Istanbul is located on two continents, Europe and Asia, and is separated by the Bosporus Strait. With a population of over 15 million people, it is the largest metropolis in Turkey and the 15th largest city in the world. Istanbul has a long and rich history that dates back to the 7th century BC. Over the ages, it has been ruled by a variety of empires, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. The city's architecture, which combines Byzantine, Ottoman, and European styles, reflects its rich history. The Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and the Blue Mosque are among Istanbul's most recognized landmarks.
The Hagia Sophia was founded as a church in the sixth century AD, but it was turned into a mosque after the city was conquered by the Ottomans in 1453. For centuries, the Ottoman sultans lived in Topkapi Palace. The Blue Mosque is recognized for its magnificent blue tiles and is one of the most recognizable mosques in the world. Istanbul is a buzzing, cosmopolitan city with plenty to offer visitors. There are numerous historical attractions to see, as well as a thriving nightlife and a diverse selection of eateries. The city is also an important transportation centre, with connections to the rest of Turkey and Europe.