Your holidays in Istanbul can be spent relaxing on golden beaches, exploring intriguing and beautiful islands, or engaging with communities that inhabit towns and villages on the outskirts of the city. There are also a number of activities available in the city that will transport visitors to hidden and unknown gems, giving your Istanbul city break a sense of adventure and variety that you would otherwise fail to achieve by spending your getaway strolling the city streets.
For a more authentic experience, try visiting some of the smaller towns and villages around Istanbul to gain a more comprehensive insight into the traditional ideals of the Turkish people. Anadolu Kavagi, located to the far north of the city, is home to a captivating citadel, while the village of Polonezkoy displays the areas diverse cultural heritage. You’ll find you can make many trips from the centre of the city where you can base yourself in the comfort of a one of many luxury hotels. Take a cruise out of the city on the Bosphorus, tour the Blue Mosque and absorb the grandeur of Sultanahmet Square. There are a number of great daytrip options for those hoping to explore some more of Turkey’s attractive destinations. One of the most infectious cities is Edirne, with its stunning Selimiye Mosque and Macedonian Tower, while those with a real sense of adventure can travel the four-hour drive to the bustling capital city of Ankara – probably worth spending a night or two there.
Istanbul is an extremely cultural city and has been a centre for arts and culture for centuries, even dating back to the Greco-Roman period. Istiklal Avenue is one of the city's most popular destinations, visited by millions of people every week. The avenue stretches for three kilometres and is populated by art galleries, bookshops, boutiques, cinemas, bars and restaurants. If you want to get a feel for modern Istanbul this is the place to go.
A walking tour of the city is perhaps the best way to explore and discover the delights of Istanbul. There are a wide range of tours available, some specialising in particular fields depending on what you are interested in. There are historical tours, cultural tours and even musical tours on offer. For a complete Istanbul experience head to a hamam, or Turkish bath, to cleanse away the stresses of modern day life.
Istanbul has a lively and exciting nightlife, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from whatever mood you are in. For a romantic evening head to one of the fine-dining restaurants that you can find along the Bosphorus. You can sip cocktails along the bustling Istiklal Avenue or dance the night away in one of the city's late night bars or clubs.
Istanbul is a very romantic city and there are plenty of hotels that are the perfect place for a romantic holiday. For a modern hotel with a traditional feel in the centre of the city, check out the Orka Royal with its modern facilities and excellent international style restaurant. The hotel is located near the city's historic sites and is only a short distance from the airport.
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Istanbul is a fascinating ancient city that is steep in thousands of years of culture and history. There are so many stunning attractions in the city that you won't have time to see them all. It's recommended to pick a few of the major sights and spend your time exploring this fantastic city. Three of the most famous buildings in the city are the breathtaking Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace and the medieval Galata Tower.
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The city has plenty of museums and art galleries that celebrate the history and diverse culture of this incredible city. For a real taste of life in Istanbul you should try shopping in the bazaar, the bustle and excitement is unlike any other shopping experience; remember you've got to be prepared to haggle to get yourself a deal.
Istanbul at night is an exciting and eye-opening experience. One of the best ways to see the city by night is on a Bosphorus night cruise. There are a number of operators that run cruises up the river from different points along the waterway. If you fancy something a little more sedate why not try catching a show or a performance at one of the city's many theatres.
Istanbul certainly has no shortage of hotels and there is something to suit all price ranges and tastes. For a real luxury experience stay at the Legacy Ottoman Hotel situated in the bustling city centre. The hotel has everything you could possibly need including a health centre and its own shopping arcade.
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