A Turkish Vacation Will Never Be Complete Without Visiting Istanbul As any Istanbul vacation guide will tell a traveler who wants a taste of Europe and Asia all at once, the Turkish city is the best way to go. Istanbul is 95 kilometers from end to end, a city that looks overwhelmed by a 14-million population. Looking up the city on the map from the right north orientation, on the left is Europe and on the right is Asia.
Istanbul has been called Byzantium and Constantinople in the past. So enamored were conquerors and emperors alike with the city that it had been the seat of the Roman Empire, Christianity and later on, the Ottoman Empire.
Today, the Turkish metropolis has a predominantly Muslim population. It remains an important gateway to Europe and Asia, and the world’s third largest city in terms of population. Its history, marked by Greek, Persian, Roman, Christian, and Islamic influences, is at once vibrant and supremely intricate. Most locals do not recommend a short visit of say, two days, unless the individual only wants to savor the Turkish baths. In order to experience more of what Turkey’s showcase has to offer, a trip of between five days to two weeks would be highly recommended.
Expect mind-boggling traffic, seemingly endless line-ups, and bumping on the streets with pedestrians or street peddlers hawking their merchandise. The city is best traversed by foot or by tram if the first and major obstacle is to be avoided. As for the eternal queuing, waiting an hour in advance for a boat cruise or before the bazaars or markets open is a vital prescription for preserving one’s sanity and temper. As any Istanbul vacation guide can attest, there is no other place on Earth where shopping is enormously labyrinthine.