15 facts about Istanbul you should know

15 datos sobre Estambul que debes conocer

WHEN TO GO

Hot and humid summers, with little rain, but when there is, it is strong and short.

The best time to go is in spring and autumn, as the climate is milder and more benign.

WHAT TO SEE

Hagia Sophia. Since its construction in 532, this impressive building has been transformed from a basilica into a mosque, and is now a museum. Without a doubt, it is one of the most emblematic buildings in Istanbul, you can't miss it.

Tower of Galatia. This striking structure, when built in 1348, became the highest building in the city. Although the current tower is not the original, as it has been modified in all aspects, it is worth admiring.

The Bosphorus. Taking a cruise on the Bosphorus should be in your planning if you go to Istanbul. This strait has been the site of wars between the most diverse and powerful cultures in history. Relax and admire the cities and palaces on its banks.

Topkapi Palace. This palace is the highest exponent of Turkish secular architecture and was built in 1465. Located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara you will have an unparalleled view of the Bosphorus.

Valente Aqueduct. This ancient roman aqueduct was finished in 368. Its 64 m high will leave you breathless, at present only 800 m long remain standing.

Suleymaniye Mosque. Built in 1558 this is the largest mosque in the city. This is another obligatory stop, it has been rebuilt several times due to fires and other calamities, but its charm still stands watching history go by.

CULTURE

In Istanbul it is tradition to take off your shoes when entering houses, remember this if you are invited to one. Don't forget either that it is a Muslim country, so limit your alcohol consumption to areas where it is clearly permitted so as not to disturb anyone. One of the great things about travelling is learning about their customs and culture and this is a very ingrained one.

Istanbul is a great city, which mixes different societies and has a fantastic cultural offer, so no matter what time of the year you decide to go, you will always find exhibitions, concerts and festivals.

WHAT TO EAT

Pastirma. If you have tried the mojama this will be familiar to you. Be careful, they have nothing to do with it, but they are similar both in color and in the process of realization. This salted and air-dried beef will delight any palate.

Balik Ekmer. Surely this is the simplest dish we will ever talk about, and that is a fish fillet in a loaf of bread, and that's it. Depending on the area you can take some sauce or accompaniment like lettuce, we know it is simple, but it is a must of the street food in Istanbul.

Iskender. This is another original way to try kebap meat. On a few pieces of bread you ask for a butter spread, put the meat on, add tomato sauce and yoghurt. It sounds weird, but it's delicious, you can also find it as a kebabi bursa.

Baklava. Traditional Turkish cake made with pistachio and walnut paste. It is bathed in syrup, which makes it especially sweet, and the tradition is to take it with tea.

Turkish delights. If you haven't tried this incredible dessert yet, now is the time, and if you already have, don't forget to try the originals. The best ones are made with syrup and real fruit, not flavorings.


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