Istanbul, largest city in Turkey and home to almost 14 Million people, is a vibrant and colorful destination. The place to be is the old town located in the Sultanahmet area which has some spectacular sights: Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace (don't miss the weapons collection in the Palace). The Grand Bazaar with its 3,000+ shops and up to 400,000 daily visitors is a remarkable shopping experience and a unique sight in its own right.

The city center is located at Taksim Square, with Istiklal Avenue closeby (the city's main pedestrianized shopping street). Don't miss the Galata Tower for nice views of the city from above.

Of course there are two sides to Istanbul, an European and an Asian one. Take the ferry from the European side across the beautiful Bosphorus strait for a quick trip to Asia!

The food is great - grab a Doner Kebab, gozleme pies and some apple tea or fresh pomegranate juice, and then hit the sweets shops. Turkish delight in endless and delicious combinations is found everywhere.

Finally, Istanbul is full of beautiful and friendly cats. Everyone feeds and takes care of them ever since one saved the life of the Prophet Mohammed by wrestling a snake (or so the legend goes). I think I also managed to spot the famous Gli - a cat that resided in Hagia Sophia for a long time.

I've also visited the seaside resort of Marmaris and the white travertine terraces of Pamukkale a longer time ago. The pictures from that trip scanned from older prints.

Additional info:
- country entry on Wikipedia
- country profile on Wikivoyage

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