Istanbul is historically identified as the well-known Constantinople and Byzantium. It is also the most populous city located in Turkey. Tourists frequent this city year-round for a variety of reasons. Namely, it is the country’s economic, historic, and cultural center. Think of it as a trip you are well prepared for as it is this history that is taught in nearly every school at some point.
Just in case you did not learn about it, the name Byzantium was bestowed upon this land in 660 BCE by Megarean colonists. Inevitably, Constantine the great travelled here and named it the new capital of the Roman Empire. This occurred around 330 CE. It was then that the city became known as Constantinople. In Latin, Constantinople means the city of Constantine. It wasn’t until the Ottoman period that it was first referred to as Istanbul.
This article will guide you on your journey through Istanbul, pointing out MOST of what there is to do and see in the area as well as what to eat and how to spend your time should you so choose.
Eating in Istanbul
Istanbul is a cultural melting pot, and this is additionally reflected in the cuisine. This enables you to pass up the big fast food chain and become immersed in the true culture here. To some of us, this is overwhelming. Where do we eat? This section will explore the best delicacies for you to try while venturing through this new country.
When starting your day in Istanbul, why not grab a real Turkish breakfast? For a traditional Turkish breakfast experience, you can expect sliced tomato, cucumber, tea in place of coffee, bread, cheese, olives, etc. While it might be quite different from any breakfast you have had in the past, it is quite tasty and healthy. Double bonus!
As you traverse the plains of your journey throughout the day, you of course are going to want a snack. Meze presents a wide variety of options all throughout the city. Meze is what Istanbul locals refer to as a cold starter—like an appetizer but served entirely cold. They are placed in the center of the table and shared by the group. Different Meze options include chili tomato paste, grilled eggplant salad, grilled eggplants with yogurt, and artichoke.
When it comes to lunch, try some of the infamous kebabs available here. Their traditional lamb kebab is slow roasted over charcoal with pine needles for a nice added flavor; much like lambchops and mint.
Last but not least, you want to make sure to try out their dinner options. For a real authentic Turkish dinner why not try Turkish ravioli or manti. Manti consists of dumpling like vessels filled with ground beef, lamb, onion, salt, and pepper. It is served with cold yogurt and garlic with additional spices if you choose.
Explore the Architecture
If you find yourself travelling to Istanbul one thing you want to be sure of is that you do not miss out on the architecture in this city. Not only does it hold a significance when it comes to history, it is also quite beautiful. Trust me, if you enjoy photography, this is the city for you.
Istanbul is first and foremost known for its architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. The buildings in this city literally tell a story that is well worth a read. When you visit Istanbul, you get a real treat. This is due in large part to the fact that it boasts a variety of sights that range between different cultures and periods in time. You can see Ottoman architecture in one area and Genoese and Roman architecture next door.
Visit the beach
The summer is an excellent time to visit Istanbul if you are a fan of the beach. Many of the residents migrate south during this time so the area is quite quiet. It is a true pleasure for both locals and tourists to enjoy the sea here and believe me, it is quite beautiful. There is not just one but multiple lovely beaches to visit in the area. For example, Burc Beach is owned by the University of Bogazici, and it is the epitome of what you are looking for when you search for the ideal beach. You can kayak, take a catamaran, kayak, windsurf, or play volleyball. Of course, you can also sit under an umbrella or soak up some sun. In addition, Burc Beach hosts the Annual World Championships of Kitesurfing. They also host live music and other festivities.
There are many affordable ways to travel to Istanbul. For more information on travelling to this beautiful, relaxing city, visit the following link. Beyond the affordability, the history and beauty of this city makes it more than worth a visit. Plan your trip today!