Traveling to Istanbul – Part 1
The Orient and the Occident meet in Turkey and this is something that becomes apparent from the start.
Traveling to Istanbul is more than a journey: it is delving into the heart of a versatile culture, one that mixes tradition with the will to be modern and open.
A seasoned traveler knows that making a journey is not enough: you have to test your limits, explore different contexts and cultures and look for more. Occidental tourists, however, will always feel at home in Turkey, because it mixes what they know of Europe with something new, but in no way restrictive or hostile.
Istanbul may not be the capital city of Turkey, but it is its greatest town, the most well-known and prominent cultural and economic hub, as well as the most populous city in the country. In the past, it was called Constantinople and it was the center of Byzantium. It is a city that speaks volumes not only about oriental, Ottoman culture, but also about the ancient world and later on, the Christian legacy.
Here’s its history in a nutshell. The region has been inhabited for 9 millennia, believe it or not. In the Copper Age, there was a Thracian settlement in what would later be Byzantium. But the place’s true history begins around 660 BC, when the Greeks came. Byzantium was incorporated in the Roman Empre in 73 AD and after the empire split between the East and the West, in 330 AD, it became the capital of the Eastern, Byzantine Empire, status preserved until 1453, when the great “Fall of Constantinople” to the Ottoman Turks happened.
Istanbul today is a city that celebrates its old history and colossal cultural heritage on all aspects. It is a wondrous maze you can get lost in – and we encourage you to do so! Just that you might not want that to happen on the first day, on your way to the hotel. So to avoid that, you can book an Istanbul Ataturk Airport transfer.