Istanbul is the only city in the world that is placed on two continents. It is settled on the shores of Bosphorus, where the Black Sea waters meet the Marmara Sea. Istanbul seems to have been destined to become a capital city; we all remember that it was the capital of three former empires that left their mark on the world history.
Even today, the city still preserves the prints of these former civilizations and represents a harmonious bond between East and West, past and present, antique and modern, in all its splendor and mysticism.
Istanbul offers some of the most prolific and complex history and is one of the most beautiful charming and lively cities in the world. It has a life style and an atmosphere of its own because of the locals and the touristic attractions. So, when you get there, make sure you’re planning your schedule very wisely, as there are many things to do and see.
The old palaces, the ottoman mosques, the Byzantine churches, the bazaar and all the rest are wonderful and fascinating places that deserve to be discovered.
One of the most spectacular palaces is the Topkapi, on the shore of Marmara Sea by Suleiman the Magnificent. Also, Dolmbahce palace, built in the first half of the 19th century by Sultan Abdulmecit I; the Beylerbey palace, built in the same century by Abdulaziz and is entirely made of white marble; Yidiz and Gosku are two more wonderful palaces that will take your breath away.
Around Istanbul there are plenty of sights that will definitely impress any visitor; you must not miss the Islands of the Princes’ Islands, which is an archipelago of nine islands in the Marmara Sea, where the Byzantine princesses have been exiled by the ottomans. The Belgrade Forest, in the surroundings of Istanbul, is the widest forest in the area; here, you will find the vestiges of the aqueducts build at the order of Sinan Pasha. Also, you have the opportunity to visit the Birds’ Paradise and the Botanical Park in Bayramoglu-Darica (38 kilometers from Istanbul), which hosts numerous species of plants and birds from all over the world.
From Istanbul, you can continue your epic throughout Turkey. If you next stop is Kusadasi, you should know that it is one of the main resorts in the country, which will offer you unforgettable holiday memories. Kusadasi is located on the west coast of Turkey and is one of the most attractive places on the Aegean shore, being very close to important historical settlements such as Ephesus, Didyma, Priene, Zeus’s Tub 9other than the one on Olympus!!), Pamukale or Miletos.
The many beaches with warm and clear blue waters create the perfect environment for a perfect vacation; here you can windsurf, water ski or beach volley ball – just to mention a few of the possibilities for those who want to have an active holiday.
Besides the historical sites mentioned above, the city of Kusadasi have preserved many Ottoman mosques situated downtown: the Fortress Mosque, built at the order of Okuz Pasha in the 17th century is probably the most impressive. Hanim Mosque, erected in 1658 in the name of Haji Hatice Hatun, destroyed in 1922 and rebuilt between 1951 and 1957. Haji Ibrahim Mosque is another amazing example of spectacular Ottoman architecture, next to the Turkmen Mosque and Cami Atik Mosque, also found in the center of the city.
Kusadasi also follows the same pattern of the rest of oriental cities and it hosts a bazaar (not as big as the one in Istanbul), a modern city center with malls and luxurious shops, where you can find anything – from leather jackets to precious jewelries, souvenirs and food.
The place is packed with hotels that offer a wide range of conditions: from three to five stars, but regardless of the number of stars, they are all clean, welcoming and have great food.
Either way, you will love this experience!
Photo source Picture 1: iffom.com; Picture 2: planetware.com; Picture 3: topdeck.travel; Picture 4: panoramio.com; Picture 5: stunningplaces.net; Picture 6: sf.co.ua; Picture 7: angelshomehotel.com; Picture 8: tripwow.tripadvisor.com; Picture 9: gotourturkey.com