Thinking of visiting Istanbul? Good move - it’s a must for any traveler. With an astonishingly complex and storied history, a vast and varied culinary tradition, and an avant-garde arts and music scene, it’s totally the place to be. In fact, Istanbul was recently designated the “Best Destination in Europe 2013” by www.europesbestdestinations.org. That’s pretty high praise on a continent full of incredible sights and sites. What are you waiting for? Here are 5 reasons why this is the best time to visit Istanbul:
1) Great Deals. Istanbul is extremely affordable. For being the major metropolis that it is, prices are surprisingly low on accommodation, attractions, transportation, and especially on the famously delicious Turkish cuisine. Now’s the time to visit - especially because as a visitor with foreign currency, you benefit from very strong exchange rates against the Turkish lira, which gives you strong buying power on goods and experiences you can only get here.
2) Welcoming Atmosphere. Istanbul is peaceful, friendly and open to visitors. Turks are famous for being extremely welcoming and friendly to visitors from abroad. Despite recent political changes and demonstrations, Istanbul is still a place that is largely very safe for visitors. There have indeed been social demonstrations that have made headlines, but these are limited to very few areas, and in case of a re-occurrence they are easy to avoid. So fear not - the city is overall very peaceful and safe, and because tourism has slowed somewhat recently, many purveyors are happy to see you and to offer great deals on gorgeous wares. Revisit reason number one - there are many, many great deals to be had these days!
3) Amazing Cuisine. Turkey is legendary for the depth and breadth of its cuisines. From Antalya, Bodrum, and Cappadocia to Uzunköprü, Yenişehir and Zonguldak, the various regions of Turkey have invented and perfected an absolutely stunning rainbow of flavors, methods, tastes and combinations that make Turkish cuisine impossible to classify and just as impossible to resist! And Istanbul being the cosmopolitan melting pot that it is - you’ll find innumerable unpronounceable and irresistible delights waiting in every alleyway and hiding around each corner. Just follow the exquisite scents and bring your sense of discovery!
4) Authenticity. Many travelers become jaded at visiting destinations that seem to have become a caricature of themselves (Eiffel Tower trinketification, Oktoberfest overload, pre-packaged safaris, anyone?). Rest assured - Istanbul is the real thing. This is a city that has been growing and changing for thousands of years, and continues to be as vibrant, thriving, and authentic as ever. A visit here will always be interesting and always be authentic - there’s so much to discover both in the still-fascinating tourist hotspots and the off-the-beaten-path outskirts.
5) No time like the present. Refer back to reason number 4 - Istanbul is always changing! So get there now to experience the Istanbul of today- and there will always be reasons aplenty to come back for the Istanbul of tomorrow. Many people say once they’ve been to Istanbul, they’re hooked - it’s a city that will always beckon you back again and again. So start your very own chapter of Istanbul history today -just book it and allow adventure to take root!