Monday, September 28, 2020


Mix of old and new
June 2010 1423

ISTANBUL is a city that can offer just about anything a traveller could want, from history dating back to the Roman and Ottman empires to the trendiest of night clubs.

The city has various districts including Sultanahmet, the old city, where most of the historical sites are located, the new city, which is the main business district and home to many modern shopping malls, and the European bank of the Bosphorus dotted with palaces, parks, waterfront mansions and Bohemian neighbourhoods.

The archipelago of nine Princes Islands, with their verdant pine forests and spectacular scenery, provides an excellent getaway from the city.

Istanbul offers a wealth of historic and religious sites to visit mostly dating back to the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Sultanahmet Mosque are located around Sultanahmet Square. Others are dispersed throughout the peninsula of the old city such as the Church of St Savior in Chora (Kariye Müzesi).

North of the peninsula, across the Golden Horn of the Bosphorus Strait, is Galata, crowned by the Galata Tower. Istanbul Modern, with its exhibitions of contemporary Turkish art, is on the nearby waterfront of Karaköy. Close by is the Galata Whirling Dervish Hall of the Sufi Mevlevi order and heading west takes you deeper into the estuary to the neighbourhood of Eyüp, home to the city’s holiest Islamic shrine.

And don’t forget, one ‘must-do’ while visiting Istanbul is a cruise on the Bosphorus where you will cross from Europe into Asia.

Turkish Airlines flies to Istanbul daily from most Middle East cities on comfortable, narrow-bodied aircraft with a two-class configuration – business and economy.

Check in is quick and efficient and those travelling business class have access to lounges at both ends with the one in Istanbul offering relaxation rooms, massage chairs, gender-based prayer rooms, showers with special toiletry kits, a play room for children and a private infant room as well as the usual amenities of business centre, meeting room and an array of food and drinks.

All the Middle East regional carriers also fly into Istanbul.

By Kim Thomson


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