Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A long weekend in Istanbul

Enticed by the flash sale of ebookers for hotels of Istanbul - and favorable weather forecasts! -you decide to fly to Istanbul and spend a long weekend. Yes but this is, what to see in Istanbul in a few days? Here are a few suggestions to visit this extraordinary city. Do not hesitate to share your good addresses in comments or on the Facebook page

Located on part and sides of the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is riding on two continents: Europe and Asia. It is divided into three large areas: Sultanahmet, viel Istanbul, separated by the estuary of the Golden Horn of the district of Beyoğlu, modern Istanbul and across the Bosporus, the Asian side. We find the rich history of the city, formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople, in the diversity of its monuments and neighbourhoods.

The visit of the city generally begins Sultanahmet, to immerse yourself in a thousand years of history at the crossroads of two civilizations.

Hagia Sophia mosque

Since its opening in 537, this old building of fifteen centuries was the object of many repairs which the main, carried out by the architect Sinan, allowed to save the dome. It was transformed into a mosque following the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Blue Mosque

Facing Hagia Sophia, Mosque blue, built in the 17th century and surrounded by six minarets, is unique in the world. It owes its name to the 21,000 tiles from Iznik, blue, decorating its interior. It is a marvel of finesse and elegance.

To the West of Sainte-Sophie, please visit the Basilica Cistern. Built by Constantine, this gigantic underground Cistern in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, is one of the most spectacular monuments of this age still visible today.

The mosque of Suleiman the magnificent, the Süleymaniye Mosque is considered to be the most beautiful of the Imperial mosques of Istanbul.

Located on the Seraglio point, which overlooks both the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the sea of Marmara, it was the residence of the sultans during four centuries from the capture of Constantinople. Gigantic, it extends over 70 hectares and four courtyards managed, by successive rulers, gardens, kiosks and fountains. Do not miss the harem and, above all, the imperial Treasury. Nearby, archaeological museum are also worth a visit. Take tea in the former at the end of the Gulhane Park, nearby, you will have a superb view on the tip of the historic peninsula, the mouth of the Golden Horn, the modern city, the Bosphorus, the sea of Marmara and Asia.

Go to Istanbul without a visit to the Grand Bazaar would be unforgivable! It is the largest covered market in the world, which has existed since the 15th century. There is everything: smallwares, carpets, jewelry, hookahs, products manufactured. The best there is near the worst. Mandatory bargaining and assured performance.

Located on the shore European Bosphorus and separated from the old town by the Golden Horn, this district includes many neighbourhoods, such as The Galata. Two bridges span the Golden Horn to connect Beyoğlu to the old town: the bridge of Galata and Unkapanı bridge. Beyoğlu is the centre of the nightlife of modern Istanbul and most active in the field of art, of the show.

Of Tünel to Galata Tower

In this street "musicians (Galip Dede Caddesi) there are musical instruments everyone from street shops, right and left until The Galata Tower! Changing in recent years, the street now houses small shops of artists, shops of clothes, the souvenir shops and leather and very nice restaurants and bars. This is a street where it makes good to stroll.

Walk along the Bosphorus to Kuzguncuk, the Jewish quarter and wandering through its beautiful streets. Here, you will see another Istanbul.

Taksim Square, heart of modern Istanbul, is easily reached by metro. From there, take the main artery of the Pera district, Istiklal Caddesi, pedestrian zone of 3 km. It houses shops, stores music, library, art galleries, cinemas, theaters, libraries, cafés, pubs, night clubs with live music, historical patisseries, chocolateries and restaurants. It wanders day and night, Agoraphobic refrain!

From all sides, Istanbul is surrounded by water. Horn of gold, Bosphorus and sea of Marmara, the cruise possibilities are endless. Maritime station to Eminonu, a boat goes back hourly 2BEDROOM until the District of Eyüp. Along the way, beautiful view on the hills of Fener and Balat. In Eyup, panoramic view of the city from the café Pierre Loti, who was a regular at places.

A cruise on the Bosphorus is an excursion not to be missed! This is the best angle of view to admire the old houses along the water. There are several solutions, depending on the time you have available, small cruises 1 h 30 to 2 h 00 and longer let that back up the Bosphorus to the mouth of the Black Sea, in a day. Attention: these cruises are very popular in summer, stand soon enough for boarding, to have a seat. And don't forget hats and caps, and sunscreen, the sun beats strong! During your ride, take the time to lunch in one of these small restaurants on the shore, you enjoy excellent fish.

In the sea of Marmara, 4 Islands, of which the first is 25 minutes from Istanbul. Several departures per day from Eminönü and Kabataş. Since the 19th century, these islands are places of resort of Istanbulites. Ideal to rest from the hectic life of the city, cars are prohibited!

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