IstanbulThe gate between Europe and Asia for more than 1000 years.
Istanbul is where east meets west, and the resulting cultural collision is on dazzling display.
Turkish and Islamic traditions mix with European architecture and a healthy dose of Hollywood glitz to create a city that is utterly unique. The Grand Bazaar is the perfect place to start, with its labyrinthine streets lined with carpet sellers, jewellers and spice merchants. Don’t miss the Blue Mosque, with its six minarets and hypnotic interior, or the Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine cathedral that was later turned into a mosque and is now a museum. Take a break in one of the city’s many tea gardens, and enjoy a game of backgammon while watching the world go by. When night falls, head to the lively Beyoğlu district for a taste of Istanbul’s legendary nightlife.