Host City – Istanbul
TRAVEL GUIDE TO ISTANBUL
Istanbul – the city of the past, the present and the future. Istanbul not only joins continents, it also joins cultures and people. Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a city; the mysticism of the East and the modernity of the West, the constant time travel between past and the future, the balance of the traditional and the contemporary. Istanbul is one of the most visited and important places in the world, a central hub connecting Asia and Europe, blending the past and the future, bringing together cultures and people from all over the world. Visit Istanbul and feel the harmony of the opposites.
ALL ABOUT ISTANBUL
Find out all you need to know about this exciting city of Istanbul with the ideas on food and drink, nature and geography, arts and culture, climate, academic life, economy and thousands of years history. Come, experience and live the moment, and explore everything about Istanbul like never before.
HISTORY OF ISTANBUL
Described by the historian Procopius as the city surrounded by a wreath of water, Istanbul boasts an exquisite geographical position and deep roots in history.
With a history going back 8500 years, Istanbul is an ancient city that is simultaneously modern and fresh. Old world and modern world, Islamic and Mediterranean coexist in its captivating atmosphere. The distinctive characteristic skyline of the city, combining monumental minarets with modern skyscrapers, is perhaps the best proof.
The outstanding universal value of Istanbul resides in its unique unification of diverse architectural styles of many eras and civilizations. Roman aqueducts, Byzantine churches, Venetian towers, Ottoman palaces, modern buildings and contemporary plazas give the city its matchless beauty.
Founded on the Sarayburnu around 660 BC as Byzantium, the city now known as Istanbul developed to become one of the most significant cities in history. The identity of Istanbul that began to be formed by the Byzantines.
The identity of Istanbul was shaped during the period of Ottoman Empire. Also Istanbul was embellished further during the Ottoman Period with important building activities.
NAMES OF ISTANBUL
Did you Know? The city of Istanbul has changed a number of names: Augusta Antonina, Nova Roma, Byzantion, Byzantium, Constantinople and finally Istanbul.
The first name of Byzantium was Lygos. Byzantion, latinized as Byzantium, was was the name after 667 BC. Constantinople was the name by which the city became soon more widely known, in honor of Constantine the Great. Kostantiniyye is the name by which the city came to be known in the Islamic world. Istanbul, is the modern Turkish name.
FAST FACTS ABOUT ISTANBUL
Istanbul is a giant city, home to one-fifth of Turkey’s population. Practical guide, fast facts, general information and tips about Istanbul for travelers. Also discover Istanbul with numbers before.
Istanbul is a giant city, home to one-fifth of Turkey’s population. The general opinion of people who have visited Turkey and Istanbul is that the people are very hospitable and tolerant. Indeed, it is an important part of the national culture to be considerate and polite toward guests, especially foreign guests.
With its natural, historical and social attractions, Istanbul is one of the main touristic place of Turkey. Istanbul is the second city with 12.5 million visitors.
ISTANBUL WITH NUMBERS
Istanbul is the world’s first most popular congress city in 2011
Istanbul is one of the world’s top 10 congress destinations
Istanbul has 78 public and private museums
You can feel 4 seasons in Istanbul
Istanbul has 8500 years of history
12 million tulips planted in April
Istanbul has 39 districts administered by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
5 imperial palaces, dozens of summer palaces and mansions
Istanbul has 4 historic bazaars
Istanbul is the captial to 3 big empires
Istanbul was home to 12.5 million international visitors in 2015
Istanbul was the European Capital of Culture in 2010
Istanbul has 3 bridges between two continents
Istanbul is the largest populated city of Turkey with over 14.6 million habitants
Almost 112 modern shopping malls
Istanbul has 233 public and private hospitals
Istanbul has 53 universities and 5 technoparks
Istanbul has 2 international airports, 1 under construction
Istanbul is 5th most visited city in the world
UNIVERSITY LIFE IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul is definitely Turkey’s education capital, hosting more than fifty public and private universities with thousands of students graduating each year. The high quality of education and the city’s charm makes Istanbul an attraction for international students.
Istanbul is a city of over 14.6 millions, while 60 percent of its population comprises young people. Therefore, the city has great academic potential. This potential reflects itself in the productivity of the universities, which publish over 10.000 academic papers each year.
Almost all Turkish universities of Istanbul teach in English, German or French as the primary foreign language, usually accompanied by a secondary foreign language. Most universities include institutes and research centers which generate a vast amount of academic knowledge.
Istanbul’s academic productivity creates scientific development, platforms of research and discussions and it carries a huge potential to attract even more international organizations, where experts can set the agenda on national and global issues.
UNIVERSITIES OF ISTANBUL
Istanbul is the center of higher education in Turkey, hosting 53 public and private universities with thousands of students graduating each year. Istanbul is home to 5 technoparks as well.
