17 Untold Istanbul Facts that You Should Know

Welcome to Istanbul, the vibrant and captivating city 😊 of Turkey!

From its alluring natural landscapes to its rich cultural heritage, it offers facts for you to discover.

This article will offer some amazing facts about Istanbul 🕌 that will amaze you. 

Let’s begin this exciting 😊 journey!

Interesting Istanbul Facts

The city of Istanbul: It is the seventh largest city in the world

The City Of Istanbul

Little explorers😊, have you heard about the seventh-largest city in the world?

Yes, it is the famous Turkish city, Istanbul!

Istanbul is famous as the world’s seventh-largest city. Also, after Moscow, it even enjoys the honor of being the second-largest urban agglomeration in Europe.

The city of Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and has a population of about 1 million 👏 people to 15 million since the 1950s. 

Moreover, throughout most of the city’s history, Istanbul has been a thriving region that ranks among the world’s largest urban centers.

Location of Istanbul: It sits closely between three water bodies

I really love this secret about the city of Istanbul! Want to know??

One of the important features to take a look at is the unique location of this beautiful Turkish city. 

The city of Istanbul is situated between three important water bodies, which are the Sea of Marmara, the Bosphorus, and the Golden Horn.

The famous Bosphorus Strait divides the city’s two sides. 

On one side of the strait is European Istanbul, and on the other side are Kadikoy and Uskudar, which are the city districts located on the soil of Asia.

The only transcontinental city: Learn about the unique characteristics of Istanbul

Little kiddos, if you love geography 🌎 like me, then you will surely love to explore this unique secret about this unique Turkish city! 

Istanbul has some unique characteristics as it serves as an important bridge between Asia and Europe. It is also the one and only city on the planet that exists on two continents. 

Also, the strategic location of the city on the Bosphorus Strait offers the city its European characteristics.

 It even makes it a vital player when it comes to the relationship between Europe and Asia.

Snow in Istanbul: Learn about the snowiest major city in the Mediterranean Basin

Oh! Snow!! I really love dancing in the snow!!

The city of Istanbul is the snowiest major city, located in the Mediterranean Basin. The main reason behind it is the lake-effect rain. 

Due to the city’s location between the Black Sea 🌊 and the Bosphorus. 

The city of Istanbul has multiple microclimates that let it experience over 60 centimeters or 24 inches of snow per year.

The Grand Bazar: The world’s largest covered market is in Istanbul

The Grand Bazar of Istanbul

The city of Istanbul is home to a really famous bazar!

The Grand Bazar of this Turkish city is well-known as the largest covered market on the planet. 

It is expanded massively since it was opened in 1431, and now is home to around 3,000 shops 🛍️and covers a massive area of 61 streets.

This famous bazar experiences more than 90 million visitors per year and will need around three days to explore the entire market.

So, while visiting Istanbul, we can easily buy some of our preferred souvenirs from here. Interesting, right?

History of Istanbul: Know about its previous name

Throughout the long history of Istanbul City, it was called Constantinople. 

The city got its name after Constantine the Great. He was the ruler 👑of the city who made the city as his capital. 

However, it wasn’t until 1930 that the city was officially renamed Istanbul, though people had addressed it by both names long before that.

Other than being known as Constantinople, Istanbul City has been called by several names, over the centuries, such as New Rome, Augusta Antonia, Lygos, Byzantium, etc. 

According to a Roman history writer, Pliny the Elder, Lygos was Istanbul’s foremost name.

Hagia Sofia: Enjoy the beauty of one of the most recognizable landmarks of Istanbul

Istanbul's Hagia Sofia

Have you heard about the charming beauty of Hagia Sofia? I am in love with this fascinating landmark in Istanbul!

It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city, dating back to a temple that was constructed in the year 325.

However, what you can see today is not the same temple. Devastating fires in 404 and 532 and an earthquake in the year 558 caused some major damage to the architecture. 

However, despite this, the majority of today’s structure still dates back to the 6th century.

The Blue Mosque: One of the most famous places in Istanbul as well as in Turkey

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Like me, you will surely be amazed by the grandness of the Blue Mosque of the city!

One of the most famous mosques 🕌 in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque or the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It is an imperial mosque of the Ottoman era and serves as one of the major attractions in Istanbul.

It was built during the rule of Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616. Its Kulliye contains the tomb of Ahmed, a hospice, and a madrasah. 

The interior walls of this mosque are adorned with hand-painted blue tiles, and it has five main domes.

Beaches in Istanbul: Be mystified by the beaches of the city

Beaches In Istanbul

Did you know that he city of Istanbul is world-famous for its beautiful beaches 🏖️!? Quite impressive… right?

