The city where Asia and Europe meet is one of the most historical places with an abundance of cultural masterpieces. Once called as Constantinople, Istanbul is a place of cultural discovery. The following reasons prove why you should visit this incredible city at least once in your life:

1. Hagia Sophia

Dated back to 537 AD, Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica (church), later a royal mosque, and is now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey.

2. The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally important waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey.

3. Basilica Cistern

The Basilica Cistern is the largest of several hundred ancient reservoirs that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. The cistern, located 500 feet (150 m) southwest of the Hagia Sophia.

3. Bosphorus Bridge

The Bosphorus Bridge, also called the First Bridge, is one of the three suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait in Istanbul, Turkey.

4. Blue Mosque

Dated back to the 16th century, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey.

5. Rainbow Steps

You’ll find these colourful steps in the arty Cihangir district of Istanbul. They are similar to that of the Selarón Staircase in Rio de Janeiro. n 2013, retired forestry engineer Huseyin Cetinel gave four days and around £500 to this incredible art, transforming the huge staircase, from concrete grey to beautiful rainbow hues.

6. Topkapi Palace

The Topkapı Palace is a large museum in Istanbul. In the 15th century, it served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans. Built by Sultan Mehmed, the incredible palace is one of the majestic architectural masterpieces that reflects Ottoman architecture.

7. Galata Tower

The Galata Tower called Christea Turris is an ancient stone tower in Istanbul just to the north of the Golden Horn’s junction with the Bosphorus. One of the city’s most prominent and beautiful landmarks, it is a high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates the skyline and offers a panoramic vista the incredible city.

8. Süleymaniye Mosque

The Süleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. It is the second largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known landmarks of Istanbul.

9. Kariye Museum

The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is an ancient Byzantine Greek Orthodox church preserved as the Chora Museum in the Edirnekapı neighbourhood of Istanbul.  The interior of the building is covered with some of the oldest and finest surviving Byzantine mosaics and frescoes; they were uncovered and restored after the building was secularized and converted into a museum.

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