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Marvellous of Istanbul

Essential part in turkish bath

Designated as one of the three capitals of Culture in 2010, Istanbul is packed of huge historic building, museums, art galleries that will fulfil your days of visits. You will have more than enough to see during the day and to do during the night. Numerous bars, restaurants, clubs are situated everywhere in the city!

Istanbul, being the cultural and financial centre of Turkey, is the most populous city of the country. It's located on both sides of the Bosporus and is joined by the narrow passage between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea (the Istanbul bridges) which make the city both physically and culturally Asian (Anatolia) and European (Thrace).Thus, it is the only metropolis in the world that is situated on two continents.

With its long history, Istanbul offers a affluence of historic and religious places to visit. Ancient monuments, dating back to Byzantine, Roman, and Ottoman periods, counting the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque) and Basilica Cistern. Those are located around Sultanahmet Square or dispersed throughout the peninsula of the old city, such as the Church of St Savior in Chora (Kariye Muzesi), which inside is covered by mind-blowing mosaics and frescoes. A remarkable part of mainly intact Theodosian walls, is right next to this particular church.

Istanbul Modern, with its exhibitions of contemporary Turkish art, is on the nearby harbour of Karakoy. In 1985 the historic city's areas were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List .

In Istanbul you will find a lot of specialities to eat. From the famous Doner (good choice for having fast and cheap food) the Balik-Ekmek ( fish and bread), the Hamsi , the Patso (a type of sandwich consisting of hot dog and french fries),the dondurma(the local ice cream), the Kumpir (baked potato with various fillings) the Ayran, (a local drink based on yoghurt). You should definitely avoid the shopping and tourist areas since anything nearby can be overpriced and seriously reduced in quality.

Nice places to go for a drink: TheBeyoglu, known for its night life, the Kadikoy area also has a night-life scene, serving mostly locals of this part of the city. It is usually has more easy-going style of nightlife, usually with local pubs and wine houses and traditional meyhanes.

If you like nightclubbing, there are night clubs all over the city, two of the hottest discotheque of Istanbul are in Ortakoy. Two things that you definitely have to try during your trip:

The hamam (Turkish bath) essential part of any trip to Istanbul. There are at least one historical hamam in each neighbourhood of Istanbul. Sultanahmet has many historical hamams. Some are very extravagant and cater mainly to tourists, so beware when looking for a hammam.

The nargile, or Turkish water pipe, (that was the centre of Istanbul's social and political life). Today some of the locals still consider it one of life's great pleasures and is something interesting to try.

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