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The complete guide to Istanbul 2023

Getting to know Istanbul: One thing is clear when we dig into the details. There’s a pulse in this city like no other. Despite not being Turkey’s capital, it’s its financial, cultural, tourist, business, education, and economic hub. The city is fascinatingly diverse, with the famous Bosphorus waterway, once known as Constantinople or Byzantium.

Istanbul has a long history. Istanbul was the capital city of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires until 1923 when it became the Republic of Turkey. Seeing the mosques, traditional restaurants, bazaars, shops, and famous sites leaves you with a sense of wonder, so much so that many foreigners have decided to make Istanbul their home.

About Istanbul

Here’s what you need to know about Istanbul

  • Istanbul was built on seven hills to match Rome’s imperial status. The Ottomans built mosques in each location when they invaded in 1453.
  • The Topkapi Palace has items from Muhammad, the Islamic prophet. Since the 16th century, they’ve been held in high respect and security.
  • Istanbul has 3113 mosques, including the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet and the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque, designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan.
  • Istanbul was the sixth most visited city in 2013. Over 10 million visitors come to the city annually, and officials are hopeful that number will keep growing as the word spreads.
  • Among the famous visiting figures were Agatha Christie, who wrote “Murder on the Orient Express” there, and Mark Twain, who called the Grand Bazaar a “monstrous hive of little shops.” These days, it’s a celebrity hangout for Turkish and international stars. Check out these surprising Istanbul facts.

Istanbul’s location

Istanbul is the only city in the world that spans two continents.
The smaller European side sits to the west, separated by the Golden Horn, a natural harbor separating the Marmara and Black Seas. With a population of over 15 million people, it’s bigger than London and New York.

About Istanbul’s climate and weather

In contrast to the warmer coastal regions of Turkey to the south, Istanbul is a city you can visit whenever you want. Because of Istanbul’s size and typography, the weather is changeable, and temperatures fluctuate.

During summer, temperatures average 23°C (73°F) but can reach 32°C (90°F) on occasion. There’s little rain in summer, just a few days a month so you can take advantage of outdoor activities.
There’s a lot of snow in winter, and the average temperature is 4*C (39*F). In colder weather, the city offers a lot of indoor attractions. It’s got a lot of bazaars, shops, restaurants, and museums, so there’s always something to do!

About Istanbul’s population

Turkey has over 76 million residents, growing by over 2% annually, making it one of the world’s most populated countries. Having a population of over 15 million, Istanbul is one of the world’s biggest cities, bigger than London and New York. The city has recently gained much global attention and has grown rapidly.

In 2010, it was Europe’s Capital of Culture, and in 2012, it became the European Capital of Sports. As a result of this attention, the community keeps growing, and many new suburbs are popping up on the outskirts.

About Istanbul’s most famous districts

  • With 39 districts, Istanbul caters to everyone, no matter their culture, income, or beliefs. UNESCO World Heritage Site Fatih has iconic buildings like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.
  • Turkey’s top three football teams are Besiktas, Fenerbahce, and Galatasaray, while Beyoglu is known for its shopping and nightlife. There’s also a lot of tourism in Uskudar and Kadikoy on the Asian side.
  • City’s most prestigious and prime locations are along the European and Asian shores of the Bosphorus. You can get luxury real estate in Bebek, Sisli, Ortakoy, Ulus, Tesvikiye, Kanlica, Kandilli, and Emirgan for less price than in Paris, London, and New York. Check out these articles for more info.

Istanbul’s suburban towns are growing.

Suburban towns are being built to accommodate the city’s growing housing needs. High rises and comprehensive complexes are replacing shanty houses on the city’s outskirts at affordable prices. Most foreign investors, especially individuals, are taking advantage of these low prices to benefit the city’s growth prospects.
It’s important to note that not all suburbs have the same investment potential. As such, a diligent understanding of social and cultural factors will help choose the right areas for investment in the years to come. For example, take the European suburb Bahcesehir, a well-developed and quality suburb. Comparatively, Esenyurt leaves a lot to be desired.

