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Istanbul, Eastern Roman Empire
Magnificent and unique of markets
The magnificent and unique city of Istanbul, cultural and financial hub of Turkey, is historically a very important piece of land. Divided into two by the Bosphorus, a narrow strait linking the Marmara and Black Seas, the city played important role for long centuries as Byzantium and Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Nowadays Istanbul has a population of nearly 19 million, what makes it one of the biggest metropolis in the world, being also the limit between Asia and Europe, both physically and culturally. It's considered one of the top destinations in the world, because of the numerous historic sites and lovely culture of the place.
There are many monuments and religious places from the Roman and Ottoman Empires period, such the Hagia Sophia, a former Greek Orthodox patriarchal Basilica, now a museum, that has very complex and beautiful architecture. The Topkapi Palace, a huge palace that was home for the sultans of the Ottoman Empire for more that 400 years, contains, today, many important relics of the Muslim religion.
The historic mosque of Sultan Ahmed, known also as the Blue Mosque, is one of the most important tourist attractions, being famous for the size and beautiful architecture. Visit also the Basilica Cistern, the largest of hundreds of cisterns that lies beneath the city.
A stroll along the Istiklal Avenue is a must. This pedestrian only avenue is 5km long and play the role of heart of the European part of Istanbul. Good for shopping, enjoying the nightlife or eating, this street is stunning, and links the Galata Tower to Taksim Square.
Visiting a Hamam is an important part of your trip. The Turkish Baths are famous and found everywhere in the city, from small to big, clean or not so much, with massage included or not. You can find some historical hamams in the Sultanahmet part of Istanbul.
Considered the number one destination in the world by may, you cannot lose the opportunity to visit Istanbul and its wonders!
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