Istanbul has remained its charming traditional self for around 3 thousands years, yes the name changed from Constantinople and it is no longer the capital of Turkey however it remains the very core of this amazing country. Its exotic flavour has remained spicy and to coin a phrase is “full of eastern promise”. Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and many a tune has been named after it, those who were born there are passionate about this vibrant much loved city. It is located in north western Turkey within the Marmara region and the Bosphorus divides the city into what’s commonly referred to as the European and Asian sides.
Istanbul is one of the most charming and culturally diverse cities in the world, yet it is also extremely cultured and brimming with fascinating history. There is a vast array of museums and art galleries, as well as plenty of shops and local markets and the fabulous Grand Bazaar which dates back t the 15th century, making it one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world. With 61 covered streets and in excess of 4,000 shops that welcome up to 400,000 daily visitors. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque dates from 1616; it is a beautiful building which is known and recognised throughout the world and it dominates the Istanbul skyline. It’s known as the Blue Mosque due to the blue iznik tiles which adorn its interior.
Istanbul also has several stunning beaches on its two coasts, one to the Sea of Marmara and one to the Black Sea. Both of these coasts are popular for locals to escape to at weekends to get away for a few hours from the bustling city life. There are two (almost 3) International airports that service Istanbul and with fast and efficient transportation links makes getting around Istanbul a breeze.
This is where we are seeing the expansion of new areas developing in to sleek, designer homes. Young professionals want to work in the city but live just outside of it in modern designed apartment blocks that offer a comfortable and enriched lifestyle. It’s not only Turks who are snapping up these properties its holiday home buyers and investors who want a piece of this action. Istanbul is fast becoming the preferred weekend break city destination and tourists and visitors are arriving in their droves.
Savvy investors have long had their sights set on Istanbul for investment and they made their move years ago. Over the past few years apartment block after apartment block has gone up rivalling the previous one to offer award winning architectural designs by renowned architects and a range of amenities to entice buyers – and its working a treat! The facilities and amenities some of these blocks offer are staggering:
Communal outdoor and indoor swimming pools.
Multipurpose sports hall.
Tennis, basketball courts and a mini football field.
Landscaped gardens with communal seating areas.
Barbeque and grill area,
On-site cafes and restaurants
Relaxation terrace and roof top bar
Games room with consoles for children
Off street parking or underground parking or garages.
Fitness centre with a spa and well being centre, sauna, Turkish Hamam & massage.
Walking and cycle tracks.
24 hour reception with staff
Most of these apartment blocks are close to airports, shopping malls, universities and hospitals. The transportation links into the centre of Istanbul are second to none with most being around a 30 minute drive away. The beauty of living in “new” Istanbul is you have all the trappings of the wonderful old city whilst enjoying modern life and living, creating an enviable lifestyle.
A friend of mine wanted the best of both worlds, she has a place in a gorgeous resort on the Mediterranean called Side but she wanted something in “new” Istanbul she could dip in and out of. She can visit Istanbul at the drop of a hat with daily flights from Antalya Airport whenever she needs a bit of historic culture.
I get the odd weekend away in Istanbul so I’m not complaining and my initial thoughts on arriving in Istanbul were – it’s a wonderful cosmopolitan city, very busy, with lots to see and do, warm, inviting and I couldn’t wait to explore it, then I saw the modern twist and was fascinated! As an added bonus my friend earns healthy rental returns when she is not using the apartment herself – but that’s another story for another day!