Istanbul is Turkey’s world-renowned city, which has been of great economic and cultural importance since ancient times. In the early years of its establishment, it was called ‘Byzantium’. In the following years, it came to be known as ‘Constantinople’ and was finally named ‘Istanbul’ when the region was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Considering the fact that it is a trans-continental city that spans parts of Europe and Asia, you can experience the cultural offerings of both sides. The recent increase in the number of tourists visiting this city can be attributed to the naming of this city as the ‘European Capital of Culture’ in 2010 by the European Union (EU).
You can plan your holidays to Istanbul for the winter season if you wish to grab some excellent deals on hotel stays. Winters in the city from the month of December to February are characterised by extremely cold weather with unpredictable rains. As many of the tourists don’t visit during this chilly climate, the hotels are quite forthcoming in offering unbelievable discounts on their room rates. If you wish to visit this part of Turkey during a more pleasant climate and also have cheaper accommodations, plan your holiday during the period between March and May or September and November.
From June to August, this city experiences a hot weather. However, if you assume that most of the tourists would stay away from this city owing to the heat and you can get cheap holidays to Istanbul during this time of the year, you’d be taken by surprise. Even in this hot climate, tourists continue to arrive in this Turkish city in large numbers. Istanbul has many historical sites and some magnificent structures that were built during the ancient times and rebuilt in the following years. They are among the major attractions that draw tourists from different parts of the globe every year to this majestic city.
One of the most famous ancient structures you can explore during your holidays to Istanbul is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, which is popularly known as the ‘Blue Mosque’. It was constructed during the 17th century on the orders of the Ottoman ruler of those times, Sultan Ahmed I. This charming mosque has a wonderful architecture and looks fantastic with a bluish shade on its interior walls and domes. Located close to this mosque is another architectural marvel called Aya Sofya, also called ‘Hagia Sophia’ by many. It was inaugurated in the year 360 when the Roman Emperor Constantius II ruled this part of the world.
The Basilica Cistern is another interesting ancient structure you can visit during your time spent in the city. Constructed with 336 columns arranged in 12 rows, this fabulous structure still amazes tourists. It was built during the times when the region was ruled by the Byzantine emperors and was used as a source of water supply for them. While exploring the structure you’ll get to see the beautifully-lit columns and a delightful ambience that gives a magical appearance to the entire place.
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