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Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul really is a Turkish delight, an intoxicating mix of breath-taking architecture, a roller-coaster ride of history and a stunning setting combined with the Turks’ zest for life. Head for Sultanahmet, the historic heart of the old city and gaze in amazement at the domes of Ayasofya and the Blue Mosque. Dive underground into the spooky Basilica Cistern and then brace yourself for the Grand Bazaar. There are 3000 shops in here and the locals are very keen to sell you something! While away an afternoon in the teahouse beneath the walls of the Topkapi Palace and count the ferries plying the Bosphorus and the ships sailing towards the Black Sea. At sunset the fishermen on the Galata Bridge head home just as Istanbul’s skyline forms a glowing silhouette of domes and minarets.



SOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN ISTANBUL




Topkapi Sarayi Palace TOPKAPI SARAYI (PALACE)

Home of the Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years, The Treasury in the 3rd courtyard is amazing. Get there when it opens at 9am and go straight to the Harem. Only a certain number of visitors are allowed at one time, so get there first to avoids the queues.

Hagia Sophia HAGIA SOPHIA (AYASOFYA)
 

Said to be one of the great buildings of the world, it’s a former Byzantine church, a former Ottoman mosque, and now a museum.

Blue Mosque THE BLUE MOSQUE (MOSQUE OF SULTAN AHMETI)
 

One of the city’s premier sights, it’s called the Blue Mosque because of its light blue interior tiles. You can visit at most times of day and it’s free. Avoid all mosques on Fridays as this is the Muslim holy day and mosques can be closed for lengthy mounts of time for prayers.

Grand Bazaar GRAND BAZAAR
 

Turkey’s largest covered market sells all kinds of things like beautiful Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, copper and brassware, leather goods, meerschaum pipes and alabaster bookends. Try out your haggling skills.

Hammas HAMMAMS (TURKISH BATHS)
 

For something a little different why not try a Turkish Bath. You’ll be pulled and pushed, rubbed and scrubbed to within an inch of your life, but you’ll come out feeling wonderful.

Bosphorus Cruise BOSPHORUS CRUISE
 

By far the best way to view the city of Istanbul is by boat on the Bosphorus, the most impressive sights being along the southern shores. You’ll see Topkapi Palace, the Maiden’s Tower, the Selimiye Barracks (where Florence Nightingale worked), Dolmabahçe Palace, Yldz Park – Palace, the village of Ortaköy and the Bosphorus Bridge to name a few.

Turkish Culinary Experience TURKISH CUISINE
 

Indulge in Turkish cuisine like stuffed vine leaves and sip tea in tulip-shaped glasses, or go for broke and tackle the national drink – raki or lion’s milk.

Gulet Cruise DO A GULET CRUISE
 

Come aboard and discover this unique way to see the many bays, golden beaches and historical sites that make up the Southern Turkish coastline. Bodrum and Marmaris are 2 of our favourites.




ISTANBUL ACCOMMODATION



Here's a taste of some of our favourite hotels and lodges in Istanbul, Turkey.
Come in-store or send us an enquiry to help us find the best accommodation for you.

Hotel Atlantis by Atbcn
OLUMPIYAT HOTEL
★★★
A charming hotel perfectly situated in the cultural centre of the Old Town. It’s within easy walking distance to all of the most important sights including Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the vibrant and bustling Grand Bazaar. It has rooms ideal for families, and it has its own rooftop restaurant serving Turkish cuisine.
Hotel Barcelona Center
LEVNI HOTEL & SPA
★★★★
Located in the heart of the city in the historic district, this hotel is only 200 metres from the Topkapi Palace. Rooms are spacious and well-furnished and the hotel boasts a restaurant featuring mouth-watering Ottoman and Turkish cuisine. There is also a wellness centre with a fitness room, indoor pool, sauna and Turkish Hammam.
Citadines las Ramblas
ARENA HOTEL
★★★★
Just a 2 minute walk from the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this is an excellent example of a 19th century Ottoman stone house that has been restored in keeping with Istanbul’s historic architecture. It combines traditional design with modern facilities. Spacious rooms are decorated in rich, warm fabrics and feature antique furnishings.





INSPIRE ME
Istanbul holiday planning articles



Are you planning your next trip to Istanbul, Turkey? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Istanbul.

 


Turkeys must-see attractions
Turkish Delights


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This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
Enquire below or pop in-store and talk to one of our travel experts today.

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