MedSolutionan operating division of Medical Tourism Inc.

Istanbul, Turkey

Once the crown of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey is very distinctive with its jewels of Byzantine architecture adorning the skyline. Located in Asia Minor, it is a bridge between Europe and Asia—where west meets east. Currently, Turkey's booming economy may be partly due to its historic location as a crossroads of the world.

It is also the home of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, beautiful vistas and mosaics, endless beaches and an ancient harbor.

Turkey is an open-air museum of art and architecture, especially in the ancient capital of Istanbul—the most famous and magnificent examples of Islamic architecture being The Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque, TheYeni Cami (New mosque) and The Rüstem Pasha Mosque.

There are also wonderful cathedrals to be visited, the most famous being Hagia Sophia. It is also worth a visit to some Palaces such as Yerebatan Saray Sarniçi (The Sunken Palace Cistern) and Topkapi (Palace of the Cannon Gate).

Istanbul’s markets are also a must see for bargain hunters and photographers alike. The Grand Bazaar is the mother of all markets sampling colorful ceramics, a kaleidoscope of Kilims (Turkish rugs), jewelry, clothing, Turkish handcrafts and so much more. There is also the Egyptian Market (or Spice Market) with many vibrant, aromatic spices of the East, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and lokum (Turkish delight), among other treats.

At night head over to Beyoglu and take a stroll down Istiklal Caddesi, filled with bars and nightclubs. Or if you just want to relax, you can sip Turkish tea at a çay bahçe (tea garden), sunbathe along one of the many beaches or unwind in a hamam (Turkish steam bath).

Further south, the city of Izmir and others are growing and offering more options for tourists and medical tourists. To the west, the island of Cyprus offers an alternate destination.

Come follow in the footsteps of ancient Sultans, crusaders and great armies of the past. Live it. Feel it today.

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