Istanbul is a difficult city to define. Perhaps that’s because it straddles the border of Europe and Asia, or because its current composition is built upon many layers of distinct (yet related) civilizations and cultures. Whatever the reason, you’ll likely find yourself speaking in clichés when describing it: it’s a blend of modern and traditional, it’s frustrating and engaging, progressive yet conservative, etc. Despite its connection to the past, Istanbul is experiencing a sort of 21st-century Golden Age. The economy is stable and growing quickly, luring in an array of investors and expatriates, and the arts scene is booming with Turkish art gaining worldwide prestige and a new gallery space popping up every other week. Istanbul’s cuisine, while still quite Turkish and traditional, is also beginning to see more experimentation, fusion and progression. All of this combines to make this city a fascinating travel destination that will appeal to just about anyone.