Famously spanning two continents (one of only four cities in the world to do so), Istanbul combines cosmopolitan European chic with the crafts and cuisine of the Middle East. Its skyline is dominated by the spires of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (and, unlike in Morocco, tourists are allowed to enter the mosques although shoes must be removed and women must cover their hair); you can also find many other examples of architecture from the Byzantine and Ottoman eras. After the sun sets, the evening’s entertainment is brought to you by belly dancers or whirling dervishes: the white-robed dancers who spin on the spot accompanied by traditional music. The dance of the whirling dervish, whilst impressive, is a devoutly spiritual performance and it’s considered bad form to photograph them.
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