embraces two continents,
one arm reaching out to Asia, the other to Europe. Through the city's
heart, the Bosphorus strait, courses the waters of the Black Sea, the
Sea of Marmara and the Golden Horn. The former capital of three
successive empires - Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman - today İstanbul
honors and preserves the legacy of its past while looking forward to
its modern future Indeed, it is İstanbul's
variety that fascinates its visitors. The museums, churches, palaces,
great mosques, bazaars and sights of natural beauty seem inexhaustible.
As you recline on the shores of the Bosphorus at sunset, contemplating
the red twilight reflected in the windows on the opposite shore, you
understand, suddenly and profoundly, why so many centuries ago
settlers chose to build on this remarkable site. At times such as
these, you feel that İstanbul is truly one of the most glorious cities
in the world.
Art, Culture and Entertainment
is an international art and cultural center. The International Arts
and Cultural Festival is held each year in June and July with famous
artists coming from all over the world. These performances are held
mostly in the Ataturk Cultural Center. Those enjoying classical music
can hear it at Cemal Resit Rey Hall. Operas, operettas, ballets, film,
concerts, exhibitions and conferences all share the cultural palette
of the city. İstanbul also has a rich program of light entertainment.
Nightclubs provide splendid entertainment throughout dinner, ranging
from a selection of Turkish songs to the famous bellydance. İstanbul
is an international gambling city with many casinos.
Alongside these are
modern discos, cabarets, and jazz clubs in the Taksim-Harbiye district.
In Sultanahmet, there
are a number of restaurants in restored Byzantine and Ottoman
buildings which offer a unique setting for an evening out
Kumkapi, with its
many taverns, bars and fish restaurants, is another attractive
district. People have been meeting for years in Beyoglu district's
Cicek Pasaji for snacks and seafood specialties. Also in this district,
the narrow Nevizede street, near Cicek Pasaji, is the best place in
İstanbul for eating Turkish specialties and drinking raki.
On the Bosphorus,
Ortaköy is the best place for nightlife in İstanbul, with its
nightclubs, jazz clubs, fine seafood restaurants and bars.
In Eminönu ,don't
miss an opportunity to see the fishermen dressed in traditional
Ottoman clothes on their Ottoman-style boats where you may board and
taste their famous delicious fried fish.
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