Falling in love with one of the cities with the most history in the world is something your heart will find hard to resist. After all, what was once known as Constantinople has a lot to offer: magic, history, culture and tradition in each little street. Because of all of this and much more, we’d like to leave you with 5 reasons to start packing your bags:
- The International Istanbul Biennial (16th September to 12th November): It’s a unique, art-filled event that encourages intercultural dialogue where guest artists approach topics like each home’s own ideas and the feeling of belonging to the most genuine neighbourhoods in the city. It’s a combination of perspective and illusion, nostalgia and fury, and, above all, past and present.
- Fatih: walking around each one of its thoroughfares or visiting the Malta Market will not leave you feeling indifferent. It’s a district with historical roots where the gastronomy will conquer you from the very first bite. If you’d like to try the authentic flavours of Turkish cuisine, you’ll only find them here. The Zeyrek Mosque and wood Ottoman houses will create an eternal photograph in your mind.
- Fener: a maze of cobblestone, narrow and sloped streets surrounded by homes with a great diversity of colour. Streets that ooze with history in every little corner. Fener has always been a sociocultural experience where you can discover old Armenian markets, small Jewish businesses and distinguished monuments like the Saint Mary of the Mongols, commonly known as the red church.
- Balat: famous for its history and interfaith co-existence for centuries. There’s no doubt: it’s a place of contrasts where you can take in the most spectacular synagogues in the city. And there’s something you’ll just love as there’s not a single tour guide who doesn’t recommend it: Balat has one of the most impressive views of the Golden Horn in Istanbul.
- Getting lost among the Bazaars: undoubtedly, this is a must-do. In the historic city centre, you’ll discover a maze full of traditional shops where you’ll find everything you’re looking for. But, there’s no doubt the best of all is stopping in the middle of all the bustling to have some tea while taking in the beauty of the mix of colours, the art of the shopkeepers which has been passed on generation to generation and the lively eyes of those visiting this place for the first time ever.
And last, but not least, a sixth reason… If you’re planning to visit the Turkish capital, we’ll give you a 40% discount on your stay at our centrally-located hotel Room Mate Emir, but shhh… Don’t tell anyone!