The Afar Guide to

For centuries Istanbul has captivated visitors and witnessed the rise and fall of empires that fought to seize its beauty. A sprawling metropolis, Istanbul is a mosaic of sights, where European panache greets oriental mystique, where ancient treasures sit alongside modern designs, and where traditions thrive in a contemporary world. The magnificent 6th-century Hagia Sophia and the mesmeric Grand Bazaar will draw you in, but it’s the city’s cosmopolitan vibe that brings comfort to modern-day sojourners.

Essential Istanbul Facts to

know before you go

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Leeann MurphyIstanbul Local Expert

Camping in the wilderness with kangaroos and snorkeling through the coral of Ningaloo Reef of Australia introduced Leeann to travel at an early age, but a visit to a Balinese village at age 10 really ignited Leeann's passion to venture off the beaten path and explore the delights of world cultures. Years later, her interest in travel and dance led her to Turkey, and she's been feasting on the smorgasbord of attractions the country has to offer ever since. From hot air ballooning in Cappadocia to baking bread and milking goats in a Kurdish village, Leeann's Turkish experiences have led her to become a local expert and roving writer for and Moon Travel Guides.