With its rich and varied history and colourful present day, Istanbul is a place where lifelong memories are made. It’s a unique city with a wonderful mix of culture, history, fantastic food and a pulsating nightlife.
A trip to Istanbul, the capital of Turkey, is more than just a big city experience, it is a destination with a rich and powerful history and is a city of contrasts. The meeting between the old and new is profound. It’s a modern lively metropolis with lots to offer. Istanbul is situated on the border between Asia and Europe, and a population of over 11 million.
The three central areas in Istanbul
Modern day Istanbul is divided into 3 central areas, the old town, the modern and the Asian. The old town is great for strolling around and soaking up the ancient atmosphere. You will also find one of the largest and oldest bazaars in the world there. It has everything, a spice market, jewellery and every type of handcraft –but remember... don't forget to barter.
In modern Istanbul a visit to Beyodul is a must, life and energy are the words that come to mind when visiting this lively area. The food is delicious and meze is not to be missed, meze is a heavenly mix of small dishes. Visit one of the many bars, have a puff on a Turkish water pipe and sit back and watch the people come out and come to life. Finish the evening with a visit to one of the many fantastic nightclubs.
The Asian area of the city is less touristy and will give you a look at a calmer more everyday Istanbul. A great experience in the Asian area is a trip to Princess Island with its serene atmosphere, pine forests, monasteries and beaches.
Sightseeing in Istanbul
When visiting Istanbul you will be faced with a list of sights that you really don't want to miss. Two sights at the top of the list are Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque. Hagia Sofia was a church that became a mosque and is now a museum and somewhat a landmark for the city. Another cultural legacy is the grand, and magnificent Blue Mosque, just a stone throw from Hagia Sofia. It gets it's name from the beautiful Iznik ceramic tiles. The Topkapi Palace is another magnificent building. The famous emerald dagger and the pear-shaped 86-carat Kasikci Diamond, the 5th largest diamond in the world are on display there.
Turkish baths and boat trips
Another not to be missed experience is to try one of the classic Turkish Baths, Hamam. It's an experience that cleanses your body and soul, after a half day session you will be as good as new! A boat trip on one of the rivers such as the Bosporus or the Golden Horn is also highly recommended.
Best time to visit Istanbul
The peak season is from March to September, but the best time to visit is between April - May and September - October, when the temperatures are a comfortable 16-25 degrees celcius.
Education and study tours to Istanbul
Did you know that KILROY can also help organise your study tour to Istanbul? Read on to learn more about how we can plan your study trip with the right academic content and interesting study visits in the city of your choice.