Istanbul

Straddling two continents, Istanbul offers an intoxicating blend of east and west. Civilisations have left their mark and can be seen today in the city's fascinating pot-pourri of architectural styles.

Insider Tip

Sunrise at the Blue Mosque is a mystical experience. If you can make it, it's definitely the place to be to feel the true atmosphere of Istanbul's old town.

Dine out along the shores of the Marmara or the Bosphorus and enjoy seafood, kebabs and sweet delicacies, or visit a 'gazino' for a dinner and cabaret show. The network of side streets around Istiklal Caddesi are home to hundreds of great value and authentic Turkish restaurants and bars.

For shopaholics the Grand Bazaar, the largest and most attractive covered bazaar in the world, houses a maze of streets containing 4,000 shops and stalls. Leather goods, rugs, carpets and silver jewellery are all good buys and you must join the locals as haggling is expected. For a more European feel, try the Taksim district of the city, a long pedestrian shopping street leading to Taksim Square where you will be surrounded by restaurants and bars. Alternatively you can enjoy the colour and aromas of the Egyptian Spice Bazaar.

Full Day City Tour

Visit the famous sights of this vibrant city. Includes the Aya Sofya, Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome followed by the Topkapi Palace, Suleyman Mosque, and an afternoon stroll in the Grand Bazaar. Lunch Included.

Departs: daily. Duration: 8 hours.
Adults from £57.

Istanbul by Night

Oriental belly dancers, folkloreic groups, live music bands and Turkish Singers, followed by entertainment in a nightclub. Fixed menu dinner, limited local drinks included.

Departs: daily. Duration: 3.5 hours.
Adults from £51.

Two continents Tour with River Cruise

On this full-day tour you will visit the Spice Bazaar, take a cruise on the Bosphorus, and see the Rumeli-Fortress. You will visit the Dolmabahçe Palace, Çamlica Hill, and cross the Bosphorus Bridge that joins Europe and Asia. Lunch Included.

Departs: daily. Duration: 8 hours
Adults from £48.

Hop on Hop off Panoramic Tour

This tour is one of the best ways to get to know Istanbul an see the main sights. The convertible buses provide comfort in both dry and wet conditions. The full circuit takes approx 1.5 hours but you may get on and off as many times as you wish in one day.

Departs: daily. Duration: full circuit takes 1.5 hours
Adults from £17.