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Istanbul, historically known as Constantinople and Byzantium, is the largest city in Turkey, home to a population of 9M in 2011. A megacity, it is the nation's cultural, economic, and financial center. It lies on on the Bosphorus straight and encompasses the natural harbour known as the Golden Horn. Extending both on the European (Thrace) and Asian (Anatolia) sides of the straight, Istanbul is the only city in the world situated on two continents.
During its long history, Istanbul has served as the capitial of the Roman Empire (330-395), the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204), the Latin Empire (1204-1261) and the Ottoman Empire (1204-1261) and the Ottoman Emprei (1453-1922). When the new Republic of Turkey was proclaimed in 1923 Ankara was chosen as its capital.
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Hotels and lodging
- OctopusTravel.com Hotels in Istanbul and all over the World
Hotel Alp Guesthouse
http://www.alpguesthouse.com  Hotel Alp Guesthouse is a walking distance to the most important Byzantine and Ottoman monuments of Istanbul, such as St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapy Palace, Hippodrome, Basilica Cistern and not more than 10 minutes to Grand Bazaar. There are 14 rooms with private bath and terrace with a panoramic view overlooking the Marmara Sea, Blue Mosque and St. Sophia. There is easy access to the hotel from Istanbul international airport (18 km. away)The guests might take a cab to Sultanahmet( takes 20 -30 min) or demand us to arrange pick up service from airport.In that case they have to send their flight detailes(flight no, company name, arrival time, how many pax they are)According to those information, we send our driver and meet them with a sign which is written their name. The main railway station on "Sirkeci"(3 km.), The urban tram (2 blocks). Sabiha Gokcen Airport is another airport which is located in Asian side of Istanbul (45 km far).
Maps and transportation
Getting to Istanbul
Practical information and resources
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