Key Information GMT + 2 Turkish 3hrs 50min Turkish Lira
Set in a stunning location surrounded by water, the narrow strait of the Bosphorus and the serene Sea of Marmara, separating Europe from Asia, Istanbul has a foot in each. The Bosphorus divides the city into two sides, Asian and European, linked by two magnificent bridges. The European side itself is divided by the Golden Horn, which roughly divides the historic old town of Istanbul, from the modern city. There is so much to do in Istanbul that it is impossible to cover everything. Most visitors on short city breaks stay in the old town as the vast majority of Istanbul's famous sights are in this area.
The Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and The Grand Bazaar are all within a 30 minute walk of each other. It's easy to get around on foot or by tram, which provides a regular service to the pedestrianised main street. If you have a little longer to spend in Istanbul, we would recommend that you set aside some time to visit The Princes Islands. The tranquil atmosphere makes a pleasant contrast to the city itself. Easily reached by ferry or hydrofoil, Buyuk Ada is the most popular with visitors. No cars are allowed but you can take a horse and carriage to visit the Monastery of St. George. The Heart of modern Istanbul is Taksim Square and the surrounding streets, with their excellent restaurants and lively bars have a real cosmopolitan feel.
The advantage of staying here is that in the evenings you have a wealth of restaurants and bars within easy walking distance of your hotel. Not far from Taksim Square, the famous Pera was once the heart of Istanbul, a cosmopolitan hub - where people of many nations lived and many languages and dialects were spoken. When the world famous Orient Express chose Istanbul as its last stop in the East, Istanbul began to attract not only adventurers, but also the more elite and noble classes of Europe. Unfortunately, there were no hotels in the city to meet the high standards of the Orient Express passengers. Nowadays Taksim & Beyoglu are extremely popular with tourists, business people and locals, as the area is the centre of art, cinemas, theatres, trendy restaurants and bars. Shops on Istiklal Caddesi tend to stay open very late on most days of the week, allowing tourists to browse at their leisure in the evenings, after enjoying the day sightseeing.
Just to say that we had a fabulous time in Conversano - thank you so much for arranging such a great holiday We loved everything about Puglia and definitely want to go back soon so will be in touch to enlist your help. Thank you again and we will be in touch again.
Sian and Simon
Just to let you know that we love the hotel we are in and we are enjoying everything you recommended . Thank you so much for sending the book on the area and the very good map .... You are amazing travel agents with your attention to detail !
Dear all, Just a note to say thanks you for yet another well organised holiday, and a big thank you to Zekiye for the bottles of Red wine & fruit in our rooms, a very pleasant surprise (and lovely to finally meet her). I will be in touch re next year’s holiday soon.
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