Rick Steves’ Europe: Istanbul, Turkey

A bustling modern metropolis, the Turkish city also reminds travelers that the charm of traditional cultures is still something to value

2blue-mosque-istanbul.jpg
LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH / Alamy

Interior of Blue Mosque

Interior of Blue Mosque Istanbul Turkey
(1Apix / Alamy)

In 1609, Sultan Ahmet I ordered the construction of the spectacular Blue Mosque that would rise next to, and rival, Hagia Sophia.

Turkish Tea

Turkish tea
(Peter Adams Photography Ltd / Alamy)

Tea is a daily ritual of Turkish life. Istanbul's teahouses are centers of social life in the city.

The Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmed Mosque Blue Mosque Istanbul Turkey
(LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH / Alamy)

Landmarks such as the Blue Mosque are a must-see, simply wandering the city, taking in the sights, is equally rewarding.

Gold Shop in the Grand Bazaar

Gold shop grand bazaar Istanbul Turkey
(LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH / Alamy)

The labyrinthine Grand Bazaar is known for its jewelry shops.

Istanbul

Istanbul Turkey map
(Guilbert Gates)

Istanbul, which straddles the Bosporus, is partly in Asia and partly in Europe. It is the only city in the world that straddles two continents.