Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. With a population of 13.5 million, the city forms one of the largest urban agglomerations in Europe and is among the largest cities in the world by population. Istanbul is a transcontinental city, straddling the Bosphorus—one of the world's busiest waterways—in northwestern Turkey, between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. Its commercial and historical center lies in Europe, while a third of its population lives in Asia.
The city's biggest draw remains its historic center, partially listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but its cultural and entertainment hub can be found across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn, in the Beyoglu district. Like Rome, the historic peninsula is said to be characterized by seven hills, each topped by imperial mosques. Istanbul has numerous shopping centers, from the historic to the modern. The Grand Bazaar, in operation since 1461, is among the world's oldest and largest covered markets. Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open-air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar. Because of their restaurants, historic summer mansions, and tranquil, car-free streets, the Princes' Islands are a popular vacation destination among Istanbulites and foreign tourists.
Accommodation in Istanbul’s university residences
During the summer vacations, many student residences are available as casual accommodation for people who visit the city. It should be understood that these residences are designed primarily for students and not children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the halls do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.
Getting to Istanbul
The O-1 motorway forms the city's inner ring road, crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, and the O-2 is the city's outer ring road, crossing the Fatih Sultan Mehmet (Second Bosphorus) Bridge. The O-2 continues west to Edirne and the O-4 continues east to Ankara. Istanbul's local public transportation system is a complex network of trams, funiculars, metro lines, buses, bus rapid transit, and ferries. Fares across modes are integrated, using the contactless Istanbulkart. The Istanbul Metro comprises three disconnected lines (the M1, M2, and M4). Istanbul Seabuses runs a combination of all-passenger ferries and car-and-passenger ferries to ports on both sides of the Bosphorus, as far north as the Black Sea. Istanbul has two international airports, the larger of which is Atatürk International, located 24 kilometers (15 mi) west of the city center. Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, 45 kilometers (28 mi) southeast of the city center, mainly houses low-cost carriers.