Always the Best Of Two Worlds and More

If there’s one thing to be said about this amazing city in Turkey, it’s that this is the doorway to the best of everything! The best sights (natural and man-made), the best food (traditional and foreign-influenced), and the best hotels – in Istanbul you always have a choice!

The Best Of Asia and Europe

The first thing you’ll learn about this fascinating destination is that it is the only city in the world that has its feet planted on two distinct continents: Asia and Europe. This makes for a diverse array of options within reach from wherever you may be staying among the best hotels. In Istanbul, the endlessly fascinating contradictions are what characterises a wonderful holiday: the old world sophistication and modern hubbub from Europe, and the ancient traditions and modern technological developments of Asia. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix of experiences.

The best way to experience all of this is with a boat ride down the Bosphorus strait. Considered to be the lifeblood and heart of the city, this is where old wooden trawlers float alongside millionaires’ pleasure boats from the Mediterranean to the Orient. Along the shoreline are many charming wooden mansions known as ‘yali”, some of which have been turned into the city’s best hotels. In Istanbul, Zeki Pasa Yalisi, built by Ottoman-French architect Alexandre Vallaury, is one of the most magnificent mansions along Bosphorus-and one of the few made of masonry.

The Best Of Old And New

The remnants of the ancient cultures of Turkey, alongside the newest most modern sights are always exceptionally easy to get to from the best hotels in Istanbul. One can take in the ruins of a 4th century hippodrome then simply walk over to the two most high profile sights in the city, the Aya Sofia (Hagia Sofia) and the Blue Mosque.

Aya Sofia, one of the greatest places of worship – and for a time the biggest building anywhere in the world – is a building where symbols of two faiths, Christianity and Islam are housed side by side. It’s an emotionally impactful symbol of peace and tolerance much needed in today’s world.

There are also some excellent contemporary sights to see. The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art for instance, is an amazingly building with its breezy white spaces, a bustling bookshop and theatre showing local films. Another icon, Santral, opened in 2007 right where the Ottoman Empire’s first power station used to be. It is now the location of a modern art museum, an energy museum, modern concert halls and a public library.

The Best Of Bazaars and Boutiques

The Grand Bazaar, of course, is Turkish shopping at best. The 500-year-old Grand Bazaar is massive and inside this amazing place is all the magic of Turkey and its variegated cultures, including carpets, calligraphy, amazing jewellery and more.