A geographical and metaphorical fusion of East and West, Istanbul is the only city in the world that covers two continents. The Bosphorus crosses the center; Europe lies to the west, Asia to the east. For nearly 2,000 years, the ideal metropolis has been the cornerstone of some of the world's great empires, serving as the capital for the Romans (under the name of Constantinople), Byzantines, and Ottomans. The idea of Istanbul as a collision between East and West is immediately revealed, with monumental churches with mosques (the Hagia Sophia), Roman ruins, and unprecedented symbols of consumerism (the Grand Bazaar with its thousands of shops).
Although these iconic attractions are those that attract many of its tourists to this large city (the size of Shanghai) with 17 million inhabitants, visitors can easily miss what makes this city one of the most vibrant in the world right now.
Increasingly prosperous, Istanbul has exciting neighborhoods, fine shops, and a thriving restaurant scene ranging from classic fares to new average interpretations of the Mediterranean by local standards. Its modern art museum - strategically located, where the dock is located - in new and offers both international exhibitions and Turkish artwork.
Istanbul is increasingly popular as a port of embarkation (or disembarkation) for a number of routes, from the Greek islands of the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, trips towards the migration, twice a year, of ships between Europe and Asia. You can find up to six ships every day in a docking station. This noisy place, where the magic of praying several times a day overcomes the sound of shattered cars, is a great place to add a pre-or post-cruise stay.