Istanbul is the most popular city in Turkey because of its deep-rooted historical background, extensive opportunities, and strategic location.

İstanbul, the largest city in Turkey was the home to the world's greatest civilizations: Ottomans and Byzantines. The reputation of İstanbul comes from its seven hills and the Bosphorus Strait. 

The city was planned as a metropolis since its foundation by Emperor Constantine the Great. It was considered the global center that brings people from all over the world together. It would not be wrong to say that the megacity Istanbul maintains this reputation even on this day.

Another outstanding feature of the city is that it has an extensive workforce in line with its dense population. The sea transportation network has transformed the city into a prominent commercial center. 

İstanbul is the administrative center of international trade. It is also the leading city in the business sector. This commercial megacity has a large share in trade activities in Turkey. 

The most visited city in Turkey has been developed as a center of attraction. Among the most beautiful places in Turkey, Istanbul is the first place that comes to mind for entertainment, business, and investment.

When Istanbul Has Become So Popular Among Foreigners?

galata-towerWhen it was founded by Constantine the Great, it was called "Nova Roma". It means "New Rome". The city of Constantine was planned as a more modern, new, organized, and elite version of Rome. 

It was designed as a metropolis where intellectuals and merchants from all over the world would meet. The remaining immovable assets inherited from the Byzantines represent the magnificence of the city of Constantine.

Istanbul took on a different dynamic as the capital of the Ottomans after its conquest in 1453.

Monumental structures were built all over the city during the reign of Ottoman sultans for nearly 500 years. The majority of mosques such as the Blue Mosque, palaces, and traditional Turkish baths have survived to this day.

The artistic and cultural interaction of the Byzantines and Ottomans have influenced the history of the world. The synergy of these cultures is one of the main reasons to visit İstanbul city today.

Istanbul's cultural structure and existing historical monuments are what make Istanbul the best city in Turkey to visit in Turkey.
After the declaration of Ankara as a capital in 1923, Istanbul evolved into a secular business and trade center.

This megacity started to develop rapidly as an important investment center at the beginning of the 21st century. It has embraced visitors from all over the world as a paradise of possibilities. Today, it is home to millions of people of all languages and religions.

Istanbul has gone beyond being a metropolis and has evolved into a global city. In 2021, the total foreign population living in Istanbul approached nearly 1 million. 

The city has the highest foreign population in Turkey. People often choose to live in Istanbul because of its extensive opportunities and comfortable living conditions.

Living in Istanbul is also quite affordable. The living costs are lower compared to other metropolitan cities with similar living conditions such as New York. Istanbul offers a comfortable life with easy access to everything a person can need. 

The city is also at its peak in terms of real estate investment. There is a never-ending need for housing due to intense migration. The situation has turned real estate into an important investment option in Istanbul.

Other than the business world or trade, the tourism and service sector also have a distinguished place in Istanbul's economy. Health tourism and cultural tourism have become popular in recent years. 

The practice of medical surgeries in İstanbul has become more widespread in the near past. The well-trained and experienced surgeons in İstanbul are generally preferred by foreigners for medical and aesthetic operations recently.

What makes İstanbul, İstanbul?

entrance-gate-at-sunset-in-istanbulThe real factor that makes Istanbul the megacity that we know today is its cultural context. 

There is no doubt that Istanbul is a paradise of possibilities. The complex demographic structure of the city brings cultural diversity. This cultural unity manifests itself as diversity in social life. 

In addition to cultural activities, there are prestigious restaurants serving world cuisine all over the city. There are concept bistros and cafes where you can experience street flavors from different cultures. 

After dining at a Korean restaurant on a corner, you may come across an Italian bistro where you can take a sip of your Tuscan wine. 

These little surprises are just one of the reasons that make Istanbul a global city. It bears the ambiance of an endless number of cities and cultures within the borders of a single city.

İstanbul was a capital city where artistic activities intensified during the Ottoman period. It still maintains its place in the art world today. 

The most outstanding museums of the country are centered around İstanbul. The city is home to more than 100 museums and art galleries. The most famous museums in Istanbul are Byzantine monuments such as the Basilica Cistern, Hagia Irene Church, and Tekfur Palace. 

In addition, the houses of important artists are also turned into a museum. The personal belongings of these art producers are exhibited in these museums. 

The most famous of these are the Aşiyan Museum, which was converted from the house of the poet Tevfik Fikret. The Barış Manço’s House or the Sait Faik Abasıyanık Museum can be sorted among them. 

There are a vast amount of concept museums and art galleries in Istanbul. The city hosts a firefighting museum and a naval museum. There is also a porcelain museum, a UFO museum, and even a caricature and humor museum.

Nonetheless, the greatest glory of Istanbul lies in its immovable cultural heritage. The Ottoman palaces such as Topkapi Palace and Dolmabahçe Palace greet us with their magnificence in the silhouette of the Bosphorus. 

These palaces represent the actual living spaces of the Ottoman sultans that ruled this city in the past.

The city has been able to preserve its authentic atmosphere with its historical monuments inherited from the Ottoman period. Commercial activities are still concentrated around the Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar. These traditional Turkish bazaars still act as a bridge in İstanbul where Asia and Europe meet. 

You can find herbs and spices, souvenirs, and carpets on sale in these bazaars. Even people still prefer buying gold from the Grand Bazaar. The city protects and preserves its traditional practices, even in the age of technology. 

To sum up, Istanbul is not only a metropolitan city that hosts historical monuments. It is the city that brings Europe and Asia together. İstanbul is a cosmopolitan megacity that is the meeting point of the whole world. The city that never sleeps welcomes you with surprises at every step.

The city of Istanbul offers the experience of living not only on two continents. It also offers to live in the past and the future altogether.

Take the First Step on this Exciting Journey!

Browse our Area Guide blog page to get more information about living in İstanbul. 

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