About Istanbul’s life

It’s changing in Istanbul. The classic historic and more established central districts are thought to have the best quality of life, but this may largely depend on income. Views, historic buildings, classic architecture, and sought-after areas cost more! Quality of life is “the general well-being of an individual.” New suburbs on the city’s outskirts are now offering quality housing at a lower price. Modern health centers, trendy shopping malls, sports facilities, and entertainment are in these up-and-coming areas.
Istanbul has a great quality of life. There are great local markets with cheap groceries, various shops from designer names and department stores to budget shops, and excellent transportation to the surrounding areas.

Istanbul’s airports: Modern global travel hubs

Istanbul’s geography makes it a great international travel hub, and its airports have increased. Until now, Ataturk was Turkey’s busiest airport, but a growing number of passengers led to the building of the New Airport. When it’s finished, it’ll be the biggest in the world. On the Asian side, Sabiha Gokcen Airport offers year-round flights to countries worldwide. (About the new airport in Istanbul.)

Bosphorus Waterway

Over the centuries, empires have fought over the Bosphorus, which links Europe and Asia. Although it’s much calmer now, it’s still a vital waterway for maritime traffic.
There’s more to it than its status as an important shipping route. Turkey’s most expensive real eWe would be happy to assist you with your inquiries.
state market is shoreline homes, called yali houses, along the Bosphorus. A wooden Ottoman villa can cost up to 50 million dollars.

Things to Do in Istanbul

  • Millions of tourists visit historical attractions and landmarks every year. Below are our top recommendations, and you can also find suggestions in our articles.
  • Discover historical frescoes at Hagia Sophia, Turkey’s most famous museum, once a church and Mosque. Sultan Ahmed Mosque, used by Ottoman royalty, is nicknamed Blue Mosque because of its blue tiles. Check out their architecture and why you should see them at least once.
  • Enjoy spectacular sunsets from Galata Bridge, which measures 490 meters. There are fish and seafood restaurants underneath the bridge, but we recommend going to Galata Tower. In addition to being used for various purposes over history, it’s the best place to see the Golden Horn. Their top-floor restaurant also hosts Turkish nights. Find out where to visit famous buildings in Istanbul.
  • Dolmabahce Palace, the last home of the Ottoman sultans before the empire, disbanded, is steeped in history, culture, beautiful décor, and stunning architecture. While Topkapi Palace, the first home and ruling capital of the sultans when they invaded Constantinople, is the oldest building of this style. They’re both worth seeing, and this article lists two more Ottoman palaces in Istanbul.
  • There are 3000 shops in the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s biggest markets. It’s the best place to buy souvenirs, but remember to barter. Being a big city, Istanbul has a lot of markets.
  • You might think a big city is bland and drab, but you couldn’t be more wrong about this one. Explore iconic houses, street art, pretty parks, and quirky places in colorful Istanbul.
  •  Watch over Istanbul from Maiden’s Tower – dating back to 419 B.C., it’s full of love and romance and has served Turkey well ever since.
  • You can enter the Suleymaniye Mosque for free. Built-in 1549, the Mosque has undergone several restoration projects over the years.
  • Topkapi Palace – the center of a kingdom and the oldest building of this style, is a must-see and has a lot of history.
  • Explore underneath Istanbul with a trip to the Basilica Cistern and marvel at the two heads of Medusa found inside.
  • Galata Tower – Turkey’s immovable tower offering a great view of Istanbul; Galata Tower has been used for many purposes over its history and rebuilt several times.
  • This ancient mosque, known as the Blue Mosque because of its massive amount of blue tiles, is still used today.
  • Museum of Modern Art – Istanbul – Spend a day admiring the stunning art on display at the Istanbul Modern; whether you’re an art fan or not, there’s something for everyone here

Living in Istanbul and Buying Property

Istanbul has the biggest ex-pat population in Turkey. It isn’t surprising since it’s a business, education, and tourism hub. Over the last 20 years, its real estate market has changed drastically with its growth.
Shanty towns have been replaced by high-rise residences that have changed the fabric of social communities. Several amenities are available to residents, including landscaped gardens, swimming pools, saunas, gyms, security, and shops.

As the population grows, the need for housing increases, which is why many high-rise residences are located in outskirt districts. Many foreign investors are taking advantage of the city’s growth prospects by investing at low prices per square meter.

Check out our blog to learn more about Istanbul. You can also see our portfolio of apartments and villas for sale in Istanbul if you plan to buy real estate.

We would be happy to assist you with your inquiries.

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