On the European side of Istanbul, across from The Golden Horn, visitors will find the old center of the city. Thousands of years of history are situated here in the form of palaces, mosques, and bazaars. Istanbul, a vibrant and modern metropolis, has a distinct mysterious feel to it, and the old center, where all the best sites and hotels in Istanbul are located, is easy to explore on foot. Apart from great cultural experiences, the city offers a wide range of festivals, celebrating music, art, and film.
Istanbul's location, on the border between east and west, gives the city a fantastic, varied cuisine. The abundance of great restaurants and cafes offers Asian and European food. All over the city you can get Turkish tea and coffee—of course with the option of enjoying a water pipe with it.
The mosques and other religious sites are one of the best parts of Istanbul; Sultanahmet Camii, Chora church and the Ortaköy Mosques are all a must-see for travelers.
Make sure to fill your bags with spices, dried fruits, and Turkish delight from one of the many bazaars. The largest, most-visited one is SaliPazari in Kadikoy, which offers everything from fruits and vegetables to traditional, handmade shoes and jewelry.
There is always something going on in Istanbul. Some of the top event picks include the International Puppet Festival and the International Istanbul Theater Festival.
Going to the various Orthodox celebrations makes for a unique experience. An Easter celebration especially, is sure to be unforgettable.
|The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, Crowne Plaza Istanbul - Old City, an IHG Hotel, Sultanhan Hotel - Special Class, Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel, The Green Park Pendik, ISG Sabiha Gokcen Airport Hotel - Special Class, Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul, Cityloft 161, The Marmara Pera, InterContinental Istanbul, an IHG Hotel, Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul Bosphorus, The Roof ADA|