Istanbul is a fabulous city, but it may not be on your radar yet as a prime vacation destination. Here are five great reasons to visit Istanbul any time of year.
To See Firsthand Where History Was Made
You may not be aware that at several points in history, Istanbul was more powerful and wealthy than Rome. Istanbul has actually been the seat of four empires:
Byzantine (395–1204 and 1261–1453)
You can still feel and breathe that history in the streets and ancient buildings of Istanbul and learn about it in the city's many museums. You can also learn about the history of modern day Turkey at the Atatürk Museum. This museum, located in a house on the European side of Istanbul, celebrates the life of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first President of Turkey.
To Appreciate the Amazing Architecture
One of the best ways to steep yourself in Istanbul's fascinating history is to tour the city's architectural landmarks. Istanbul is home to some of the world's greatest buildings, such as Hagia Sophia (often called "The Eighth Wonder of the World"), Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque. Staying in a hotel in the Old City, like Hotel Büyük Keban, allows you to step outside your door and have all those architectural marvels within easy travel distance, even on foot.
To Experience the Ideal Melding of Eastern and Western Cultures
Did you know that Istanbul is on two continents? Istanbul's location as the gateway between Europe and Asia lends it an exciting blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The Old City, with its architectural wonders, exists side-by-side with modern amenities and a blend of many traditions and religions.
When you walk the streets you'll hear the Muslim call to prayer, the chatter of the many tongues of those around you and music from dozens of different cultures, which all mingle into one exhilarating sound canvas. The food alone is worth a trip to Istanbul, where you can sample numerous international cuisines, and of course, authentic Ottoman and Turkish dishes.
To Do Some Serious Shopping
Istanbul is a perfect destination if you love shopping. The city boasts many modern shopping malls filled with top name brands and designers. The unique multicultural atmosphere of the city means you can find virtually anything you want here.
To enjoy a real traditional Turkish shopping experience, head to the Grand or Spice Bazaars, where you can find lamps, leather goods and seasonings from around the globe at some of the best prices you'll see anywhere. Whether you want prayer beads in semiprecious gemstones or a couture dress, you'll be able to get it in Istanbul and have a blast in the process.
To Relax Any Way You Want
Everyone's way of relaxing is different, and in Istanbul, you can kick back and recharge any way you like. You may be surprised at the number of nightclubs where you can party until dawn, and if that isn't for you, soak in the local culture at a cafe or sidewalk restaurant. Maybe a tour of the Golden Horn by boat will be the best way to leave your cares behind, or if you want true relaxation the traditional way, try a Turkish hamam (bath).
At Hotel Büyük Keban our spa offers many relaxing and rejuvenating services, from the authentic hamam to the sauna and massage table. Take in the sights all day long, then pamper yourself with a spa visit to unwind. You can even book the hamam for your entire family at once for a private session!
Contact Hotel Büyük Keban today to book your lodging in Istanbul, and it will be the first step towards the vacation of a lifetime. Book directly with us, and we'll give you the best rates possible — even better than those travel sites. Save your money for the shopping, the exotic dining and all the other wonders you'll encounter in the amazing city of Istanbul!