Istanbul is the largest city, the most important seaport, industrial, commercial and cultural
centre of Turkey. It’s situated on hilly terrain on both banks of the Bosphorus Strait and washed
by the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. It is the only city in the world located on two
continents – Europe and Asia. Istanbul is the place where East and West merged.
According to statistics, the population of Istanbul is 15 million for now. Almost a half the cultural
heritage in Turkey is in this great city: number of historical values stored in the museums of
Istanbul, architectural sights and monuments on its territory. World-famous Christian churches
and Muslim mosques, many museums, monuments of ancient architecture, palaces and castles
attract a lot of tourists to Istanbul every year.
The Bosphorus Strait divides the city into the European and Asian parts connected to each other
by several bridges. In its turn, the European part is divided into two halves by the beautiful
Golden Horn, one of the symbols of the city. To the north of the bay there is Eminonu district –
the Old Town, which largely retains its historical appearance. The port and downtown business
district are located in the north of the Golden Horn Bay. The Asian part of the city is primarily a
residential area; however a lot of interesting monuments and attractions remained there as well.
The mix of two cultures is still largely determines the appearance and character of the city even
nowadays. Dynamism, unique charm and fascination, hospitality, and a surprising even absurd
variety probably constitute the main attraction of Istanbul.