Istanbul is an amazing city and the best place to live on this earth according to its residents. Check out why below!
1Istanbul City is Legendary
If our walls could talk, ours would tell stories of mythological gods, prophecies fulfilled, love betrayed and lost and much more. The Bosphorus itself gave rise to the lovely myth of the mortal Io. Zeus turned her into a cow to hide their secret affair from his vengeful wife, Hera. Not willing to be tricked, Hera stung Io with a horsefly, sending Io running away, leaving behind the legendary straight — colloquially known as the “passage of the cow”.
23 Empires Fought to Claim Istanbul as their Capital
In order to dominate the lucrative trade channels between the black seas and the Mediterranean, the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Roman empires each fought hard to win and keep the capital.
3Magnificent Architecture: Ancient and Contemporary
Beautiful and enduring monuments, ancients Hellenic sites, and modern architectural feats make our city gorgeous. The 20th century Bosphorus Bridge, ancient Hippodrome, Mimar Sinan’s Suleymaniye Mosque, and August Jasmund Sirkeci train stations are some of the most globally celebrated sites for their style and grandeur.
4World Heritage Sites Everywhere
UNESCO World Heritage has listed over 650 hectares of our city to be preserved for future generations. Places like Topkapi Palace, Subterranean Basilica Cistern, and the Hagia Sophia are our legendary beauty.
5The Finest Artisans for our Monuments
The famous 17th-century Blue Mosque was brushed by the greatest calligrapher Seyyid Kasim Gubari who adorned it with golden verses from the Quran. Different artisans are believed to have carefully handcrafted around 20,000 blue Iznik tiles all over the mosque, hence giving it its name and color.
6The Ottoman Palaces to Rest and Revive
Although the days of the Sultan have long-since passed, we still have a chance to live their opulent life in their beautiful riverside palaces. The Four Seasons Istanbul and the Çırağan Palace Kempinski Bosporus are perfect examples with lavish accommodations, panoramic views, poolside pampering, and gourmet restaurants.
7Snow in the Winter
During the month of December, the temperatures drop to zero degrees, creating a beautiful winter wonderland around the seven hills of Istanbul. Imagine having a snowball fight in Sultanahmet Park, which is surrounded by the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia. It’s the best way to spend a winter day!
8Water in the Summer
During the month of June, humidity rises and we comfortably head back to our sandy beaches of Princes Islands. We party at Suma beach or we can laze around the sophisticated manmade pool in the island of Suada.
9Brilliant Golden Sunsets
The dazzling and glittering vanishing sun can be viewed in the terrace bars and restaurants that are scattered all over Beyoğlu and the old city. The Galata tower is another place to have an exceptional view, and you can just hop on a boat around Karaköy to Kadıköy. Our sunset is best described by the calls for prayers that echo across the city.
10Our Decorated Modern Lives
With remnants of many centuries gone by, we can comfortably enjoy the aromas and colors of Sultanahmet food. The Ancient Sphendone created this weekly food market. Celebrate your birthday and weddings in a unique way by taking a cruise across Bosphorus or at the Maidens Tower- the city landmark. As we live our daily lives, we are surrounded by years of history.
11Another city underground
Speaking of history and remnants, we can easily access underground Istanbul. Tour companies’ offer organized tours that can take you directly to our Byzantine past, the bygone places well below our mosques. Enjoy the ancient’s chapels that are hidden under the famous kilim stores of Sultanahmet.
We have spaces that were used by our ancestors as their cisterns and today they make excellent wedding halls and restaurants. Check out the museum of Great Palace Mosaics in Sultanahmet Square and catch a glimpse of subterranean shadow city. Basilica Cistern located next to the Hagia Sophia and the famous wedding ceremony hall the Sultan Sarnic all makes the perfect second city within a city.
12The City Blooms with Tulips in the Spring
We enjoy millions of tulips during the spring season. When the cold and gray winter eagerly makes space for the colorful springtime during the month of April, it’s time for us to hold and celebrate our annual international tulip festival that is graced by people from different parts of this world. With our cameras in hand, we swiftly head over to Gülhane and Emirgan parks for the best displays that our city has to offer.
13Hollywood Loves Istanbul
Taken 2, 007 classics, Inferno, and The Water Diviner are some of the silver screen movies that have been shot in our city. These films showcase the finer and best sides of Istanbul.
14Rooftop Views are the Best Ever
While sitting above a bustling street on a fine rooftop restaurant, you can gaze and enjoy the beauty of two continents. You can choose from many different Rooftop restaurants, but the most famous ones include 360 East, located on the Asian side, Mikla, and Leb-I-Derya, which is located in Beyoğlu,
15Bosphorus Clubs are Breathtaking
Partying the whole night and enjoying a delicious meal in the multiple restaurants near the Bosphorus shores gives you plenty of reasons to smile. By the first bridge, we have the Sortie, Reina, and Anjelique located in Ortakoy. Here you will party all night long and you might even see a local celebrity.
16Casual Nights Out
Our ever-awake city gives us an opportunity to dress casually in just a t-shirt and jeans. We then head to the cback alleys of the İstiklâl Caddesi where we listen and enjoy the beats.From R& B, hip hop, live bands, world music, and classical music, we have it all.
Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, and Mark Twain are some of the famous artists who found their love for arts in Istanbul. Orhan Pamuk, who is a Nobel Prize winner and a Turkish writer, was inspired by Istanbul. Countless designers, poets, photographers and songwriters have discovered their creative utopia in our city.