Even a photograph of Istanbul is enough to turn our heads and make us look twice. But this vast city is much more than just a mesmerising snapshot. Triumphant architecture decorates the skyline, while down below the bustling markets and historic palaces make this city one we’ll never forget. Get to know Turkey’s sparkling capital, one of the jewels in our crown.
Vibrant life from street to street
That excitement emanating from every corner of Istanbul isn’t a secret. It’s well-known for its unique blend of vivacious energy, bright colours and extraordinary places of worship. Citywide, we meet adventure at every turn. The bustling spice-infused markets offer us divine döner and baklava, whilst we hear the buzz of the tea gardens calling us in the distance.
Celebrated for its rich colours, nowhere captures this better than the city’s Grand Bazaar. This has played an important role in the city’s trading for centuries and is home to more than 4,000 stalls – each one telling its own tale for us to explore.
But it’s not just the land that can take our breath away here. Out on the Bosphorus, a private tender boat cruise treats us to Istanbul’s best sights from the open water. We drink in the views of its palaces; from the Dolmabahce imperial white arches to Ciragan’s elegant, marble-laden design.
From afar, the skyline beautifully blends the ancient days of the Ottoman Empire with more modern influences from the many cultures that have found their home here.
Alive at night
And while the sun bounces off the elegant mosques by day, the electric energy lives long into the evening here in the Turkish capital.
Bright lights twinkle upon the water as music fills the streets. The backstreets fizz with friendly locals bartering and bantering in the local meyhanes, and we’re welcomed with open arms for delicious meatball köftes and kumpir – the Turkish twist on the baked potato is a favourite street food amongst locals and travellers alike!
And when we want to dance, we’re not short of options. We let the locals show us how it’s done, as we gaze in awe at a traditional whirling dervish show. The trance-inducing chanting; the grace of the swirling white robes; it’s a spiritual experience that we simply could not miss.
This is a city of abundant culture, breath-taking beauty and pure adventure. Istanbul is huge in scale, and personality. We’ve found a new favourite destination, and we just know this is the city you’ll remember forever.