If you are looking towards covering a place that suits you as a family spot during the fall or autumn, Europe should be your pick. And, if you are an art, food and culture lover, Istanbul of Turkey is where you should be heading this autumn! Being the largest city of Turkey, Istanbul spans across both continents of Europe and Asia, as it bestrides the Bosphorus strait that is located smack in-between the Black sea and the Sea of Marmara. This place, in the past has been a historical agglomerate of myriad cultures attributing to Greek, Byzantine, Ottoman Turk and Roman.
Historic Places to visit in Istanbul
Topkapi Palace – Being one of the oldest palaces in the world, Topkapi Palace is an architectural Turkish grandeur overlooking the Sea of Marmara that is a historical testimony of the Turk and Ottoman Empires that ruled the place for over six centuries!
Hagia Sophia – Yet another treat for history and art lovers, this shrine was a shining star during Byzantine and Ottoman empires. It has been both a church and a mosque in different epochs of time. Today, it sings of the myriad cultural influences that reflect in the lifestyle of this place.
Basilica Cistern – This Byzantine architectural cistern was constructed from the ruins of ancient temples, beneath the city of Istanbul by Emperor Justinian I during the 6th century. The ceiling of the cistern columns is cross vaulted and the cistern supplied water to all the places in its proximity in the past.
Exploring the beautiful Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar – Being a 15th century wonder, this market is one of the oldest malls in history, famous for coveted artifacts and handicrafts like Turkish lanterns, carpets, ceramics, jewelry et al!
Egyptian Spice Market – Loaded with exotic spices, traditional and medicinal herbs, essential oils, fragrant incenses, Iranian saffron, Russian caviar and a lot more, this market is a gourmet chef’s dream place to visit.
Cruising along the Bosphorous – Nothing beats the charm of viewing the beautiful city from the deck of a boat cruising along the strait that divides Istanbul in both Europe and Asia. This experience gives you a splendid view of the city from both continents with interceding cultures.
Delicacies of Istanbul
Istanbul is a gastronomical paradise offering a variety of mouth watering street food like Simit (Turkish doughnuts), Lahmacun (A Turkish Pizza), Tavuk Pilav (Chicken with rice), Kumpir (Baked and seasoned potatoes) and Tantuni (Tortillas with beef filling). A Turkish breakfast on the Bosphorous strait comprising of bread with sliced tomatoes and cucumber, boiled eggs, cheese and olives with tea, the Turkish coffee or Sahlep, an exotic beverage sprinkled with fragrant cinnamon and the iconic baklava, a dessert made of phyllo dough, nuts and syrup are not to be missed!
Camping and strolling in the Golden beach, indulging in the soothing massage and bathing in the historical baths – Hammams and watching the exotic belle dancers gyrating with elegance and art are some of the other tourist delights to look out for!