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Writers, explorers and historians, attempting to describe the beauty and magic of Istanbul, have used just about every superlative in the thesaurus. Oldest. Grandest. Most beautiful.

In this city that dates back to 1000 years before Christ was born, history lurks behind every corner while stunning mosques and palaces create a skyline to rival any city in the world.

Why Go?

Even if you hated your high school history class, it is impossible not to be wowed by Istanbul’s past. The city was the center of civilization for thousands of years.

You can spend days exploring the treasures of Topkapi Palace where generations of Sultans ruled (and kept their harems), trekking around the Rumeli Fortress, an Ottoman Fort on the Bosporus and marveling at the ancient Aya Sofya mosaics.

When to Go

To avoid massive tour buses and lines, visit Istanbul in the off season. If you don’t mind wading through a tour group or two, the weather in the spring is mild and the fall is beautiful as well. Summer can be hot, but makes a side-trip to Turkey’s great beaches a good option.

Where to Stay

Stay in the heart of history by booking a room in one of the many artsy and unique guesthouses that populate the Sultanahmet Region of Istanbul. Many hotels have rooftop terraces with views of the Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque and Bosporus. READ MORE


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Tags: storySection: Tripadvisor Hotel Reviews
Location: Asia, Middle East, Turkey
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