Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural and historical heart. It is also a transcontinental city straddling the Bosphorus with part of the city in Europe and part in Asia. Additionally, Istanbul's strategic position along the historic silk road helped it to become one of the most significant cities in history. It served as the capital of four empires: Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman.
From a tourist's perspective, the city's biggest draw is its historic center which includes the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, New Mosque, Little Mosque, Spice Bazaar, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and Hippodrome. The mix of cultures, historic places, great food, and energetic pace make Istanbul a great destination.