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Istanbul
Travel Guide

Istanbul showing a sunset, heritage architecture and mist or fog

A delightful fusion of European and Asian culture awaits in the capital of Turkey. A fantastic array of historic buildings intersperse a dynamic, modern city.

Istanbul offers the best of old and new, of both East and West. Shoppers will be kept occupied by the best department stores and luxury boutiques, while the city also displays its rich heritage with the many bazaars, mosques, and palaces. The warm climate of the eastern Mediterranean makes this a very easy place to enjoy and to fall in love with.

Historically, Istanbul is identified as the point where Europe meets Asia, at the crossing of the Bosphurus Strait, and has a population of over 13 million people. It was also the centre of power for the Byzantine Empire. More recently the Ottoman Empire, whose rule stretched at one point from Persia to the gates of Vienna, made it its capital. Ottoman rule was in turn succeeded by the establishment of modern-day Turkey in 1923.

All of this rich history is reflected in the complex and fascinating development of the city's diverse built heritage. First on many itineraries is a visit to the Old City where you'll trace the repeated rises and falls of Istanbul and its empires among the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), Topkapi Palace (Topkapı Sarayı), the Hippodrome (Hipodrom) and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque). The Galata Tower (Galata Kulesi) – a survivor from the 14th century – offers views over these and much of the other architecture of interest throughout the city. The Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Carsı) is the beating heart of life here, and is also a wonderful place to pick up souvenirs. Miniaturk allows you to see the city in miniature, while you can enjoy some well-earned cool chillout time at the underground Basilica Cistern.

Crossing the straits into the New City, you are met by a very different experience – modern-day Turkey. Contemporary Western design is to be found in the many skyscrapers, the shopping areas and the vibrant nightclubs. Taksim Square is the centre of this part of the city, with business executives rubbing shoulders with the cool young people of Istanbul.

Public transport is very easily accessible – an Istanbulkart allows you access to it all. Make good use of it, and see the Beylerbeyi Palace from the ferry across the Bosphurus Strait.

Istanbul offers centuries of history and change, alongside all of the conveniences and attractions of a modern city. The past and the present are linked in this fascinating melting pot of cultures.

Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center
Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center
5 out of 5
Silahsor Cad. No: 42 Bomonti Sisli, Istanbul, Istanbul
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is RM416 per night from 11 May to 12 May
Located in Sisli, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Bomontiada, City's Nişantaşı Shopping Center and Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment Centre. ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,056 reviews)
"Thanks for good service good stuff friendly"

Reviewed on 4 Apr 2021

Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
5 out of 5
Visnezade Mah. Acisu Sok. NO. 19, Macka Besiktas, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM945 per night from 19 Apr to 20 Apr
This family-friendly Istanbul hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of City's Nişantaşı Shopping Center, Dolmabahce Palace and Taksim ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (948 reviews)
"Everything was amazing. Staff was very friendly and nice."

Reviewed on 16 Apr 2021

Swissotel The Bosphorus Istanbul
YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE
YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE
Tayakadin Mah. Terminal Cad. No.1, Arnavutkoy, Arnavutkoy, Istanbul
The price is RM742 per night from 19 Apr to 20 Apr
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 20 miles (32 km) of Belgrad Forest, Mall of Istanbul and Kilyos Beach. Venezia Mega Outlet and Isfanbul Theme ...
4.2/5Very Good! (340 reviews)
"When I arrived I checked in quickly"

Reviewed on 9 Apr 2021

YOTELAIR Istanbul Airport AIRSIDE
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Radisson Residences Avrupa TEM Istanbul
Radisson Residences Avrupa TEM Istanbul
Karayollari Mh. Abdi Ipekci Cad. No: 30, Kucukkoy Gaziosmanpasa, Istanbul, Istanbul
The price is RM498 per night from 22 Apr to 23 Apr
This family-friendly Istanbul aparthotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Isfanbul Theme Park and Venezia Mega Outlet. Miniaturk and Vadistanbul ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (87 reviews)
Brilliant stay and stafg
"I needed to stay somewhere out of the UK and Europe for 14 days and could not have asked for more. Staff were amazing, very friendly, organised a coronavirus test for me in my room (precautionary before onward travel), house keeping were brilliant, nothing was a problem for them. Room was great, ..."

Reviewed on 26 Sep 2020

Radisson Residences Avrupa TEM Istanbul
Radisson Residences Vadistanbul
Radisson Residences Vadistanbul
Ayazaga Mah, Kemerburgaz St 6A No.7V/101, Sariyer, Istanbul
The price is RM613 per night from 20 Apr to 21 Apr
Situated in the mountains, this aparthotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Vadistanbul AVM and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Istinye Park. Istanbul Cevahir Shopping and Entertainment ...
4.2/5Excellent! (52 reviews)
Best experience in Covid situation
"This hotel is amazing, Nice Team , there is professional front desk staff , good welcome , really clean and safe , disinfectant spray every where, even in your room , good location , 3 minutes to mall"

Reviewed on 14 Jan 2021

Radisson Residences Vadistanbul
Somerset Maslak Istanbul
Somerset Maslak Istanbul
Maslak 1453, Maslak District, Sogut Street No:20AA C15, Sariyer
The price is RM458 per night from 15 May to 16 May
Located in Maslak, this aparthotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Belgrad Forest, and within 9 mi (15 km) of Bosphorus Bridge and Dolmabahce Palace. Taksim Square and ...
4.3/5Excellent! (72 reviews)
Perfectly Splendid!
"It was an amazing stay , so comfortable, clean easy going. Helpful staff and very lovely facility and I would definitely be back every week if I could"

Reviewed on 2 Dec 2020

Somerset Maslak Istanbul
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Istanbul

Top things to do in Istanbul

Reviews of Istanbul

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
1220
5 - Excellent 67.96657381615599%
4 - Good
453
4 - Good 25.23676880222841%
3 - Okay
91
3 - Okay 5.069637883008356%
2 - Disappointing
11
2 - Disappointing 0.6128133704735376%
1 - Terrible
20
1 - Terrible 1.1142061281337048%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Mar 2020

Beautiful city and people very nice.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

19 Mar 2020

Not too much to do as you can see all sights in 2-3 days. But nice place to go and relax

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

18 Mar 2020

One of the best city breaks we have made helped by the staff of the hotel highlighting the city attractions and areas of interest.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

17 Mar 2020

Very nice place and people

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

12 Mar 2020

I recommend this hotel to anyone , Istanbul is a great city

5/5 - Excellent

Debra

9 Mar 2020

Istanbul is a very unique city. It is modern and traditional and is able to fuze the two elements beautifully. Turkish people are really friendly, welcoming and helpful. A great city which offers many great site seeing places to see.