Direct transfer linkFrom Ataturk Airport to Istanbul city center
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Ataturk Airport to Istanbul city center transfer
Istanbul city center Information
Istanbul is a mythical city, where you can see the remains of many ancient civilizations and their culture in harmony with Turkish culture. The old contradicts the new, the traditional versus the modern is a conflict a visitor often
observes. The city is full of contrasts, and colorful views.
The triangular peninsula of Old Istanbul contains most of the oldest sites in Istanbul. Its boundaries of water on two sides and the ancient walls on the other are identical to those of the ancient city first laid out nearly 1,700 years ago.
Although a couple of broad modern highways exist now, most of Old Istanbul's narrow streets twist and turn over the city's seven hills as they have done for centuries.
New Town is the area on the northern shore of the Golden Horn. The architecture reflects the city's steady expansion north over the last century. Most of the buildings in Beyoglu, the neighborhood closest to the Golden Horn, date from the late 19th and early 20th century.
The majority of the buildings to the north in Taksim and Nisantasi are made from concrete and date from the 1970s and 1980s, while further north one could see the modern skyscrapers of glass and steel housing the city's current business district.
Land of the blinds
A famous myth explains the unmatched location of Istanbul:
Commander Byzas, who gave his name to the empire to be later, named as Byzantine, sets off to sail to build a new colony from where Greece is located today.
During the long voyage and his searches, he goes to an oracle for advice. The oracle makes this prediction: “You are going to build your city right opposite of the land of the blinds!” Continuing his voyage, Byzas reaches to the banks of Sarayburnu, the Istanbul of today.
When he sees this protected peninsula, he thinks that it is just the place that he was looking for; meanwhile he notices the area of residence on the opposite side. Byzas realized at that point the meaning of the oracle since he thought that the people who, given the excellent area of residence right in front of them, but do not prefer to reside there must be blind.
At this point his colony was built on this land without hesitation. The city was named Constantinople and before the Turkish occupation in 1453 had lived great days of glory and wealth as the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
- Language: Turkish / Kurdish / Arabic / Armenian / Greek
- Time Zone: GMT/UTC +2 (+3 in summer)
- Religion: 99% Muslim (Sunni)
- Police: 155
- Fire: 110
- Ambulance: 112
- Population: 14,025,646
- Driving side: Drive on the right