Quick Guide to Istanbul
Istanbul is often described as the beguiling meeting point between the exotic mysticism of the eastern world and the forward-thinking innovation of the west. Well, we don't know about that - all we know is this city is cut from a pretty extraordinary cloth - and here's why.
For one, a cheap Istanbul holiday is more than possible, thanks to its affordable prices. Despite it being a cheaper holiday than most, there really is a little something for everyone within the ancient streets of this Turkish metropolis. Whether you fancy wandering the great halls of the palatial Blue Mosque and soaking up the city's ancient heritage, slurping cocktails and escaping the heat in a sleekly glamorous bar or wandering the maze-like streets that form the beating heart of the city, Istanbul has a little something magical up its sleeve for everyone. Plus, they do a pretty sweet line in kebabs, as you'd expect. In general, holidays in Turkey for 2018 really need to include Istanbul. You won't miss the beach as much as you think! On that note...
We're also happy to report that the city's cuisine is as diverse as its fascinating heritage, and pretty appetising to boot. Locals take their eating and drinking very seriously - the restaurants here are without doubt the finest in the country. You can munch on edgy fusion creations, Asian dishes or Italian classics if you must, but really, you should really make it your life's work to feast on the full-to-bursting, aromatic kebabs, flavoursome mezes and freshly caught fish that are the city's signature dishes - washed down with raki, beer or a glass or two of locally produced and very delicious wine, naturally.
Fab holidays for:
Clubbing, Cultural sights, Shopping
Istanbul Ataturk and Sabiha gokcen airport
Did you know?
Tulips, the symbol of Holland, originated in Istanbul and were sent from Istanbul to Netherlands.
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Top 5 Things to Do in Istanbul
Istanbul is the bustling epicentre of Turkey and it ticks all the boxes - culture, food, architecture, clubs - you name it, it has it in spades.
- Experience a hammam
- Be scrubbed and polished to perfection in a Turkish hammam, a spa day that will make you feel like new.
- Haggle in the Grand Bazaar
- There's something about haggling that makes a purchase all the more worthwhile. The bustling Grand Bazaar is one of the greaatest places in the world to try your hand at buying carpets, spices and oh so much more.
- Take in the sight of the stunning architecture
- Admire the likes of the Topkapi Palace and the Haghia Sofia - just know that's only the beginning.
- Head down to the heart of modern Istanbul, Beyoglu, which is home to a buzzing art scene and some of the city's best bars and restaurants.
- Head out for a night on the town
- Don't overlook Istanbul on the going out front! It has so many amazing clubs, many of which are lining the Bosphorus. Clubbing with a view? Count us in.
How to get to Istanbul
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and sits on the Bosphorus Strait. With a European side (Thrace) and an Asian side (Anatolia), it technically sits on two continents and provides travellers with a unique mix of influences. For Istanbul holidays, there are regular flights directly from most major airports in the UK to Istanbul. Cheap Istanbul flights are available through the major low cost airlines and the flight time is about three and a half hours from the UK. If you want to explore outside the city it is best to get around by road. Car hire from Istanbul Airport is competitively priced.
When to go
Istanbul is a year round destination but the best times to go are April to June and September to October when the weather makes wandering around its sprawling streets more comfortable. The weather heats up in July and August and the visitors flock in making it difficult to get a cheap city break in Istanbul. Winter is colder and quieter so hotels are at their cheapest.