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City Guide - Istanbul

Spanned on the Europe and Asia continents, Istanbul sprawls over the two sides of the Bosphorus, in the northwest of Turkey. Standing as the only city expanding on two continents, Istanbul is the most populous city of both Turkey and Europe. The city is the cultural, industrial, economic and financial capital of Turkey. The headquarters of the most of national companies and international companies operating in the country are situated at the metropolis. The Istanbul Stock Exchange is located at Istanbul. This culturally, historically and geographically wonderland has been the meeting place of the world cultures and religions. Throughout the history, countless colonies and nations arised within the Anatolian territory. So Anatolia is denominated as the cradle of civilizations. Istanbul, both geographically and historically, is the European aspect of that culture treasury. Beside harboring innumerable civilizations, nations and societies throughout the world history, Istanbul is known as the Capital of Capital Cities mainly due to its condition of being the capital of, in turn, Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire in the history.

Food & Drink

  • ISTANBUL CUISINE
    As a synthesis of east and west, the culture of Istanbul is reflected very much in its culinary tradition. A rich and diverse blend of cultural influences accumulated over the years, the cuisine of Istanbul offers visitors a sumptuous spread of the very best traditional Turkish dishes.

    The range of ingredients used is similarly vast, with recipes incorporating every kind of meat, fish, vegetable, and fruit, besides a myriad of spices. Dishes based on seafood, beef, lamb, goat, chicken, goose, duck, rabbit, and various fowl; casseroles combining meat and vegetables; cold vegetable dishes cooked in olive oil; stuffed vegetables; salads; fruit compotes and drinks; milk puddings and pastries: these are just a few examples of what Istanbul cuisine has to offer.

    Whether a confirmed meat eater, a seafood fan, or a vegetarian, diet-conscious or a stickler for spicy food, you are certain to find a host of dishes to your liking in Istanbul.

    OTTOMAN DESSERTS & SWEETS
    Ottoman desserts and sweets are concocted from an unusual and surprising range of ingredients, unlike anything you've tasted elsewhere in the world. Puddings made from chicken breast, puddings made with pulses and dried fruits, compotes, marzipan "pillows" filled with rose water scented raisins, baked pastry mixtures or hazelnuts and angel hair pasta in butter and sugar syrups, deep ruby red candied quince, candied butternut squash (a denser pumpkin), rose petals in cream, sherbet, and of course the elastic ice creams, which street vendors still render in acrobatic feats of juggling. Many deserts are served with a cream so thick it can be cut with a knife.

Shopping

It is possible to pay a visit to Istanbul only for shopping. This is the natural result of Istanbul to be the industrial capital of Turkey.

Situated in the wealthy street of Etiler, Akmerkez differs from other malls.
Kanyon and Metro City in Levent, Profilo in Mecidiyekoy, Cevahir in Sisli are other popular shopping centers of the city, offering thousands alternatives for shopping. With their expensive and world famous stores ,Nisantasi and Bagdat Streets are also popular shopping places.

The most proper place for shopping in Istanbul is the Covered Bazaar. The world famous Covered Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is, owing to its architecture, history, location, and sheer variety of marchandise, one of Istanbul's most significant tourist sites. The Bazaar has eight different entrances, each of them facing one of the city's most important historic monuments. Anything can be found for every pleasure and for every level of income at the Bazaar. Various examples of Turkish handicraft, historical valuable pieces, pipes made of meerschaum and more are all suitable to be used as gift and memory.

Egyptian Spice Bazaar is located just behind Yeni (New) Mosque in Eminonu, the Spice Bazaar was built in 1660 by the architect Kazim Aga at the behest of Sultan Turhan. It gains its Turkish name, Misir Carsisi (Egyptian Bazaar), from the fact that it once received income from taxes levied on Egypt.

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