Let’s Explore the City of Cats: Istanbul, Turkey
October 30 , 2023

Let’s Explore the City of Cats: Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey, a country that gives you both historical and modern vibes simultaneously. It falls on two continents - Asia and Europe. Today we are taking you to one of the most famous cities of this amazing country, Istanbul. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia. It's a city that's been known by many names over the centuries – Byzantium, Constantinople, and finally, Istanbul.

City of cats

You might already know what Istanbul is famous for. Yeah right, cats... duh! Istanbul is famously known as the city of cats due to approximately 125,000 cats living on the city streets. Yes, that’s a lot of cats! Simply cat heaven for people who love these furballs. These feline friends are everywhere, lounging on ancient ruins, sneaking through bustling bazaars, and curling up in cozy corners of charming cafes. Istanbul, the only city in the world that spans two continents, has a unique love affair with cats that stretches back through centuries. There is not a single place in Istanbul where you won’t hear cat voices. How cool is that! The best part is, that you will find cats even in metro stations and restaurants, casually having their day and literally “making” your day.

Historical connection with cats

Istanbul's love for cats isn't a recent phenomenon. It has deep historical roots. In the Ottoman Empire, cats were cherished for their hunting abilities and kept to control the city's rampant rat population. They were so esteemed that laws were enacted to protect them. Harming a cat could result in severe punishment. This might point to the reason why cats are so much loved in the city and often roam carefree.

Places to visit in Istanbul

Istanbul has plenty of beautiful and aesthetic places you could visit. In fact, tourists from all around the world visit Turkey due to the amazing landmarks and travel locations. From honeymoon to a family trip, what is there that Turkey won’t deliver?

Here we share some breath-taking travel spots in Istanbul that you must visit when you travel to the city of cats:

Hagia Sophia

Our journey begins with the Hagia Sophia, a building that has stood for over 1,500 years. Originally a cathedral, it became a mosque and is now a museum. Its grand dome, intricate mosaics, and sheer history will leave you in awe. You will truly get lost in the historical building which tells numerous stories and showcases various beautiful artifacts.

The best time to visit this wonder is around 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Turkey time. Try to avoid visiting the mosque on Fridays as it is usually closed for non-worshippers due to the Friday congregational prayer.

The Blue Mosque

Just a stone's throw from Hagia Sophia stands the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque for its stunning blue tiles. It was constructed on the instructions of Sultan Ahmed I, the great-grandson of Sultan Suleman, during the majestic Ottoman rule.

As you step inside, you'll be welcomed by a cavernous space adorned with more than 20,000 handmade tiles. It is still operational and many people offer their prayers in this mosque. It has six minarets and is one of the most beautiful mosques you will ever see, not just in Turkey but in the whole world.

Just like Hagia Sophia, the best time to visit the Blue Mosque is early in the morning to avoid any crowd.

Topkapi Palace

Well, you might have heard of this one. Once the palace of Ottoman sultans, the Topkapi Palace is a stunning complex of buildings, courtyards, and gardens. Explore the Harem, the Imperial Council Chamber, and the opulent Treasury. Don't forget to savor the breathtaking views of the Bosphorus from the palace grounds. You will definitely feel like living in the times of the Ottoman Empire by visiting this magnificent palace.

If you have watched the Turkish serial “Magnificent Century”, you would have already seen this beautiful palace from the inside. But trust us, it is much more beautiful in real life than in reels. The whole vibe makes you experience the life of Sultans.

The Istanbul Experience

Istanbul isn't just a destination; it's an experience. It's the call to prayer echoing across the city, the aroma of freshly brewed Turkish coffee, and the mesmerizing dance of dervishes. It's the feeling of being caught between two continents and two worlds. It is the sweet cat voices giving a whole different aura of nature’s creations that lighten up your mood in an instant.

So, come, get lost in the alleys of Istanbul, taste its flavors, and soak in its history. Istanbul is waiting to welcome you with open arms and the promise of unforgettable memories.

Major Do’s

Don’t forget to capture tons of memories in the form of pictures and videos because you will enjoy them later, for the rest of your life. We are sure, you will love Turkey much more than watching and reading about it. Each memory you make here is going to stay in your heart for a lifetime.

One major thing you need to keep in mind is to have a check on the Turkey time and keep it coordinated with your local time to avoid any sort of confusion.