Istanbul
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Ancient city still thriving
Istanbul has always been one of the largest cities in the world and has been the center of four empires, being Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman. Today it is a city of 14 million people and is the 2nd most populous city in the world and the largest European city in size, which is over 2,000 square miles, or larger than the state of Delaware. It is a very young city with an average age of under 29 years old. The historical neighborhoods and Unesco Heritage sites make it one of the most visited cities in the world and has made the neighborhoods along the coast of the Bosphorus some of the most exclusive neighborhoods and some of the grandest homes. Some are owned by international stars from Europe and the U.S. The food is amazing, so varied and unique and nothing like what you get outside of Turkey dressed as Turkish food. The people are awesome, especially the younger crowd who is hoping for a day when religious leanings stay our of their politics and legal systems. The shopping centers are amazing, crammed with all types of shops, cafes, and services in dozens of streets all found in five and six story buildings going from the Galata Bridge to Taksim Square. You have to visit the Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, the Cistern Basilica, Hagia Sophia Museum, and visit the Egyptian bazaar. Also spend time on the Prince Islands, each one with its own flavor and flair. A nice diversion from the crowded city. I can't stress enough, visit Istanbul!
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