Stay in one of the best hotels Istanbul offers and treat yourself to a real Turkish experience. If it is comfort and luxury you’re looking for, you wont be disappointed if you choose to stay in one of the citys best hotels. Istanbul is a heady fusion of eastern and western cultures and is a city that embraces its past while moving headlong into an exciting future. Vibrant cafes line every street, while shops and markets are constantly busy with the throng of locals frequenting them. The smells, tastes and general ambiance of the city is captivating and mesmerising in every sense. It’s a wonderful place to explore and one you will want to return to time and again.
Most of the best hotels Istanbul is proud of are located close to the citys lively centre, so you dont’ have to go too far before you are in the real heart of Turkeys capital. With such a rich history and many a turbulent tale to tell, this place is full of ancient monuments and glorious buildings that reveal a tiny part of the citys story. As a city right in the middle of the east and west, it was notoriously fought for and has been home to many powerful civilisations, each trying to exert more power and influence than the last. A secular country today, Turkey has taken all of the positive aspects of its east and west fusion and exists as an exciting blend of culture and traditions.
Experience the True Heart of Istanbul
Delve into the exotic side of the city and spend a day in the Grand Bazaar, one of the biggest undercover markets in the world. Sixty streets with five thousand shops are enough to keep any shopaholic busy! Well known for its local crafts, the market stalls sell jewellery, Turkish carpets, ceramics, spices and beautiful embroideries. Each type of
product is found in a specific section in the market, which has been as such since the fourteenth century, when the market became a prosperous trading centre.
The market complex houses two mosques, four fountains and many cafes and teahouses. In the centre, the most valuable items are sold and include furniture, antiques, watches, copperware, amber prayer beads and mother of pearl mirrors. It is a wonderful place to spend a day, watching the crowds of shoppers, enjoying a Turkish coffee, indulging in a little haggling and absorbing the magical atmosphere that presides here.
A cruise on the Bosphorus is a great way to see a different side of the city. The twenty-mile stretch of water from the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea has been an important trading place in the past. Your trip can be a simple half hour journey, or perhaps you would prefer a full day trip from which you can jump on and off at the main attractions along the way. You can visit one of six Ottoman Palaces, the Maidens Tower, the Istanbul University and Selimiye Barracks where Florence Nightingale worked.
You couldn’t possibly leave without enjoying an evening with the Whirling Dervishes. This spectacular Turkish dance represents the mystical journey of humankinds spiritual journey towards perfection. It’s a truly entertaining evening and one not to be missed.
At many of the best hotels, Istanbul attractions can be booked in advance and staff are always on hand to help and advise. Make your trip your own, get off the beaten track and explore the real heart of Turkeys wonderful capital.