You can explore the invaluable historical and cultural heritage this unique city offers within a secure, friendly, multi-ethnic and multicultural environment. As the largest city in Turkey and 5th largest city in the world with a population of 12.8 million, Istanbul (European Capital of Culture, 2010), is the largest metropolitan area in Europe. Due to very intensive internal migration from other regions of the country, the city itself embraces almost all local characteristics of Turkey.
Istanbul is Turkey’s cultural, economic, and financial center. During its long history, as Constantinople or Istanbul, the city served as the capital of the East Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires.
In addition to its historical richness and natural beauty, İstanbul is the heart of cultural and artistic activities of the country as well as the region.
The many international festivals that the city hosts infuse İstanbul with international talent: the İstanbul International Film, Theatre, Music, Jazz Festivals are organized annually while the Biennial takes place every two years. The nightlife of İstanbul provides various types of world-famous entertainment through its taverns, techno and jazz clubs, discos and cabarets. İstanbul 's large youth population (currently 50% of the population is under 40) and recent economic prosperity have enriched its already diverse nightlife. The range of night entertainment is huge: traditional pubs/taverna to techno and rave nightclubs, with new venues opening weekly. As a result, İstanbul's nightlife is quickly gaining recognition as one of the liveliest in Europe. Many international classical music, opera, and ballet as well as rock groups include the city on their tours. Beyoğlu district, for example, is the center of casual, inexpensive, and youthful entertainment. At the ‘pricey’ end of spectrum are bars and clubs catering to the Turkey’s elite powerful families, artists, and intellectuals.
İstanbul’s museums, churches, mosques, palaces, and many other areas of interest offer a rich cultural and historical experience to all.
Museums: Hagia Sophia, Archaeological Museums, Chora Museum, Mosaic Museum, Topkapı Palace, The Museum of Turkish and İslamic Arts. For more information visit http://muze.gov.tr/en
Palaces: Beylerbeyi, Dolmabahçe, Yıldız Palace. For more information visit National Palaces
Other important sights: Beyazıt Tower, Galata Tower, Maiden's Tower, Miniatürk, Polonezköy, Princess Islands, Taksim Monument and Square, Yıldız Park
For more information on İstanbul, please visit: http://english.istanbul.gov.tr/