to Istanbul? Prepare to be astounded, for Istanbul is one of the most intriguing metropolises in the world.
For more than 1600 years the city served as capital for two major world empires, first of the Byzantines and then of the Ottoman Turks, and has remained the cultural capital of Turkey since the country’s founding in 1923. The brilliance and beauty of this long legacy can be found throughout the city, in its monuments and in the spirit of its people.
Throughout its extensive history Istanbul has also been attracting a certain type of traveler. As a “bridge” between Europe and Asia, the city has lured in foreigners from the West to see at first hand the mysteries of the East, and from the East to see at first hand the mysteries of the West.
May 3, 2011
There are few better combinations of time and place than April in Istanbul. The evening air still has an edge, but days are usually bright and mild with the sunlight glinting off the Golden Horn. Perfect weather for exploring the city, in other words.