5/5 - Excellent
Verified traveller3 Dec 2019
Great place to explore been many times and alwats find new places to explore
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.
Gourmet restaurants interesting history and top sights from Sultanahmet Square to Hippodrome of Constantinople – discover Sultanahmet, a destination also famous for its shopping.
Enjoy the popular shops in Taksim. Taksim Square is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Taksim Station or Findikli Station to see more of Istanbul.
Known for its charming cafes and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Istanbul City Center. Check out top attractions like Suleymaniye Mosque and Spice Bazaar, and jump on the metro at Laleli-University Station or Aksaray Station to see more of the city.
Enjoy the popular shops in Fatih. Suleymaniye Mosque is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Aksaray Station or Yusufpasa Station to see more of Istanbul.
If you're spending time in Besiktas, you might enjoy attractions like Dolmabahce Palace and Zorlu Performing Arts Center. You might also enjoy the neighbourhood's ample dining options before hopping on the metro at 4.Levent Station to see more of the city.
You might take some time to check out the abundant dining options in Kadikoy. Spend some time visiting top spots like Bagdat Avenue, and catch the metro at Bahariye Station or Kilise Station to see more of the area.
Reviewed on 24 Nov 2019
Reviewed on 21 Nov 2019
Named for its dazzling interior covered in blue tiles, this is a hub of Istanbul's religious life.
Visit one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world, a real taste (and smell and sound!) of the diversity that Turkey has to offer.
A world famous monument to the ever-changing history of Istanbul, and one of the largest churches in the world.
Stately home to the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years with an array of Turkish design and foreign art.
'The Sunken Palace' is the biggest of the hundreds of underground reservoirs underneath the streets of Istanbul, dating from Byzantine Constantinople.
Admire the stunning exterior architecture and captivating interior design of the grandest mosque in Istanbul.
Verified traveller27 Nov 2019
An authentic cultural experience!!!!!