There are almost 85 beaches 🏖️in Istanbul City that are approachable. Many of them are only 30 to 40 minutes from the center of the city. 

Another remarkable secret is that we can easily choose among three options regarding swimming spots in this beautiful Turkish city called Istanbul.

The Population and Area of Istanbul: Know about the residents of the city

The city is the most populous province, with an urban population of about 15.5 million, since 1950s. 

The old city with the municipal boundaries of the city has about 23 square km or 9 square miles. However, the total cosmopolitan area covers almost 5343 square km.

The population of the city experienced an upsurge in the year 1970. 

The number increased when people from Anatolia started migrating to the city of Istanbul for work. Today, almost one-fifth of Turkey’s total population resides in Istanbul.

Feral Cats in Istanbul: Know about the unique animals who love this city

Feral Cats In Istanbul

Oh! little and cute cats living in Istanbul!! Sounds so interesting..!! 

The presence of feral cats 🐈 in the city is an incident called sokak kedis. According to estimates, there are over 100,000 cats living in this Turkish city. Can you imagine??

These feral cats have gained widespread public and media attention and have turned out to be a symbol of the city.

Mammals that reside in Istanbul: Animals other than cats who love the city

Mammals In Istanbul

In the city of Istanbul, we can see various kinds of mammals that are mainly concentrated in the forest areas of the northern region. 

Animals like roe deer, wild boars, coyotes, foxes, 🦊 badgers, martens, weasels, and wolves can be seen near Istanbul’s boundaries.

Rose-ringed Parakeets: Meet the beautiful birds of the city

Rose-Ringed Parakeets in Istanbul

Little adventurers, expand your knowledge by knowing about the beautiful birds🦜 of the city. 

The beautiful rose-ringed parakeets are an invasive species in the city. They prefer to hang out in places with warm temperatures and food is available. 

However, these beautiful birds can sometimes become destructive and noisy when forming large flocks.

The Topkapi Palace: Meet the former residence of the Ottoman sultans

Istanbul's Topkapi Palace

Want to know about the famous Ottoman sultans who ruled this Turkish city??

The Topkapi Palace or Cannon Gate Palace🏫 is located in the city of Istanbul. 

It is the former residence of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire, and this vast museum is located in the Fatih district of Istanbul.

The collection of this museum includes several holy Islamic relics. 

Here, you can even see Ottoman weapons and clothing, illuminated manuscripts, and miniatures.

The Tunel in Istanbul: Enjoy a ride on the world’s second-oldest urban rail line

I am totally amazed by the world’s second-oldest urban rail line 🚆!! What about you?

In this Turkish city, the Tunel, constructed in the year 1875, is the second-largest urban rail line around the globe preceding the London Underground.

This line goes to an elevation of about 573 meters from sea level and is operational today.

Also, modern Istanbul’s first metro line was the M1 line, which was established in the year 1989.

Religion in Istanbul: Know about the city’s religion

Around 99% of Istanbul’s people follow the path of Islam. 

From this, around 78% of the entire population is Hanafi Sunni. 

There are more than 3000 mosques 🕌 in the city, among them, the Camlica Mosque is the largest in the entire country.

Besides these statistics, only 28% of the citizens are original residents of this Turkish city, as most people have migrated from several other cities in Turkey.

The Galata Tower: Unravel the secrets of the famous prisons of Istanbul

The Galata Tower of Istanbul

If you love to explore secrets like me, then you will surely love to uncover this terrific secret about Istanbul! 

The Galata Tower, constructed in 1348 at the peak of guarded walls, is one of the most iconic structures of the city of Istanbul. It was used to keep prisoners of war. 

The tower was originally known as the Tower of Christ and served as an observatory later. 

Today, it is a major attraction in the city that offers a 360-degree view of Istanbul City.

Turkish baths in Istanbul: Enjoy a soothing bath in the Turkish baths in the city

Let’s enjoy while unraveling this bathing secret about Istanbul. 

There are more than 60 Turkish baths or hammams in Istanbul City. Many of those comfortable baths were built by the Ottomans in Constantinople. 

Also, below the city, you will be able to find hundreds of water cisterns. 

Among them, the Basilica Cistern is the most popular and largest cistern in the city, which was constructed back in the 6th century.

Summing up

So, little knowledge hunters, now you know that Istanbul is a beautiful Turkish city that takes pride in its natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern advancements.

From its captivating mosques 🕌 and royal palaces to its refreshing baths and mesmerizing beaches 🏖️, what in Istanbul attracts you more?

Get back to us with your questions, we will eagerly wait to hear from you.

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