“If the earth were a single state, Istanbul would be its capital.” Napoleon got a few things wrong but his assessment of this great city is not far from the truth. Empires rise and fall but rarely do they do so from the same seat of power. This bustling metropolis was once the heart of both the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire. Both bestowed a wealth of architectural wonders, culture and tradition that has been woven into the fascinating tapestry that is modern-day Istanbul. Add to that an enviable waterfront location, a culture of hospitality, some outstanding luxury hotels and you’ve got one hell of a holiday destination.

Explore Istanbul

Most visitors will arrive at the new Istanbul Airport, in the European side of the city. As you might expect traffic and navigation of a city this size can be stressful at times, so for a hassle-free experience, we recommend getting around by chauffeur-driven car, or taxi. Helicopter transfers and rides are available. While renting a private boat, yacht or traditional Turkish Gulet is a great way to experience the waters of the Golden Horn or Bosphorus.

Climate & seasons

Summer can be hot and humid with more crowds and higher rates, while winter is cold, rainy and even gets the occasional snow showers. Spring and Autumn have pleasant weather for sightseeing and the crowds are noticeably thinner.

What to do

The list is as long as the city’s history. Delve into a city that blends eastern and western, modern and ancient and serves up a fascinating range of sights and activities. Bargain for carpets or Turkish Delight in the Grand or Spice Bazaars. Wonder at architectural feats in the Old Town, ideally with a knowledgeable local guide at your arm. Indulge in the delights of Turkish cuisine. Treat your tired body to the rejuvenating powers of a traditional Turkish Hammam. If the city gets too much, take to the water in a private yacht or gulet.

Where to go

The city’s Old Town at Sultanahmet and the Bazaar Districts are full of bustle and are home to the majority of Istanbul's biggest attractions. From the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar to the Byzantine wonder of the Hagia Sophia. All are unmissable. For a more relaxed stay crossing the Golden Horn to Besiktas/Sisli is a great option. The fabulous FS Bosphorus is located here. Staying by the coast allows easy access to private boat and yacht trips which are a highly recommended way to a) relax and take in unrivaled views of the Golden Horn and, b) take a visit to the fascinating Asian side of the city.

EliteVoyage Hotel Collection in Istanbul

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