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How To Make Your Istanbul Holidays Truly Memorable

By Author: Daisy Wilkinson
Total Articles: 108

Istanbul, a transcontinental city known as Byzantium and Constantinople at different times in history, is a fascinating cultural delight that attracts tourists from different corners of the globe. It was given its present name during the rule of the Ottoman Empire. This Turkish economic and cultural centre is considered as a bridge between the Asian and European continents and was named by the European Union as the 'European Capital of Culture' in 2010. During your time spent in this part of Turkey, you'll come across numerous historical attractions that have withstood the test of time and have become symbols of the city’s glorious past.

Your cheap holidays to Istanbul would give you the chance to explore one of the city's most prominent structures called Aya Sofya. It which was initially built as a church during the rule of Constantius II in the 4th century and was rebuilt as a larger basilica during the 6th century by Justinian, a famous Byzantine Emperor. In the 15th century, this basilica was converted into a mosque. Under the first president of Turkey, the mosque was transformed into a museum in the year 1935. Since then, this historic structure has managed to attract millions of visitors every year.

A visit to the Topkapi Palace during your Istanbul holidays would allow you to explore the magnificent structure, built during the reign of Sultan Mehmed II in the 15th century. In the years that followed, it underwent several modifications under the rule of different sultans. In the beginning, it was called 'Yeni Saray' or the new palace. It was during the rule of Sultan Mahmud I that it got its current name, which literally means 'Cannon Gate' in the Turkish language. Among the key portions of this palace is its Harem. You'll also get to explore the vast courts and palace kitchens during your visit to the palace complex.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is yet another fascinating attraction worth exploring during your Istanbul holidays. It is also known as the 'Blue Mosque' owing to the distinct blue colour of its interior walls and domes. Constructed during the early 17th century under the rule of Sultan Ahmed I, the mosque is a brilliant example of the grandeur of the Ottoman architecture. You can have some of the memorable moments of your sightseeing trips while taking a walk in the gardens between the Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque.

Summer from March to May can be a good time to enjoy sightseeing and other outdoor activities as there are lesser rains. The period from June to August brings in a lot of tourists and the extreme heat can make it uncomfortable for you to go sightseeing. From the month of September to November, the city experiences a pleasant climate and can be the best time to explore Istanbul if you’re looking for some great deals on hotel accommodations. If you want cheaper stays, visit this part of Turkey in the winter season from December to February. However, you’ll have to bear the chilly temperatures and rains if you’re visiting in this season.

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