Istanbul sits on the same latitude as two great North American cities: New York and Chicago. As a world-level metropolis in its own right and the seat of not one but four historical empires, you’d be forgiven for thinking Istanbul is the new Gotham! So it’s no wonder people often compare Turkey’s most popular city with the Big Apple – here are the top ten reasons why:
10. An International Scene
With a population of almost 14 million people, Istanbul has rapidly become an international city more than ever before. Featuring a European side to compliment the Asian, it attracts an enormous amount of tourists every year, with a figure exceeding 10 million in 2013. Like NYC, Istanbul boasts an international feel combined with exceptional sights to see and a reputation for outstanding hospitality.
9. Comparable Transit Systems
A strong parallel is between the two cities’ transit systems. Istanbul’s soon-to-be 775 km of rail makes it a close rival to New York City’s 800 km. There are trains within walking distance from just about everywhere that allow for easy access to all districts.
The average age of Istanbul’s population – just 23 years old – keeps the city in forward motion. With the start-up scene getting stronger, Istanbul is called the “Digital Bosphorus,” attracting young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas. Like New York, innovation is at a constant high.
7. Creativity and Culture
Like NYC, Istanbul attracts artists from all over the world. Whether the plastic or performing arts, both cities are a mecca for creativity and culture, with galleries and theatres among the top attractions for residents and visitors alike.
6. River Views
New York City has the Hudson and the East River, Istanbul has the Bosphorus. No matter what side of the city you’re on, sunsets and rises are always astounding when seen from any river, making both cities ideal for early evening or morning views.
5. Name Changes
New York was known as New Amsterdam prior to the British seizing control from the Dutch in 1674, and Nouvelle-Angoulême prior to that. Istanbul was renamed in 1923, having been named Constantinople since 330 A.D. after Roman Emperor Constantine, prior to which it had been referred to as Byzantium after its founding in 660 B.C.E.
4. A Vibrant Restaurant Scene
Foodies descend in droves to New York City to sample the great restaurants that spring from the international population. Istanbul is rapidly gaining the same reputation, with the variety of authentic Turkish cuisines melding along with new creations from leading top chefs.
3. A Great Street Scene
Both cities can brag about great street scenes, sharing the idea of fresh produce markets, busy sidewalk cafes for people-watching, and vibrant shopping areas such as the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and New York’s many street fairs and festivals.
2. Growing Investment Opportunities
With New York’s infrastructure well in place and that of Istanbul rapidly growing, both cities offer growing investment opportunities. With affordable prices and an eye towards growth, Istanbul is reminiscent of NYC in the early 1980’s when the same kind of energy was on the rise.
1. It’s the Vibe
There’s nowhere else like New York – yet there’s also nowhere like Istanbul! Though they have different sensibilities, when you’re there, there’s nowhere else you’d rather be. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Istanbul today!