Istanbul, the city where Occidental meets Oriental, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, where the Black Sea merges with the Sea of Marmara, and ancient mingles magically with modern in this fascinating city steeped in history. An exhilarating, crowded, cosmopolitan city which is a feast for the senses.
The city is vast, with much to see and do. Most of the major sights are in the old Sultanahmet district, with its distinctly Asian feel, where the atmosphere is more laid back and locals gather to drink tea and chat. Its worth a visit to the Galata Tower to enjoy the view of the city from the top, or take a leisurely boat ride along the Bosphorous to see the panoramic skyline.
Shopping is a dream in Istanbul. The Covered Bazaar is one of the most amazing shopping centres, a huge maze of tiny alleyways with hundreds of tiny shops selling everything from fake designer clothes to genuine gold and silver. Suadiye and Bostanci both offer a wealth of upmarket shops, modern bars and a lively nightlife are well worth exploring. Turkish cuisine is inventive and varied and those with a sweet tooth will love the milky desserts and honey-soaked pastries.