Most of Istanbul’s universities are located in historical buildings in popular districts such as the Bosphorus, Besiktas or Yildiz.
Therefore these campuses are also living spaces for students. This vivacious educational life gives great dynamism to the city’s daily life.
The high quality of education and the city’s charm makes Istanbul an attraction for international students as well. Most of the city’s public universities have exchange programs for students.
In the last decades numerous private universities have been opened, expanding and diversifying Istanbul’s academic life. They all offer several scholarships to support students throughout their academic life at the university.
ISTANBUL’S WEATHER AND CLIMATE
Istanbul has a climate combining those of the Mediterranean and Black Sea climate types, with a hot dry summer and pleasantly warm spring and autumn. Winters are cold but snow is rare. The vegetation is predominantly of the Mediterranean type.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul is under the effect of Mediterranean, Black Sea, the Balkans and Anatolian continental climate. Istanbul is a city where four seasons can be experienced. The hottest months are July and August while the coldest months are January and February. Istanbul can surprise you in every way, especially with its weather. Be sure that you have a portable umbrella in your bag.
January and February 5-9 °C
March and April 9-18 °C
May 14-24 °C, June 18-27 °C
July and August 20-33 °C
October 16-23 °C
November and December 6-13 °C
SEASONS IN ISTANBUL
Summer: In summer, the weather in Istanbul is hot and humid, with the temperature in July and August averaging 27°C.
Summers are relatively dry, but rainfall is significant during that season. Extreme heat, however, is uncommon, as temperatures rise above 32°C on only five days per year on average.
Winter: During winter it is cold, wet and often snowy, with the temperature in January and February averaging 4°C. Snowfalls tend to be heavy, but the snow cover and temperatures below the freezing point rarely last more than a few days.
Generally there is rain and snow together while the snow would not last more than 10 days.
Spring and Autumn: Spring and autumn are mild, but are unpredictable and often wet, and can range from chilly to warm, however the nights are chilly. Tulips and judas trees are everywhere in Istanbul, which transforms the metropolis into a refreshing and adorable place.
ISTANBUL AT A GLANCE
Istanbul, the city that is discovered as you experience it, and loved as discovered. If the world were a single state, Istanbul would have been its capital. Yet neither words nor any amount of reading or listening are sufficient to truly describe with the city.
Istanbul, the capital of empires, the city that dominated continents, the cradle of civilisation, the meeting point of cultures and civilisations. These are some of the thousands of phrases that describe Istanbul.
CAPITAL OF TWO EMPIRES
For more than 1.500 years Istanbul was the capital of two empires, first the Byzantine and later the Ottoman. It was beautified accordingly with magnificent monuments and became a metropolis where diverse cultures, nations and religions mingle. Those cultures, nations and religions are the small pieces that form the mosaic of Istanbul. Perhaps some of those little pieces do not mean much to you, but as an ensemble they make up the unique majesty of Istanbul.
Istanbul is the most developed and largest city of Turkey, and the latest discoveries indicate that the history of human habitation goes back 400.000 years ago.
Only when you walk along its historic streets, when you see with your own eyes the architectural masterpieces of Byzantine and Ottoman Empires in their original setting, when you enjoy the panoramic vistas of its unique location, and when you start to explore its mystical beauties, only then will you begin to discover, and to fall in love with Istanbul.
Today the Historical Peninsula is the most attractive part of Istanbul, and is strategically well placed. Istanbul is surrounded by a seascape with distant islands, and this, together with the Golden Horn, the estuary that thrusts into the land along the peninsula, make Istanbul a unique place and throughout its long history.
10 SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT ISTANBUL
Get to know Istanbul like you never thought was possible, with facts you never thought even possible. This is the list of 10 interesting facts about Istanbul that will surprise you.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ISTANBUL
1) Istanbul is home to 3113 mosques.
2) Istanbul is way older than you think. Recent evidence suggests that people have lived here for 8500 years.
3) Te incredible Hagia Sophia has collapsed and been rebuilt three times since the 4th century AD.
4) The Mevlevi Sema Ceramony, popularly known as the Whirling Dervishes is thought to be a path to reunion with God.
5) The Grand Bazaar attracts between 250K to 400K people daily.
6) In the 1630s, it is rumored that, by using fake wings and the wind from the top of the Galata Tower, Hezarfen Ahmed Celebi became perhaps the first person to fly to another continent.
7) Valens Aqueduct carried water into the old city for more than a thousand years. It was still active at the start of the 20th century.
8) The Bosphorus is a natural strait running right through Istanbul, separating Europe from Asia. Some believe an ancient deluge caused by a break in the strait might have inspired the myth of Noah’s flood.
9) Leonardo da Vinci envisioned a bridge over the Bosphorus, 471 years before the first one was built.
10) A 19th century French poet and traveler, Alphonse de Lamartine once said, “If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul”.