Exploring the Landmarks of Magnificent Istanbul
If you're planning on visiting Turkey, your first port of call will most likely be Istanbul, where you can take an airport shuttle directly in to the city. As you follow the route, your airport shuttle will take you past many of the city’s iconic landmarks and provide you with a good introduction to the layout of this spectacular place.
Steeped in history, Istanbul is a modern, vibrant city that gently harmonises Eastern and Western cultures in a very unique and special way. Full of ancient ruins, Roman remains and stunning temples, the city will fascinate and inspire you at every turn. Strategically, Istanbul has been very significant through the centuries and every occupier has left a legacy, many of which remain today. After your airport shuttle has delivered you to your accommodation, the city spreads out before you, just waiting to be explored.
The Ottomans in Istanbul
Arguably one of the most fascinating cities in the modern world, Istanbul embraces the ancient and modern in a flawless manner. While vibrant, up-to-date cafes pulsate with music and colour, the fabulous smells and flavours of the market stalls evoke images of another world. Today the city is also stylish and upbeat, with plenty of contemporary galleries and museums to explore.
The city is lavishly decorated with stunning palaces, most built during the time of the Ottoman Empire. The architecture and design that resonates throughout the city provides tangible and significant evidence of the influence the Ottoman Empire had on Europe when it was in power. Reigning for seven hundred years, the Ottomans’ most famous palace is the Topkapi Palace. From here, the views are stunning and you can see the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn, which is the location for the complex of buildings and gardens that make up the palace itself. Today this is one of the most well-known and palace museums in the world.
Other Interesting Sights Not to Miss
Apart form the Ottomans, the Romans played a huge role in the history of Istanbul, as did the Phoenicians and Greeks. Examples of Roman and Byzantine architecture are dotted throughout the city, with the Church of St Saviours in Chora being most highly regarded for its mosaics, frescoes and other architectural features.
The Hagia Sophia Mosque may be one of the places you pass on your airport shuttle into the city, but it should also be explored on foot. Now a museum, this building was originally a church and then an Ottoman mosque. Extremely significant historically speaking, this place is thought provoking on several levels.
You'll be hard pressed to fit everything in on a short visit to Istanbul and you, like many others before you, may be tempted to return again, and again…
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct. If you’re looking for an airport shuttle, Shuttle Direct provide pre-booked shuttles to major destinations all over Europe. Wherever you travel, Shuttle Direct can make sure that you don’t miss your car on your holiday abroad.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.