The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010.
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, largest city proper and the second largest metropolitan area in Europe, and the fourth largest city proper in the world with a population of 13.9 million. Istanbul is also a megacity as well as the cultural and financial center of Turkey. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province. It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European and on the Asian (Anatolia) sides of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents. Throughout its long-lived history, Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).
The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.
Traditional waterfront houses; shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul
Climate – Weather of Istanbul
Health & Safety
Emergency telephone numbers
Gendarmerie 156 ( Army Police for Rural places)
Coast Guard 158
Health – Medical services
Private health insurance is recommended. For minor problems, it’s customary to ask at a chemist/pharmacy (Turkish: Eczane) for advice. Ensure you know the generic name of your medicine; the commercial name may not be the same in Turkey. The word for hospital is ‘Hastane’. Many Turkish doctors speak a foreign language (or English), particularly at major hospitals.
Famous Places to See in Istanbul
- Hagia Sofia
- Bosphorus Bridge
- Ortakoy Mosque
- Dolmabahce Palace
- Galata Tower
- Basilica Cistern
- Grand Bazaar
- Blue Mosque
- Istanbul University
- Maidens Tower
- Istanbul Park ( Turkish Grand Prix)