Experience Istanbul's amazing mix of cosmopolitan chic and old-world charm. Not only is it full of architectural reminders, the Hagia Sophia among its finest, of the city's rich Ottoman history, but it also has the cultural capital and entertainment to match.
Admire exquisite architecture, find a bargain among the souks, or enjoy a coffee in the afternoon sun –there’s so much to experience on holidays to Istanbul.
Look out for bargains as you weave between the thousands of stalls that make up the Grand Bazaar. Or head to the Egyptian bazaar, well known for its spices, teas and oils which create a feast for your senses.
With its elaborate mosaics and grand domes the Hagia Sophia, is sure to impress. While the Blue Mosque, is known for its intricate stained glass windows and beautiful domes and spires. Be sure to visit between prayer hours, as it’s still used daily as a place of worship. If you prefer the outdoors, check out the Walls of Constantinople that have kept the city safe for over a thousand years.
Cafés line the streets and are a perfect escape from the bustling markets or the midday heat. Try a tulip shaped glass of Turkish Tea or a uniquely sweet blend of Turkish coffee. Holidays to Istanbul are a great opportunity to try authentic Turkish cuisine. Start your day with a traditional breakfast, which includes bread, olives, honey and hot finger food. Kenan Usta Kebap is a good spot for an authentic Turkish kebab. Or, head to Lokanta Maya for contemporary Turkish dishes that won’t break the bank.
When it’s time for a bit of culture, try the Istanbul Archaeology Museum which has a stunning collection, spanning most of world history, that can’t be missed. Art lovers will enjoy the aesthetics of the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum, while history fans will enjoy the rooms decorated and recreated from nomadic Turkish cultures. Alternatively, you can hop on a ferry across the bosphorus and take in the breath-taking city skyline.
While preparing for your holiday to Istanbul make sure to bring the sun lotion for summer heat waves, and while winters are mild, Istanbul has seen snow in previous years. Istanbul is such a rich and varied city you’ll find something to do, whatever the weather.
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