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Turkey’s capital is the only city in the world to straddle two continents – a trip across the Bosphorous Bridge takes you from Europe to Asia. Whichever side you’re on, the influences of ancient and modern, and east and west can always be felt in this vibrant, beautiful city. Mosques dominate the landscape alongside shiny new tower blocks, and you’re never far from the mighty river Bosphorous.

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Places to go and things to do in Istanbul

See the Sights

See the Sights

Istanbul’s old town has so many must-see sights that it’s a good idea to sign up for a private tour. Companies like First Hand Tours will pick you up from your hotel and make your visits to the Blue Mosque, Topaki Palace, Hagia Sofia, Roman Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar and other lesser-known gems, easy, interesting and hassle free.

Shop till You Drop

The Grand Bazaar is worth a visit, but these days it’s a tourist trap. The Egyptian Bazaar is a treasure trove of spices, oils and Turkish Delight but make sure you agree prices first. The city is famous for leather goods, carpets, lamps and designer look-a-likes. There are also great modern malls like the enormous Kanyon.

Sample a Taste of Turkey

Whether you’re in the mood for a posh restaurant or a street snack, delicious food is all around you in Istanbul. For the best restaurants and bars, head to the modern Beyoglu district, where you can enjoy your meze in the company of cool locals. Istanbul is a city that knows how to party and it has a buzzing rooftop bar scene.

Take a Bath

For the ultimate Turkish bath, book yours at Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami. Housed in a pared down, but still majestic 16th century domed building, this fabulous feel good experience involves an attendant guiding you through lying on warm marble slabs, before exfoliation and washing. You’re guaranteed to come out feeling shiny and new!

Places to go and things to do in Istanbul

See the Sights

See the Sights


Istanbul’s old town has so many must-see sights that it’s a good idea to sign up for a private tour. Companies like First Hand Tours will pick you up from your hotel and make your visits to the Blue Mosque, Topaki Palace, Hagia Sofia, Roman Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar and other lesser-known gems, easy, interesting and hassle free.

Read More
Shop till You Drop

Shop till You Drop


The Grand Bazaar is worth a visit, but these days it’s a tourist trap. The Egyptian Bazaar is a treasure trove of spices, oils and Turkish Delight but make sure you agree prices first. The city is famous for leather goods, carpets, lamps and designer look-a-likes. There are also great modern malls like the enormous Kanyon.

Read More
Sample a Taste of Turkey

Sample a Taste of Turkey


Whether you’re in the mood for a posh restaurant or a street snack, delicious food is all around you in Istanbul. For the best restaurants and bars, head to the modern Beyoglu district, where you can enjoy your meze in the company of cool locals. Istanbul is a city that knows how to party and it has a buzzing rooftop bar scene.

Read More
Take a Bath

Take a Bath


For the ultimate Turkish bath, book yours at Kilic Ali Pasa Hamami. Housed in a pared down, but still majestic 16th century domed building, this fabulous feel good experience involves an attendant guiding you through lying on warm marble slabs, before exfoliation and washing. You’re guaranteed to come out feeling shiny and new!

Read More

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