ISTANBUL AT A GLANCE
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. It constitutes the country’s economy and history. It is also the historical and commercial center of Turkey. The city has a population of around 14.1 million making it the largest urban city in Europe and the sixth largest city in the world. -More than 11.6 million tourists visit Istanbul annually as from 2012. This makes the city the fifth most visited city in the world. -Some of the things that visitors could enjoy in Istanbul include;
VISIT THE GRAND BAZAAR
The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world. This large market has more than 3,000 shops, 61 covered streets, which attract around 250,000 to 400,000 visitors daily. – The market is located the district of Faith inside the walled city of Istanbul. The construction of the market began during the winter of 1455 and 1456. Construction of the mosque ended in the winter of 1460 and 1461.
VISIT GALATA DERVISH HOUSE
Visitors here enjoy traditional whirling of the oldest lodge in Istanbul which was established in 1491.The Mevlevi Order of Sufis, founded in 1273, use whirling as a form of prayer. -The dancing offers visitors with a magical experience. The dancers lift one hand up towards God and the other towards the earth. This symbolizes that the gift of life comes God and installed on human beings on earth. -This is usually a very spiritual and ritualistic celebration of existence.
CRUISE ALONG BOSPHORUS
Bosphorus strait is no doubt an iconic image associated with Istanbul. It connects the black sea to the Sea of Marmara. This crucial trading route is the narrowest used in international navigation in the world. -Walking along the strait offers a fantastic way of checki9ng out some of the major landmarks like the monuments and great mansions of Istanbul from a ride in a boat. -The Bosphorus cruise can be done either by ferry, private boats and many more depending on a visitor’s preference and willingness to pay extra cash.
VISIT THE BLUE MOSQUE
The Blue mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmet Mosque, is one of the most visited mosques in Istanbul. It is a working mosque hence visits are controlled but entrance is absolutely free. So visitors are advised to know the various times the mosque is closed for prayers. -The mosque was built during the 16th century and got its name from the then ruler, Sultan Ahmet (1590 — 1617) and was the 14th emperor of Ottoman Empire. -It is famously known as the Blue mosque for its mass of 20,000 green and blue toned tiles adoring the building.
VISIT THE CLOUD OF SMOKE
One can smell the Turkish water pipe before seeing its billowing smoke. This was an endearing symbol of the Ottoman Empire during 17th century. -Smoking nargile has been a form of relaxation and socializing since the ancient time in Istanbul. Both the old and the young meet and smoke tobacco mixed with flavors of molasses then heated by hot coals from above.
The smoke is then filtered using a basin of water and smoked through a long horse pipe that emits a special flavor. Istanbul is open for visits by any visitor in the world. Foreigners without a visa can apply for a turkish e-visa to guarantee total travel freedom.