Istanbul sits on two continents, the European side of the city separated from the Asian side by the Bosphorous Strait. This place has been a pivotal territory of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, but through all of the conflict and struggle, so much of the architecture and culture has survived. Istanbul is home to some truly amazing buildings, as seen in the Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, Fatih Mosque, and the Süleymaniye Mosque.
Visitors can dive right into the local culture by browsing the stalls of the Grand Bazaar, one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world with over 4,000 shops. Meet up with genuine, smiling locals at some classically Turkish spots like tea gardens, coffee houses, or kebab shops and get a taste for local foods and drinks. And when the sun goes down, Istanbul offers a fun nightlife scene, with historic taverns and winehouses featuring live music and hip crowds.
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