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IstanbulTurkey

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

Taksim, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Taksim

4/5Very Good!(354 area reviews)

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.

Taksim
Blue Mosque which includes heritage architecture, a mosque and religious elements

Sultanahmet

Gourmet restaurants interesting history and top sights from Sultanahmet Square to Blue Mosque – discover Sultanahmet, a destination also famous for its shopping.

Sultanahmet
Galata Tower which includes a city and heritage architecture

Istanbul City Center

4/5Very Good!(122 area reviews)

Known for its charming cafes and popular shops, there's plenty to explore in Istanbul City Center. Check out top attractions like Spice Bazaar and Galata Bridge, and jump on the metro at Laleli-University Station or Aksaray Station to see more of the city.

Istanbul City Center
Istanbul showing markets and food

Fatih

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,512 area reviews)

Enjoy the popular shops in Fatih. Grand Bazaar is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Aksaray Station or Yusufpasa Station to see more of Istanbul.

Fatih
Kadikoy, Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Kadikoy

4.5/5Wonderful!(67 area reviews)

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.

Kadikoy
Sile, Istanbul, Turkey

Sile

Sile is noteworthy for its river views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Sile Beach and Ağlayan Kaya Beach.

Sile

Top hotels in Istanbul

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
5 out of 5
Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is Rs16,381 per night

This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of City's Nişantaşı Shopping Center, Dolmabahce Palace and Taksim ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (987 reviews)

"View is good but you should close the curtains for neighbors. 😞"…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2020

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.: 1, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
The price is Rs8,743 per night

Situated in Arnavutkoy, this hotel is within 20 miles (32 km) of Belgrad Forest, Mall of Istanbul and Kilyos Beach. Venezia Mega Outlet and Eyup Sultan Mosque ...

4.2/5Excellent! (256 reviews)

"The hotel, like the airport is less than 2 years old but the rooms are already showing signs of aging and less than stellar workmanship. Still very nice. Clean and good service. The restaurant being open 24/7 is a bonus! Good beer and decent food."…"

Reviewed on 14 Jul 2020

YOTEL Istanbul Airport LANDSIDE
YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE
YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.1, Arnavutkoy, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
The price is Rs12,347 per night

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 Eyup Sultan Mosque ...

4.2/5Very Good! (180 reviews)

"Clean, conveniend but very busy - recomebd prebook..."…"

Reviewed on 3 Aug 2020

YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE

Popular places to visit in Istanbul

Blue Mosque
Image for Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

4.5/5(685 reviews)

Named for its dazzling interior covered in blue tiles, this is a hub of Istanbul's religious life.

Taksim Square
Image for Taksim Square

Taksim Square

4/5(599 reviews)

You can learn about the local history of Istanbul during your trip to a well-known site such as Taksim Square. Stroll along the area's seaside or experience its fascinating museums.

Grand Bazaar
Image for Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

4.5/5(691 reviews)

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.

Hagia Sophia
Image for Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

4.5/5(625 reviews)

A world famous monument to the ever-changing history of Istanbul, and one of the largest churches in the world.

Topkapi Palace
Image for Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace

4.5/5(554 reviews)

Stately home to the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years with an array of Turkish design and foreign art.

Galata Tower
Image for Galata Tower

Galata Tower

4/5(437 reviews)

Standing for over 650 years, this imposing cylindrical lookout point continues to offer special views over the city of Istanbul.

Cities near Istanbul