Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city in addition to its cultural and financial hub. Located on both parties of the Bosphorus, the narrow strait involving the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea, Istanbul bridges Asia and Europe both physically and culturally.Istanbul is divided in three by the north-south Bosphorus Strait (Istanbul Bogazi), the dividing line between Europe and Asia, the estuary of the Golden Horn (Haliç) bisecting the western part and the Sea of Marmara (Marmara Denizi) forming a boundary to the south.Istanbul has a temperate oceanic climate that is influenced by way of a continental climate, with hot and humid summers and cold, wet and occasionally snowy winters.Istanbul has a high annual average rainfall of 844mm, with late autumn and winter being the wettest, and late spring and summer being the driest.The Whirling Dervishes is really a place which may appear to be a tourist attraction, but it’s a real worship service of Mevlana’s followers. Through the ceremony the Dervishes become a connection between God and humans via a prayer-induced trance.Although high on many visitors’Istanbul to-do-list, people often had to skip it in the end because seats were sold out. Don’t make exactly the same mistake and reserve your seats well in advance.This splendid church-turned-mosque-turned-museum is on the list of world’s greatest architectural achievements. After years of restoration works, the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya) is finally scaffolding free, enabling one to absorb its splendor since it was supposed to be.Topkapi Palace (TopkapiSarayı) is rightfully a sight you can’t afford to miss during Istanbul. This complex of kiosks and pavilions contained by four lush green courtyards is where generations of sultans had their principal residence for nearly half of a century.Top attractions at Topkapi Palace would be the Harem, an adorned ‘cage’of the sultan’s women, the treasury storing the crown jewels (containing the famous Topkapi dagger), and the weapon’s room boosting the Ottoman’s fine craftsmanship even when it stumbled on making swords and bows.Istanbul is not only fascinating above ground, but additionally underground with the Basilica Cistern (Yerebatan). This exquisite bit of Byzantine engineering is really a spectacular underground cistern, once bringing drinking tap water with aqueducts from current Bulgaria to Istanbul.Bargain hunting at Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. Grand Bazaar is finished 500 years old, but nevertheless among the largest covered bazaars in the world. Its 60 streets contain at least 5000 shops, 60 restaurants, 18 fountains, 12 mosques, and even a school.This is not a tourist trap as some claim. Locals shop here each day, but odds are they’re better at bargaining than you are. The bazaar is quite well-known for its carpets, leather, ceramics, souvenirs and jewelry.