Istanbul

Istanbul

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About Istanbul

Tantalising fusion of style

East meets west in a tantalising fusion of style in this famous Turkish city. Whether relaxing in one of the many exotic tea gardens or exploring one of the planet's greatest shopping experiences in the Grand Bazaar, the vibrant and welcoming atmosphere of the city, and its people, will surely leave you wanting more. After taking in the awe-inspiring ancient architecture that runs throughout the city why not indulge in the famous Turkish baths, or really treat yourself with some of the seriously delicious local cuisine.

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Hotel deals to Istanbul

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City break deals to Istanbul

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A wide range of budgets are catered for at this grand old capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Set in Sultanahmet's infamous old prison, the Four Seasons Hotel (Tevkifhane Sokak 1) is popular among scholarly types, as is the Pera Palace (Merutiyet Caddesi 52) in Beyoglu, which reflects the city’s history in its room designs. The And Hotel (Yerebatan Caddesi 36) is conveniently located close to the Aya Sofya and represents a comfortable option with good value, while those with a tighter budget can choose between private rooms and dormitory beds at the friendly Cheers Midtown (Bogazkesen Caddesi 68).

Regarded as the original shopping mall, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar represents one of the most incredible shopping experiences to be found anywhere in the world. Arts and crafts, copper-ware and colourful glasswork can be found along the myriad of alleyways, with Dervis (Keseciler Caddesi 33-35) a great choice for textiles. Head to Sultanahmet and check out Cocoon (Küçük Aya Sofya Caddesi 13) which is notable for its felt, while nearby behind the Blue Mosque you’ll find the Arasta Bazaar, packed with handicrafts and ceramics. For something a little more modern make for Istiklal Caddesi in Taksim.

Istanbul is renowned as Turkey’s culinary capital, with menus ranging from Ottoman-inspired dishes to earthy Anatolian fare. For a modern twist on Ottoman dishes head to Pasazade (Caferiye Sokak) in Sultanahmet, or for a heart kebab in the company of locals try Hatay Has Kral Sofras (Ragip Bey Sokak 25), which is found near the Grand Bazaar. It may be a ferry ride away, but Çiya Sofras (Güneslibahçe Sokak 43) in Kadiköy, is well known for taking classic Turkish dishes and supplying their own distinctive twist. Taksim and Beyoglu are good spots to sample the city’s buzzing nightlife, while those wishing to learn more about the beer they’re supping, should make for The Bosphorus Brewing Company (Yilidiz Posta Caddesi 1) in Gayrettepe.

Istanbul Film Festival

April

This film festival is a hugely popular event that promotes the latest in both Turkish films and international offerings.

Istanbul Tulip Festival

April – May

Welcome the arrival of spring with superb photo opportunities as approximately nine million tulip bulbs begin to bloom, having been planted across Istanbul. Colour is everywhere during these two months, with even the city’s roundabouts a kaleidoscopic celebration of vibrancy.

Istanbul Music Festival

June

This is the most famous festival in the annual Istanbul calendar, as classical music and opera concerts held at various venues around the city draw both international stars and local talent.

Istanbul Jazz Festival

July

The Istanbul Jazz Festival is an eclectic blend of everything from classical jazz to experimental electronica, welcoming both notable names from around the world and up-and-coming artists.

Akbank Jazz Festival

September – October

This event may be the little brother to the Istanbul Jazz Festival, but nevertheless attracts an impressive array of artists and showcases the best of new jazz.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Turkish
Currency:New Turkish Lira
Time zone:GMT +2 hours
Flight time:4 hours 10 mins
Airport code:IST
Holiday type:City Break / Sightseeing / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

12 month weather (°C)

 
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Istanbul map

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