07 May 2014

Hagia Irene opened to visitors

Hagia Irene (Aya Irini), former Byzantine church of 6th century, is opened to public as a museum as of April 2014. The site is located in the first courtyard of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul

Entrance to the museum costs 20 Turkish Liras. It's closed on Tuesdays, same as Topkapi palace museum. During summer months it can be visited between 09:00-18:00 (last entry).

Istanbul is a "Powerful City Brand"

English newspaper The Guardian has listed "The World's Most Powerful City Brands" for 2014. The list ranks world cities on everything such as transport, attractions, weather, crime rate and safety, economic prosperity, and social ‘buzz’. This brand list is all about how cities use their assets, how they do the best with what they have.

Istanbul ranks #11 out of 25 cities listed.

19 March 2014

Topkapi Palace is the top visited museum in 2013

According to a report issued by the Turkish Travel Agencies Union (TURSAB), nearly 30 million people visited the museums of Turkey in 2013. 

The highest increase in the number of visitors was seen at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, due to its Harem. While the number of visitors to the Harem exceeded over 1 million people for the first time, the total number of visitors to Topkapı Palace was above 3,397.000 people. Therefore, on the list of the most-visited museums, Topkapi Museum left behind the Hagia Sophia Museum, which topped the list in 2011 and 2012. 

Turkish museums and ancient sites, which hosted nearly 7 million people in the beginning of the 2000s, welcomed 29,533,000 visitors by the end of 2013. According to the data of TURSAB and the Culture and Tourism Ministry, 69% of visitors were foreigners and 31% were Turkish nationals. 

Most walkable cities in the world

Istanbul is listed among the “12 totally walkable cities to visit”, according to sheknows.com website.

Stone Town (Tanzania) was #1 on the list, while Austin (Texas) and Sydney (Australia) followed it. After Seattle (USA), Dublin (Ireland) and Vientiane (Laos), comes Istanbul (Turkey). The list follows with Prague (Czech Republic), Florence (Italy), New York (USA), Florionapolis (Brazil), and Boston (USA).