If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Istanbul. 

 Alphonse de Lamartine

This magical meeting place of East and West has more top-drawer attractions than it has minarets.

Istanbul historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the most populous city in Turkey and the country’s economic, cultural and historic center. Its commercial and historical center lies on the European side and about a third of its population lives on the Asian side.

Founded under the name of Byzantion around 660 BCE, the city developed to become one of the most significant in history. Approximately 12.56 million foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in 2015, five years after it was named a European Capital of Culture, making the city the world’s fifth most popular tourist destination.

The city’s biggest attraction is its historic center, partially listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site and its cultural and entertainment hub can be found across the city’s natural harbor, the Golden Horn.

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