A city break in Istanbul hosts a myriad of delights for visitors of all ages. Sights, sounds and smells abound in this city of two parts. Split by the Bosphorus Strait, the city is divided into Asian and European influences making it a cultural wonder to behold.
Turkey's largest city, based along the historic silk road, has so much to see and do you will never experience it all in one trip! From hanging out in Hammams to smoking Hooka Pipes and experiencing the delights of the spicy cuisine on offer, a city break in Istanbul has a new discovery around every corner.
For a city with such a depth of culture and history, there's also a surprising amount of modern attractions to be enjoyed in the New City. Here, and especially in the Beyoglu district, you'll find a fun atmosphere boasting great restaurants, offering European fusion cuisine and modern specialities which will once and for all dispel the myth that the kebab is Turkey's national dish.
The city's major sights are found in the old city; Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia church are not to be missed.
Shopaholics are also in heaven here. You can never consider yourself a consummate shopper until you've tackled the incredible 4,000+ outlets in the sprawling Grand Bazaar. It has featured in many movies including James Bond! One thing's for sure, your Istanbul city break won't leave you short of souvenir ideas!
Whether it is culture, shopping, quality restaurants or just great weather you're looking for on an Istanbul city break, you're sure to get your fill. Book now with The Co-operative Travel for the latest availability, and see the deals and offers we have available.
Istanbul's stunning Unesco World Heritage Site of Topkapi Palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards, many small buildings and hundreds of rooms and chambers, but only the most important are accessible to the public. It is great for exploring and imagining how people lived back in the older days!
It contains important holy relics of the Muslim world, including Muhammed's cloak and sword plus plenty of examples of Ottoman architecture, porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman treasures and jewellery so head here for a historical take on Istanbul.
The fascinating Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world with 60 streets and 4,000+ shops. Well known for its jewellery, hand-painted ceramics, carpets, embroideries, spices and antique shops. Whatever you are looking for souvenir wise, if you can¿t find it here... it doesn't exist!
As well as shops, the Bazaar has two mosques, four fountains, two hammams, and several cafés and restaurants. Make sure you leave time to explore the bazaar, get lost in its maze of roads or sit in a café and watch the crowds pass by. The Grand Bazaar is one of the best ways to recapture the romantic atmosphere of old Istanbul.
Why not hit the heights of the top of the Galata Tower for an unbeatable view encompassing a multitude of minarets and rambling rooftops. Southeast of the city, and also worth a visit if you have time to explore further afield, are the Princes' Islands, an archipelago of nine car-free islands, characterized by stunning wooden mansions and pine groves.