İstanbul’s strategic location has attracted many marauding armies over the centuries. The Greeks, Romans and Venetians took turns ruling before the Ottomans stormed into town and decided to stay – physical reminders of their various tenures are found across the city. The fact that the city straddles two continents wasn’t its only drawcard – it was the final stage on the legendary Silk Road linking Asia with Europe, and many merchants who came here liked it so much that they, too, decided to stay. In so doing, they gave the city a cultural diversity that it retains to this day.
Some ancient cities are the sum of their monuments, but İstanbul factors a lot more into the equation. Chief among its manifold attractions are the locals, who have an infectious love of life and generosity of spirit. This vibrant, inclusive and expanding community is full of people who work and party hard, treasure family and friendships, and have no problem melding tradition and modernity in their everyday lives. Joining them in their favourite haunts – çay bahçesis (tea gardens), kahvehans (coffeehouses), meyhanes (Turkish taverns) and kebapçıs (kebap restaurants) – will be a highlight of your visit.
Istanbul’s most marinas are first class with extensive technical support, repair and various services. Some of the finest marinas in Istanbul are Atakoy Marina and Kalamis Marina.
However, the first class marinas require more expenses for overnight stay. Fewer expenses can be expected in small harbours, but still with quays with water and electricity.
- Atakoy Marina, Bakirkoy
- Guzelce Marina, Kumburgaz
- Marinturk Istanbul City Port, Pendik
- Setur Fenerbahce Marina, Kadikoy
- Setur Kalamis Marina, Kadikoy
- Viaport Marina, Tuzla
- West Istanbul Marina, Buyukcekmece
Taking a few day trips from Istanbul are a good way to do this, allowing travelers to see some of the Turkish countryside and farmers at work. Visits to important mosques, ancient Roman ruins, battlefields and bazaars all enhance a traveler’s understanding of this diverse country.
Night life in Istanbul is huge. There are many popular establishments — some aged over thirty years old and some very down to date. Being such a big city with several city centers, Istanbul has more than one entertainment destination.