With its fascinating contrasts of ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, land and sea, Istanbul is a feast for the senses. The local cuisine is legendary and the local people are famous for their friendliness and warm welcome. This is a city that has been ravaged by invaders over hundreds of years and been left with a staggering cultural diversity as well as being saturated by the art and architecture of its long term Byzantine and Ottoman inhabitants. Therefore, it is easy to see why this is a favourite destination for Tripadvisor reviewers but what have they voted as the best of the best: the best of Istanbul?
AttractionsNumber one in the rankings of attractions was the city's historic areas. One visitor wrote that, “Istanbul is an ancient city and has an air of history coming out of its old walls and traditional streets.”
Another boldly stated that, “All the buildings we visited were wonderful.” Highlights include the magnificent Blue Mosque; the bustling, colourful and fragrant Grand Bazaar; the grand and impressive Topkapi Palace and the beautiful Hagia Sophia, a basilica turned mosque turned museum.
RestaurantsIn the UK, we have a very different view of what a kebab house is like to the one which has been voted the best place to eat in Istanbul. Like the Neorion Hotel, Gulhane Kebab House has been universally praised for its excellent service and friendly staff. Although not every traveller was wholly impressed by the food, most agreed that it was excellent, with the chicken shish kebab seeming to be a favourite.
A recurring theme in the reviews of various features of this Turkish city is the friendliness and helpfulness of the people. Other cities should take note if they want to be voted as Tripadvisor's favourite destination.