Turkey's largest city lies at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. In its 2500-year history, Istanbul has been the home of civilizations that flourished for centuries. Their influence is evident in ancient Byzantine churches, Ottoman mosques and palaces. While its cultural origins have been preserved, the city also embraces contemporary art, modern cuisine, and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Sultanahmet District is one of the best places in Istanbul, showcasing majestic monuments to ancient empires and civilizations. At the Grand Bazaar, shoppers can haggle for souvenirs or absorb the exotic atmosphere. Break from the city with a trip to the beaches of Princes' Islands.
Best time to visit: April-June and September-October.
Ataturk International Airport (IST) is approximately 20 km west of the city centre on the European side. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is located on the Asian side, 50 km from the city centre.