The city hosted 838,000 visitors in the first quarter of that year alone, a benchmark that hadn't been hit for a decade. Tourism numbers for the country have since slipped, causing a drop in hotel prices, which means it's a great time to plan a trip to the city.
If you're in need of some inspiration, we've compiled a set of vintage photographs of the city taken by amateur photographer Charles Cushman during the 1960s.
Cushman's photos are evidence of the city's rich history and culture, both of which are still apparent to visitors of the city today.
Here's Cushman's view of the Marmara coast from the Pan Am flight he took into Istanbul. The Marmara Sea, along with the Bosphorus and Dardanelles Strait, form the boundary that separates the Asian half of Istanbul from the European half.
While in Istanbul, Cushman stayed at the Hilton, which can be seen here, along with the Dolmabahce Mosque.
The Hilton offered spectacular views of the Bosphorus Strait.
And it had good views of the city itself.
Many of Cushman's photos show Eminönü, a neighborhood that was at the center of the walled city of Constantinople.
The cobblestone streets of Eminönü were filled with children.
You could spot laundry hanging from balconies.
The hills of Eminönü allowed for views of the water and the Atatürk Bridge, as seen in this photo.
Both the Atatürk Bridge and the Galata Bridge — the lower level of which is pictured here — cross the body of water known as the Golden Horn.
Besides the Galata Bridge, there's also the Galata Tower, which dates back to medieval times and sits slightly north of the point where the Golden Horn joins the Bosphorus.
The Golden Horn separates the north of European Istanbul from the south, dividing the old and new parts of the city. Here, ferries dock in the Golden Horn.
For some people, like these commuters, ferries were the easiest way to get to and from work.
Not everyone had cars, and the waterways separating Istanbul meant that some people's commutes were better suited to ferries.
Besides being an effective way to travel to work, ferry rides also served as a great way to catch views of the city.
Istanbul was — and still is — a city rich in history. It's home to many different mosques that feature unique architecture and towering minarets.
Below is one of the city's most well-known mosques, the Hagia Sophia. At the time this picture was taken, the mosque had already been turned into a museum, which is what it remains today.
Since its construction, the Hagia Sophia has served as a Greek Orthodox church,
the seat of the patriarch of Constantinople, and a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Cushman was also able to capture the beautiful gardens that surround the front of the mosque.
Another popular tourist destination is the Blue Mosque, or Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Named for the blue tiles that cover its interior walls, the mosque dates back to the early 1600s.
One of the best examples of the Baroque style from the Ottoman Empire, the Nuruosmaniye Mosque is located in Istanbul's Eminönü neighborhood.
Here, the city's hippodrome rises between minarets. The hippodrome used to be the center of life during the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.
Besides mosques, Cushman was also able to document a variety of street scenes all over Istanbul, like this corner store.
These children were gathered in the street.
This was taken near the Blue Mosque on a quiet Sunday morning.
Here, people walk through a side street off Istaklal Caddesi, one of Istanbul's most famous avenues.
Cushman photographed all kinds of street vendors. Fruit stands lined the sidewalks.
Boats were filled with fish.
Carts were piled high with nuts.
And men sold flowers to people as they walked by.
This vendor carried his goods on a donkey.
Along with donkeys, this motorized hearse is something you wouldn't see in Istanbul's streets today.
The photos that Cushman took in Istanbul's Cihangir neighborhood show some of the city's older architecture, like this apartment building.
This little store in Cihangir sold a variety of items.
Like many of the city's neighborhoods, Cihangir is full of sloping alleyways.
Here, neighbors chat through windows.