Straddling two continents, Istanbul, Turkey is a fascinating and peculiar city. One part of Istanbul is located in Asia, while its other part lies in Europe. The Spectacular Bosphorus Strait, a narrow strait that is an internationally significant waterway, runs through the heart of the city and separates the European portion of the city from the Asian. There are many reasons to visit Istanbul, but I’ll only name a few.
First, for those history buffs, Istanbul has more than 2,500 years of history, culture and traditions that will make you feel like you’re stepping back into another time. In addition to shopping in the Grand Bazaar (one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world), you can visit the Hagia Sophia Museum, The Blue Mosque, and the Topkapi Palace Museum, all located within steps of each other!
For those interested in a respite within the city, Istanbul has some of Turkey’s most luxurious Turkish baths, or hamams. Similar to the Roman bath, the hamam includes both relaxation and bathing techniques which are joined together for a spa-like experience along with additional amenities including steam, body exfoliation, and oil massages.
Located in the heartland of Turkey, Cappadocia might be the only place in the world where hundreds of balloons transport tourists into the sky to take in the otherworldly views of this beautiful landscape. The rocks of Cappadocia eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms, and its villagers carved out houses, churches and monasteries from the soft rocks and volcanic deposits. It’s surreal and quite stunning. We visited two regions, Nevsehir and Kayseri, and it’s definitely worth the time and effort to make the trek there.