Istanbul sits on the Bosphorus Strait, where Europe and Asia meet. Once the capital of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, the city is home to landmarks of astounding beauty such as Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city as well as the cultural and financial center of the country. Some of the must-see areas of the city include Sultanahmet – the Old City – where the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque), and Basilica Cistern are located. Beyoğlu, Istiklal Street, and Taksim Square is the cosmopolitan area of the city where you will find funky bars and restaurants, and the best nightlife in the city. The Grand Bazaar is the ultimate Istanbul shopping experience where you will find anything from leather goods, to scarves, jewelry, hookah pipes, candy, and much more.