Insider Guide: Best of Istanbul

It's strikingly beautiful.

The Bosphorus -- aka the Istanbul Strait, the stretch of water that divides two continents -- stretches calmly before you under the warmth of the sun while the city soars above the shore.

But, mostly, the best of Istanbul is a jumble of activity, over 14 million citizens strong, from celebrants staggering out of bars at 4 a.m. to imams calling the faithful out to prayer at dawn.

You can hear the hustle just as surely as you can see it.

The horns of impatient taxi drivers.

The lilting melodies of street musicians.

The laughter of children.

The clinking of raki glasses.

And always, the whining cries of se