Istanbul which used to be the capital city of Turkey is believed to be in existence since 1000 BC the same time as King David and King Solomon were the rulers of Jerusalem. Semistra is considered the city's earliest settlement. When the seat of government was transferred to Ankara, it seemed as if Istanbul died. Its wealth and fame no longer existed. Nowadays, Istanbul has been transformed once more into a glorious place with lots of hip bars, dining spots, entertainment venues, and the like.
In the past, only Ottoman mosques and Turkish baths served as the main Istanbul attractions. Today, places like the Grand Bazaar or the shopping Mecca of Turkey, dining havens found in Nevizade Sokak and Istiklal Caddesi, and relaxing boat tours along the Istanbul Strait are included in the list of touristy things and lovely attractions people can enjoy in Istanbul. The Aya Sofya Basilica, which has been around for almost a thousand years, is also a famous structure the locals are proud of.