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Istanbul is a city which has seen many names - most famously Byzantium and Constantinople - and a luxury Turkey holiday here is sure to be steeped in fascinating culture. Known as the gateway between Europe and Asia, this captivating metropolis has much to enchant the discerning traveller.

Bustling bazaars offer a great chance to shop for authentic souvenirs; whether that be beautiful Ottoman furniture, or simply some delicious Turkish delight!

History buffs will be in paradise here, with the diverse and turbulent history of Istanbul writ large across the city's architecture. There are endless monuments, museums and mosques to wander in awe. Particular highlights include the iconic Blue Mosque and the majestic Topkapı Palace.

Gastronomes need not fear either, as the rich cultural heritage of this magnificent city has certainly reached its cuisine. Whether dining in a world-class eatery or grabbing a bite at a kebapçıs (kebab restaurant), you'll find plenty of flavoursome fare here.

In all the excitement, don't forget to take a stroll along the picturesque Bosphorus River and take in the vibrant atmosphere of this cosmopolitan city.

Historical buildings in Istanbul

Constructed in 1453, The Topkapi Palace was the residency of Ottoman sultans for nearly 400 years and was the scene of many of the dramas of the Ottoman Empire. A visit to the Topkapi palace, where you can gaze in wonder at the ornately gilded and marbled interiors is well worth your while. Nearby, the Aya Sofya is a grand church from the Byzantine Empire, which has served as a mosque since the fall of Constantinople.

The Blue Mosque, so-called because of the blue Iznik tiles that line the interior walls, is also one of the must-sees of Istanbul.

Istanbul Sightseeing

The Bosphorus river runs through Istanbul from the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, dividing Europe and Asia. Spend an afternoon strolling along the riverbank, or perhaps on a riverboat.

Shopping in Istanbul

A visit to the Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi) is an absolute must. A shopper's paradise since the mid 15th-century, you'll find an Aladdin's cave of jewellery, gems, fabrics, antique carpets, spices, handcrafted pottery and leather goods… the list goes on.