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|The only city in the world on two continents,|
|The only city on earth on two continents.” There God and human nature and art are together, created such a perfect place that it is valuable to see.” Lamartine’s famous poetic line reveals his love for Istanbul, describing the embracing of two continents, with one arm reaching out to Asia and the other to Europe.
Istanbul, once known as the capital of capital cities, has many unique features. It is the only city in the world to straddle two continents, and the only one to have been a capital during two consecutive empires – Christian and Islamic. Once capital of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul still remains the commercial, historical and cultural pulse of Turkey, and its beauty lies in its ability to embrace its contradictions. Ancient and modern, religious and secular, Asia and Europe, mystical and earthly all co-exist here.
Istanbul is at Northwest of Turkiye, Where Europe meets with Asia, .. Just a small waterway, Bosphorus, passing in Istanbul, divides the city in to two and Black sea lies on the North side where inland Marmara Sea lays on the South.
Istanbul functions as a bridge from Europe to Asia, thus sometimes it has functioned as a barrier from Asia to Europe also. The city stands between religion, culture, and imperial powers for almost 2,500 years..
Istanbul has an area of 5712 Km2, bigger than the Benelux countries and with a population of over 10.000.000, is one of the largest cities in the world.
Istanbul has hot and dry summers and cold and rainy winters. But generally the ratio of sunny days is much more than rainy and cloudy days in a year. As the city lays 95Km from one end to another, the weather can even show different faces inside the city. While it was raining on European side, you can enjoy the hot sun on Asian side.
You don’t see much of a spring or autumn, summer and winters are longer. Seasons change very quickly. While August is the hottest month and the most Humid, March mostly shows up with coldest weather and rarely snow can be seen.
|Istanbul from a locals point of view:|
Wherever you are coming from, you will be dazzled in Istanbul with so many different things that you haven’t seen before. You will see a rich Historical culture; you will see the sights of Asia and also the sights of Modern Europe. You will see how the life was in Byzantium period, Ottoman Empire period and how the life is now in Modern Turkiye.. You will see the Churches, the Synagogues and thousands of Mosques and early in the morning you may wake up with the pray of the muezzins..
You will be tired of walking and also your mind may get tired of seeing so much different unfamiliar things. So you should be prepared and you need to restore them slowly.
The city on two Continents…
Istanbul hosted different cultures and religions for more than 2500 years. And every Culture has left their treasures of Architecture. Numerous historical sites create a rich historical background to the city. And wonderful landscapes of Bosphorus give an amazing atmosphere.
Many travelers do only visit the touristy peninsula and evaluates Istanbul, However if you open your window a bit wider, and travel around Istanbul on both continents, you will discover a better Istanbul image and will realize it has much more beauty to see..
When is the best time to visit, probably the hardest question that you can ask. All year round there are numerous events, attractions, fairs, exhibits and concerts. And each month there is something for you. However if you are fond of sun and hot weather, May till mid-October sounds the ideal period.