Istanbul is located in the middle of almost everything. Absolutely filled to the brim with sights, sounds, and tastes, it bridges the gap between Europe and Asia, the East and West. As Turkey’s largest city and seaport, it encourages one to explore, to be surprised by the overflowing baskets of mysterious spices, street-side barrel organ melodies, secretive cisterns and swirling mosque interiors. Towering minarets, colourful markets, a large number of Byzantine churches and about 400 fountains are a witness to the Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans, all fascinated to the beauty and position of this ancient city.

Though otherwise quite expensive, you need not always shell out a huge amount of money to make the best memories in this city. The Istanbul Modern is located in a recently renovated two-story warehouse. It was the first modern arts museum to open in the city. Admission is free every Thursday.

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To be found within the new Santralistanbul Culture Complex, the Museum of Energy takes visitors on a tour through the past of electricity. One of the best things here is the Energy Play Zone, where interactive units offer visitors a chance to make magnetic sculptures, touch thousands of volts, produce their own electricity, and partake in 19 other educational activities.

The first fine arts museum in Turkey, the Museum of Painting and Sculpture displays works of exceptional 19th- and 20th-century Turkish artists. You can visit this museum for free every day from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except on Sundays and Mondays, when the museum is closed. You might want to pay a visit to Ortakoy on a Sunday and have fun in the wonder of this seaside suburban area’s open-air market. Street artists are often found to have been painting portraits while selling their work to those passing by through the narrow cobbled streets.

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Some of the best street food in the city, which is also very cheap but no less delicious, can be found here, at the food market adjacent to the crafts section, underneath the Bosporus bridge—the first bridge to connect Istanbul’s European border to Asia. Obviously another thing that deserves your attention is the Bosphorous Bridge itself as there are very few like it connecting two continents.

You might also want to visit one of the famous Spice Markets in this city which are of much renown. Also, it does not need to be said but still as any article about Istanbul is incomplete without at least one mention of it, one must make it a point to visit Hagia Sofia along with some of the other religious places in the city.

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