Istanbul, the third largest metropolitan city in Europe, is an adorable destination for holiday. Located between two continents, Asia and Europe, Istanbul has a mixture of Asian and European culture. As a result, in 2010 Istanbul is declared as the Cultural Capital of Europe with series of art performances and concerts held each week. In Istanbul, visitors can see the archaic buildings with a great architecture design which were built in more than 5 centuries ago. Considering the wealthy culture of Istanbul, visiting this city can bring an eccentric experience of traveling.
A great number of historical buildings, museums, mosques, galleries, and hotels are available around Istanbul. One famous museum in Istanbul is the Topkapi Palace which was the residence of Ottoman Sultans for about 400 years. There are three courtyards in the Topkapi Palace which are the First Courtyard, the Second Courtyard, and the Third Courtyard. Each Courtyard had different function in the past. As an illustration, the First Courtyard which consists of the Gate of Salutation was utilized as the border of the palace while the Second Courtyard was used as the converged place for people in the palace.
Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque in Istanbul are great church and mosque located side by side. For centuries, Hagia Sophia was the greatest church on earth which became a place for millions of Christians to pray. Hagia Sophia is still considered as one of the most important monument in the world. The Blue Mosque was built to match Hagia Sophia by Sultan Ahmet I. This mosque is as great and glorious as the church next to it. Until now, the mosque is utilized as the place for the Muslim to pray with the Adhan, a call for Muslim to pray, sounded five times a day.
The other must-visited attraction in Istanbul is the Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, a great place for shopping when visitors can get up to 50% discounts. This is the best place to get souvenirs for people at the hometown. Many tourists visit Istanbul Grand Bazaar for more than once because of the bargaining prices offered in the bazaar and the hotels located near the bazaar. Tourists spending their nights at one of the hotels near the bazaar are able to reach there for only about 5 until 10 minutes on foot.