The top reasons to visit Istanbul are almost infinite and it explains why as many as seven million people visit it on a yearly basis. As a European Capital of Culture, Istanbul has become the world’s 10th most popular tourist destination. One of its most popular lures is its ancient, romantic and eclectic history, reflected in its architecture and heritage. But more than that, this metropolis also offers tourists several recreational options, such as a Bosphorus cruise, and interesting sites, that make their time spent here a memorable one.
Basilica Cistern is one of the top reasons to visit Istanbul and it allows people to have a glimpse of the complicated system that allowed the city’s citizen to enjoy an abundant supply of drinking water. It was during the 6th century when it was first conceptualized and constructed. And it was the aim of then occupants to reroute water from Thrace, southeast of the Balkans, to Istanbul. But once the ruling kingdom (Roman) was overthrown (by the Byzantine), it was forgotten. And upon rediscovery, it was fitted with lights and music instead, making it a contemporary and unexpectedly romantic site. One of its main highlights is the upside-down Medusa head, which forms one of the 336 columns that make up the basilica.
In addition, there’s the Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia), which is a religious sanctuary turned museum. Once serving as an orthodox patriarchal basilica then mosque, this fine example of Byzantine architecture displays several mosaics from multiple influences – Imperial gate, Southwestern entrance, Apse, Emperor Alexander, Empress Zoe, Comnenus, Deesis and Northern tmpanon, to name a few. There are also interesting relics and ruins around the vicinity, from urns to stone remains. And there’s even a minaret found on the southeast corner of the building. If that is not enough of an architectural immersion, close by is the Blue Mosque, surrounded by a small park and six obelisks. And you could also drive up to Topkapi Palace, which served as home to generations of sultans and their families.
To complete the given top reasons to visit Istanbul suggestions, you should also seek the Istanbul Archeology Museum to find more of the metropolis’ historical and cultural treasures. It is pretty much a facility that equals the prestige of the British Museum. And it displays many important artifacts, including a model of the Trojan Horse, the Tiled Pavilion (one of the oldest Ottoman structures excavated within the city) and the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. Whether you decide to visit Istanbul solo, or with the love of your life there is more than enough to enjoy for many days. It makes a great place to spend Valentine’s day as well as you can see from this interactive site Expedia.co.uk create, http://expediablog.co.uk/valentinesdayhotels/valentinesdestinations.html. Bon Voyage and don’t miss out on amazing Istanbul!