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Travel Guide

Istanbul which includes heritage architecture, mist or fog and a sunset

A delightful fusion of European and Asian culture awaits in the capital of Turkey. A fantastic array of historic buildings intersperse a dynamic, modern city.

Istanbul offers the best of old and new, of both East and West. Shoppers will be kept occupied by the best department stores and luxury boutiques, while the city also displays its rich heritage with the many bazaars, mosques, and palaces. The warm climate of the eastern Mediterranean makes this a very easy place to enjoy and to fall in love with.

Historically, Istanbul is identified as the point where Europe meets Asia, at the crossing of the Bosphurus Strait, and has a population of over 13 million people. It was also the centre of power for the Byzantine Empire. More recently the Ottoman Empire, whose rule stretched at one point from Persia to the gates of Vienna, made it its capital. Ottoman rule was in turn succeeded by the establishment of modern-day Turkey in 1923.

All of this rich history is reflected in the complex and fascinating development of the city's diverse built heritage. First on many itineraries is a visit to the Old City where you'll trace the repeated rises and falls of Istanbul and its empires among the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı), the Hippodrome (Hipodrom) and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque). The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) – a survivor from the 14th century – offers views over these and much of the other architecture of interest throughout the city. The Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Carsı) is the beating heart of life here, and is also a wonderful place to pick up souvenirs. Miniaturk allows you to see the city in miniature, while you can enjoy some well-earned cool chillout time at the underground Basilica Cistern.

Crossing the straits into the New City, you are met by a very different experience – modern-day Turkey. Contemporary Western design is to be found in the many skyscrapers, the shopping areas and the vibrant nightclubs. Taksim Square is the centre of this part of the city, with business executives rubbing shoulders with the cool young people of Istanbul.

Public transport is very easily accessible – an Istanbulkart allows you access to it all. Make good use of it, and see the Beylerbeyi Palace from the ferry across the Bosphurus Strait.

Istanbul offers centuries of history and change, alongside all of the conveniences and attractions of a modern city. The past and the present are linked in this fascinating melting pot of cultures.

Where to stay in Istanbul

YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.: 1, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
The price is Rs11,567 per night from 19 May to 19 May
Situated in Arnavutkoy, this hotel is within 20 miles (32 km) of Belgrad Forest, Mall of Istanbul and Kilyos Beach. Venezia Mega Outlet and Isfanbul Theme Park ...
4.2/5Excellent! (512 reviews)
"Clean & quality airport & transfer hotel. If you are able to go through passport control then you can save money staying on the landside instead of the airside."

Reviewed on 26 Apr 2021

YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.1, Arnavutkoy, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
The price is Rs13,347 per night from 19 May to 19 May
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 20 miles (32 km) of Belgrad Forest, Mall of Istanbul and Kilyos Beach. Venezia Mega Outlet and Isfanbul Theme ...
4.2/5Very Good! (361 reviews)
"A good place for a stopover with a very early departure. Clean, a comfortable bed and a shower - that was all we needed and we virtually fell aleep when we hit the mattress. At some point we heard voices in the night, probably from the room nexy door but fell asleep again. With lounges and restaurants ..."

Reviewed on 10 May 2021

DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Topkapi
DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Topkapi
5 out of 5
Orta Mahalle, Anit Sokak: No: 1, Bayrampasa, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is Rs4,311 per night from 9 Jun to 9 Jun
Located in Istanbul City Center, this luxury hotel is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Axis Istanbul and 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Historia Fatih Shopping Centre. Grand Bazaar ...
3.9/5Good! (710 reviews)
"Nice and friendly"

Reviewed on 11 May 2021

DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Topkapi
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Airport Residence Kurtkoy
Airport Residence Kurtkoy
Yenisehir Mahallesi Millet Caddesi, Mustafa Akyol Sokak No:3, Istanbul
The price is Rs2,696 per night from 31 May to 31 May
Located in Pendik, this aparthotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from World Atlantis AVM and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Viaport Outlet Shopping. Aydos Hill and Abdurrahman Mosque ...
3.6/5Good! (231 reviews)
"We are very happy :) with our stay in Airport Residence Hotel. We made the booking an hour before our arrival. Nevertheless our check-in was smooth and simple. The night time receptionist, as well as the morning offered to us a great customer service experience. The 1 room/apartment was very clean. ..."

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2020

Airport Residence Kurtkoy
Louis Appartements Galata
Louis Appartements Galata
4 out of 5
Sahkulu Mah Ilk Belediye Cad No10 Sishan, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is Rs4,524 per night from 26 May to 26 May
This family-friendly Istanbul aparthotel is located by the sea, within a 10-minute walk of Galata Tower and Pera Museum. Galata Bridge and Taksim Square are ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (226 reviews)
"Wonderful place to live in Istanbul. Good rooms, good area, good service. I lived 9 days, not faced a single issue. Wifi is super fast, every floor has only two rooms but they install routers every floor, nice for working class people."

Reviewed on 20 Apr 2021

Louis Appartements Galata
The Hera Suit Hotels
The Hera Suit Hotels
Kartal Cd., Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is Rs1,213 per night from 21 May to 21 May
Located in Atasehir, this apartment building is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Yeditepe University and within 3 miles (5 km) of Memorial Ataşehir Hospital and Watergarden ...
3.4/5Good! (46 reviews)
Great stay
"It was a small apartment, spacious, and very clean. There was a problem when we arrived regarding the amount to be paid, that they solved quickly and were very helpful and friendly. The only problem was the wifi as it wasn't very good in the evenings."

Reviewed on 13 Feb 2021

The Hera Suit Hotels
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Istanbul

Reviews of Istanbul


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 67.96657381615599%
4 - Good
4 - Good 25.23676880222841%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 5.069637883008356%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.6128133704735376%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 1.1142061281337048%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Mar 2020

Beautiful city and people very nice.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Mar 2020

Not too much to do as you can see all sights in 2-3 days. But nice place to go and relax

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Mar 2020

One of the best city breaks we have made helped by the staff of the hotel highlighting the city attractions and areas of interest.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

17 Mar 2020

Very nice place and people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Mar 2020

I recommend this hotel to anyone , Istanbul is a great city

5/5 - Excellent


9 Mar 2020

Istanbul is a very unique city. It is modern and traditional and is able to fuze the two elements beautifully. Turkish people are really friendly, welcoming and helpful. A great city which offers many great site seeing places to see.

Cities near Istanbul