Travelers leaving the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah must head 11 miles north of the city to the country s third busiest airport, King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED). This enormous airport accommodates thousands of pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina, and the terminal can be reached by taxi or bus. Fly from Jeddah to Istanbul in under four hours with a direct flight and experience the contrast between these two prominent cities in the western Middle East.
Once known as Constantinople, a capital of the Roman Empire, Istanbul is the gateway from Europe to the Middle East. The fifth-largest city in the world, it boasts architectural marvels including the Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace and the Suleymaniye Mosque. Shop for rare treasures in the Old City s Grand Bazaar, snack at the cafes behind Nusretiye Mosque, feast on regional fare with a dinner cruise on the Bosphorus or visit a renowned museum and Byzantine monument at Chora Church.
Fly from Jeddah to Istanbul, and you ll arrive 12 miles west of the city at Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST). Take a taxi or express bus service into the city and get around with the extensive public transportation network. You should be prepared for hot, humid summers and cold winters; Istanbul's average winter temperature is about 57 degrees.
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