Istanbul On The Map
Istanbul stands astride the straits of the Bosphorus, straddling the European and Asian parts of Turkey and bordered to the south by the Sea of Marmara.
The city is divided not only by the Bosphorus but also by the Golden Horn, an inlet forming a natural harbour. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul is still the country's largest and most monumental city.
The expanding metropolis of Istanbul spreads along the Bosphorus to the north, beyond the airport to the west and inland from the Asian shore in the east.
Its official population is put at a little over 11 million but the actual population is probably much higher.
Transport improvements are being made to make getting around this vast urban area easier.
Most visitors, however, stay in the historical central parts where the major sights are located.