Vacations in Istanbul
As the only city to bridge two continents, it’s unsurprising that Istanbul is a melting pot of cultural influences. In the 21st century, it can seem a very modern, European city, with boutique hotels, sophisticated restaurants and upmarket wine bars a-plenty for travellers to sample when they visit. Simultaneously, Istanbul is resolutely Middle Eastern and its Ottoman and Islamic heritage play a large role in its self-image. Whatever you make of it, one thing’s for sure: Istanbul is one of the world’s most enchanting holiday destinations, with a wealth of activities on offer for visitors. .
Newcomers to Istanbul should make a boat trip on the Bosphorus a must during their vacation. This majestic river flows through the middle of the city and marks the boundary between Europe and Asia. The classic Bosphorous cruise is very popular, so passengers should arrive early to ensure a good viewing spot on the boat’s deck – particularly if it’s a warm, sunny day. Main cruises will stop at Anadolu Kavagi, home to the castle Yoros Kalesi, from where you can enjoy breathtaking views of Istanbul and the river.
Another excellent way to see the city is through a walking tour. Walking tours can not only be an excellent way to take in some of the city’s major sights – such as the Haghia Sophia and the Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque) – but they are also a great alternative to taking public transport. Moreover, walking helps first-time visitors in Istanbul gain their bearings, providing a valuable introduction to the city’s streets. Walking tours in Istanbul can be carried out through organised tour groups or individually. But if you choose to walk without a guide, it’s worth ensuring that you have a map and the number of your hotel in case you get lost.
The Haghia Sophia and Sultanahmet Mosque might be two of Istanbul’s most famous sights, but they’re far from the only ones. Other major attractions in the city include the Topkapi Palace and the Basilica Cistern, both located around the main centre of Sultanahmet Square, while a walk along the Theodosian Walls – which once marked the boundary of the old city peninsula – is also popular. If you’re looking for a hotel Istanbul, Sultanahmet Square and its surrounding streets will leave you spoilt for choice.
However, vacations in Istanbul aren’t just about sightseeing – they’re also about letting your hair down and enjoying life. Be sure to sample some of the city’s culinary delights, which range from traditional feasts at an upmarket restaurant to humble street food, like a delicious Turkish kebab or hamsi (deep fried fish). And don’t miss a night out in Beyoglu, which is famous for its bars, cafes and live music venues.
Fiona Roy writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.