TRY: Turkish lira
Istanbul Holidays 2020
Treat yourself to multi-cultural delights with our exciting Istanbul holidays! This wonderfully varied city is the historic heart of the popular Eurasian destination of Turkey, and has a long heritage on both sides of the Bosphorus. Spanning two continents and endowed with so many diverse and contrasting philosophies, it’s only fitting that Istanbul earned its prestigious title as one of the ‘Cultural Capitals of Europe’ in 2010.
Istanbul is a great choice if you're looking for cheap holidays, with a wealth of sights and souks to explore. We offer an excellent choice of affordable Istanbul city-breaks, as well as all-inclusive hotels and nearby beach resorts.
This is a great destination for any time of the year due to its generally good climate, although you can experience high temperatures between June and September. Visit intricately designed churches and mosques in this divine religious mecca, taking in culture at every turn with the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum and the Grand Bazaar.
Be sure to take some time in a sidewalk café, speaking to the locals and admiring their contagious zest for life while you sip traditional Turkish teas (or coffee) – the famous warmth of Turkish hospitality will make sure all trips to Istanbul are nothing short of wonderful.
Istanbul is great for:
- City breaks - Istanbul is an iconic city in Europe with a rich and colourful history. This is reflected in the architecture of the city, and it’s recommended that you see some of the biggest landmarks, including Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and the Dolmabahçe Palace.
- Cheap holidays - Istanbul is a great destination for a cheap short break, particularly if you’re after a package holiday. Flights are often cheap, and if you're looking for a last minute getaway, Istabul will give you a memorable experience.
- Family holidays - food markets, entertainment parks, ice rinks, cinemas, museums - there’s something for everyone in the city of Istanbul.
Istanbul at a glance
Cultural hotspot not to miss
The Blue Mosque is simply beautiful and an iconic highlight of Istanbul
Check out the Topkapi Palace Museum for a look back into the city's past
Sultunahmet Square is the city's main public square, perfect for walks and admiring the nearby views
Explore the local markets
Check out the Grand Bazaar, one of the oldest and biggest covered markets in the world
Must-visit historical sites
Suleymaniye Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace and Hagia Sophia
Sample the cafe culture
Head down Istiklal Caddesi and stop off in one of the many cafes for a quick brew
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Things to do in Istanbul
There are so many things to do in Istanbul it's hard to limit your choice! But you should certainly visit some of the intricately designed churches and mosques in this amazing city, taking in culture at every turn with the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia Museum and the Grand Bazaar.
The fascinating diversity of Istanbul extends well past its cultural background, with a culinary heritage that takes its influences from nearby Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nations, to create an incredible trans-Eurasian fusion cuisine. Locals take food and drink seriously here, and the restaurants in Istanbul promise to be the best in the country. Fill up on the city’s signature dishes of marvellous mezes, juicy kebabs and succulent seafood while you’re there – you won’t be disappointed!
Be sure to take some time in a pavement café, speaking to the locals and admiring their contagious zest for life while you sip traditional Turkish tea (or coffee). The famous warmth of Turkish hospitality will make sure all trips to Istanbul are nothing short of wonderful!
If you decide to visit in the summer months, some of the best things to do in August include travelling around outside the city. Take an adventure on the historic Silk Road railways, make a splash in the Bosphorus strait (between the Black and Marmara Seas), or take a cruise to the Princes' Islands, with their beautiful old houses and tempting country walks. You can also take a cable car up to the top of Pierre Loti hill, where you can enjoy some splendid views of The Golden Horn whilst sipping a refreshing drink or nibbling a traditional Turkish sweet.
Summers are usually very hot in Istanbul, which lures people out to the cool waters and sandy beaches around the coast.
- Kilyos beaches are the cleanest and most popular in Istanbul, and perfect for youngsters and families. Surrounded by verdant greenery and mountains, this quiet beach creates a perfect atmosphere to relax, but also has plenty of active options, such as sea surfing and other aquatic sports.
- Suma beach offers a lively atmosphere and an artistic community environment, where you can relax in the daytime and and rev up for a vigorous nightlife!
- Burc Beach is one of the most lively of the beaches near Istanbul, and one of the city's top attractions. At weekends, large crowds come to enjoy the water sports on its kilometre of warm sands and huge waves, and it's famed for its kitesurfing.
- If you decide to visit in the summer months, some of the best things to do in August include travelling around outside the city.
- Take an adventure on the historic Silk Road railways – a new section of line just opened runs along the Sea of Marmara.
- Enjoy the sights from shipboard in the Bosphorus strait (between the Black and Marmara Seas).
- Take a cruise to the Princes' Islands, with their beautiful old houses and tempting country walks.
You can also take a cable car up to the top of Pierre Loti hill, where you can enjoy some great views of The Golden Horn while sipping a refreshing drink or nibbling a traditional Turkish sweet.
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