One of the world’s most exotic cities, Istanbul has a long and varied history, from its Greek roots and Byzantine Empire days, to its period of Ottoman rule. Nestled between Europe and Asia, Istanbul bridges two continents and has always been place of great importance. Tour Istanbul and discover its old and new world treasures, along with a unique culture and excellent cuisine.
Don’t miss these Istanbul attractions
- Grand Bazaar and Spice Market
- Cruise the Bosphorus Strait
- Blue Mosque
- Hagia Sophia
- Buyukada Island
Temples, mosques and markets
If you uncover Istanbul with a walking tour, you’ll share in the best kept secrets of this ancient city. Along the way you can step inside the oldest palace in the world and the jewel of the Ottoman Empire, Topkapi Palace; see the Blue Mosque and its 20,000 Iznik tiles; and admire the antiquities of Hagia Sophia – one of the world’s largest basilicas.
You may prefer to simply spend hours wandering the Grand Bazaar shopping for antiques, jewellery, silks, lines, spices, tea and the customary Turkish Delight. There’s almost nothing you can’t buy at the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Spice Market. Join a walking tour and be guided through the labyrinth of stalls and hagglers.
Sail the Bosphorus
Take a day trip out on the Bosphorus Strait to swim in the Black Sea or visit the old-timey Prince Islands. You can also organise a horse-drawn cart ride around Buyukada island, a stunning oasis free from motorized vehicles.
However you decide to spend your time in Istanbul, don’t forget to treat yourself to a traditional Turkish bath experience, where you’ll be pummelled and scrubbed into a new you. Cemberlitas and Cagaloglu are two of the oldest and most renowned hammams in the city.