Holidays to Istanbul

Travellers on holidays in Istanbul will be struck by the wonderful cosmopolitan life set against a backdrop of ancient architecture and glorious monuments such as the Hagia Sophia, which is considered to be the crowning glory of the city.

Istanbul is a multicultural city that is filled with many wonderful attractions and places of historic interest. The palaces, basilicas and mosques all demonstrate the development that has occurred here under the many empires that have ruled the area. The city walls are an imposing sight and it is no wonder that they have only been breached twice in their entire history.

Istanbul holidays would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Covered Bazaar; with over 4,000 shops you are sure to find something to your liking. Another place worth a visit is the Spice Bazaar where you can purchase all sorts of spices, herbs, dried fruit and medicinal remedies.

Istanbul holds over 100 festivals throughout the year, with the jazz and film festivals being the most popular; these attract people from all over the world. Most festivals are held in the summer months when the streets are full of tourists who are also visiting the city’s magnificent museums. The Istanbul Archaeological Museum holds the Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great and glorious works of art and ancient artefacts from years gone by.

A visit to the Turkish baths should also be on the agenda for most people on holidays to Istanbul. The baths are open to men and women at different hours of the day. You are sure to leave the baths feeling relaxed and invigorated.

In years gone by visitors to Istanbul were only served local cuisine; it is only in recent years that the more upmarket restaurants have branched out and developed more extensive menus. These range from the local Turkish cuisine to dishes with a broad international theme. Many of the locals, when dining out, dress in their Sunday best even if they are only going to their local restaurant. You will find that most places now open at lunchtime too. However, if you want to go out for dinner, while some places start serving at 6:00 pm, most places open much later than this.

If you are looking for nightlife then Istanbul is the place for you. When the sun goes down the energy level gets higher. Istanbul is considered to have one of the best nightlife scenes in Europe. Whether you want to party at a pulsating nightclub or have a romantic drink in a cosy wine bar, there will be somewhere for you to go. On the European side of the city some of the best places for those on holiday in Istanbul to experience the nightlife are Taksim/Beyoglu, Levent and Etiler, whilst on the Asian side Kadikoy and Bagdat Street are the places to go.


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