“If the Earth was a single country, Istanbul would be the capital” quoted by Napoleon Bonaparte.  Here are ten reasons why they believe they live in the best city in the world:

  1. World Heritage Sites.

Istanbul is truly a city which residents can be proud to call home. The Historic Areas of Istanbul are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List because of their ‘outstanding universal value’ to the world. Imagine having that on your doorstep!

 Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Istanbul Maiden's Tower
Istanbul Maiden’s Tower and Behind Historic Peninsula of Istanbul
  1. Sun in summer, snow in winter.

How many other cities provide you with the perfect weather for fun, all year round? You can cool off from the hot sun at one of the city’s beaches in summer, and have epic snowball fights in winter when the temperature drops. Tulips fill the city in spring for the annual International Istanbul Tulip Festival, making the city beautiful throughout the year.

 Sultan Ahmed Square
Sultan Ahmed Square

  1. It’s in Europe AND Asia.

Istanbul has a great claim to fame – it’s the only city in the world that straddles two continents, Europe and Asia. This makes intercontinental travel very cheap and gives the city its unique cultural heritage. You can travel between two continents for less than £2!

Bosphorus River
Birinci Köprü), is one of two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait
Birinci Kopru
Birinci Köprü), is one of two suspension bridges spanning the Bosphorus strait
  1. Awe-inspiring history.

Istanbul has an incredible history, stretching back to 7000 BC. It has been the capital city of four empires and has been fought over numerous times. From Byzantium to Constantinople, to the rise of the Ottoman Empire, the eyes of the world have been fixed on this ancient city more than once.

Archaeological Musuem
Archaeological Museum
  1. Breath-taking rooftops views and golden sunsets.

Istanbul is full of rooftop restaurants, from which you can overlook the entire city and take in views of two continents. The best view of all is the golden skyline at sunset, which residents get to enjoy all year round.

Turkish Tea with a view
Turkish Tea with a view
  1. A vibrant nightlife.

Every city needs a great nightlife, and Istanbul certainly has a vibrant and varied one. There’s a night out for everyone here, whatever your tastes. From elegant cocktail bars and jazz clubs, to trendy rooftop bars and nightclubs.

Night life of Istanbul
Night life of Istanbul
  1. Historic landmarks.

Istanbul is full of historic landmarks and stunning architecture which forms the backdrop to its residents’ home. When you live here, your daily commute could take you past The Suleymaniye Mosque, The Bosphorus Bridge and The Maiden’s Tower, to name just a few.

  1. Excellent food and drink.

Istanbul boasts a great mix of Eastern and Western food. Residents can choose from traditional Turkish cuisine such as the world-renowned kebab, or seafood from one of the city’s historic seafood restaurants. There are also American restaurants and chains, including the universal McDonald’s and Hard Rock Cafe. Istanbul has its own drinks too – many residents are fans of the traditional Turkish raki, the country’s national anise drink, as well as delicious Turkish wines and fresh juices.

Turkish Spices
Turkish Spices
Dondurma
Man makes Turkish dondurma for sale at a market in Goreme, Turkey. Dondurma is a chewy, sticky ice cream made from the root of a wild orchid which is causing a decline of this species.
  1. Shopping galore.

Istanbul is a shopper’s paradise. As well as having plenty of large, modern shopping malls, it is crammed full of stores selling authentic handmade items by local craftsmen. The Grand Bazaar is the jewel in Istanbul’s shopping crown, and is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. There are 61 covered streets and 3,000 shops to visit, all packed full of exotic goods such as spices, nuts and olives.

Shopping in Istanbul
Shopping in Istanbul
Egyptian Baazar
Bazaar
Shopping in Istanbul
Shopping in Istanbul
  1. Hollywood fame.

From James Bond to Taken 2, Istanbul has featured in many recent blockbusters and has appeared on screens around the world. Hollywood has made this beloved city even more famous and, as many residents will tell you, there is no finer backdrop for a film.

Have you been to Istanbul? Would you live there and what would are your travel tips for others?