Formerly known as Constantinople, Istanbul is the cultural and historic center and the most populous city in Turkey. Istanbul is a transcontinental city lying in both Europe and Asia. The European side houses the commercial and historical center while a third of its population lives in Asian side. For long, an Istanbul holiday package has been a staple on every international tour operator’s portfolio.
At around more than 15 million residents, Istanbul is also one of the world’s most populous cities and the largest city in all of Europe. Around 657 BC, Istanbul took birth originally as Byzantium, which later became Constantinople. Subsequently, after the occupation by the British, French and Italian forces in 1923, the city was renamed yet again as Istanbul.
Here are some quick facts that should give you a fair introduction to this amazing city before you embark on your Istanbul vacation package.
International tourists always set aside more time to visit the many sacred places in Istanbul, while they are on their Istanbul holidays. Let us get to know some of them.
Turkish cuisine is essentially Ottoman cuisine. Its culinary style may also be seen as a refined fusion of central Asian, middle eastern, eastern European and Balkan cuisines. Historians around the world are of the unanimous opinion that Ottoman cuisine was unified and refined in imperial Istanbul. Istanbul is known for its historic seafood restaurants. Most of the well-known upscale seafood restaurants are located on the shores of the Bosphorus. A pedestrian zone in the Kumkapı quarter in Fatih district houses around fifty fish restaurants. Another locality in Istanbul famous for its seafood restaurants is the The Princes’ Islands, located just 15 kilometers from the heart of the city.
Turkish cuisine varies across the country from region to region. And the widespread cooking style of Istanbul inherits many elements of Ottoman court cuisine, with comparatively lesser use of spices. Much like other metropoles around the world, Istanbul has a famous street food culture too. From small buffets streets to native street vendors the street food of Istanbul is full of choices. When you are on your Istanbul vacation, try to taste pastry delicacies like simit and börek from the street food vendors. You should also try Balık ekmek, a kind of fish sandwich.