Istanbul, for many years, was the Jewel of the East. The city has seen umpteen changes over the years, but it still retains its fighting spirit and some of the greatest architecture of the Byzantine period. Known as Constantinople for a long time, Istanbul was the capital of the Turkish empire for a long time. Even though Ankara is the capital of the country, it is Istanbul that holds the key to the country's rich heritage, culture and history. This city combines the best of the West and the East. You can enjoy the serenity of the countless mosques and churches that litter these roads while listening to some soothing Sufi Music. You could go and try hawking with one of the countless merchants around the Hagia Sophia. The possibility is countless. The only thing that might prove to be slightly troublesome is the budget. Istanbul is a city of indulgence- you might find it slightly difficult to restrain yourself from buying the thousands of trinkets and sweet meats that are available on every single road. But you can always book a room for yourself in one of the cheap Istanbul hotels.
Experience Istanbul as a tourist
Istanbul has become highly modernized, but there are few parts of the city that seem like they have been frozen in time. The Hagia Sophia is a place you must not miss. It is breathtakingly beautiful and it is steeped in history. The Grand and Spice Bazaar is a must-see for people who yearn for adrenaline rushes. If you want to do a little bit of shopping, it would really help for you to go there really early in the morning. Local traditions dictate that the shop owners give good rates to their first customers- if you are the first customer, you are incredibly lucky! The Sultanamet marketplace next to the Hagia Sophia is quite good as well. This market caters to the tourists, so you have to be very careful about the prices (shop vendors are not really the most honest men in Sultanamet). Sultanamet is quite close to the beautiful Blue Mosque too. If you are interested in walking down the road less tread upon, you could visit the galleries down at Istiklal Caddesi.
Accommodation in Istanbul
There are cheap Istanbul hotels, but there is one thing that you have to keep in mind. You only get what you pay for. Istanbul is a beautiful city, so any cheap hotel with a view will be worth the price. There are tonnes of other options as well. There are a lot of boutique hotels that offer high level of luxury and cleanliness. If you think that larger hotels are too impersonal, you could always opt for a smaller, more personal hotel. These medium sized hotels are quite amazing for they actually personalize every single room. These personal touches make these cheap Istanbul hotels worthy of attention.
Istanbul – The Best of East and West