Best Places for an Istanbul Holiday

Istanbul is a strange and vibrant place that you’ll want to visit, because of the unique influences of 3 different empires.

The first place to visit on your Istanbul holiday is the Hagia Sophia, one of the most beautiful places of worship ever to be built; it used to be the largest cathedral in the world for 1,000 years, until the Seville cathedral was erected in Spain. A masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, Hagia Sophia (Greek for Church of the Holy Wisdom) was converted into a mosque when the Ottomans conquered Constantinople and the 4 minarets were built around the domed structure. The place contains intricate mosaic Christian images that have been restored by experts, after the mosque was converted into a museum in 1935.

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The ultimate place to go shopping on your Istanbul holiday is the Grand Bazaar, which was originally set up to revive the economy of Constantinople, after it was conquered by the Ottomans. Now one of the largest covered markets in the world, the Bazaar is a sprawling shopping palace covering 61 streets, with more than 4,000 shops offering a splendid array of merchandise. Exotic jewellery, fine fabric, handcrafted and detailed goods, as well as designer labels are all in one monumental site for the discriminating buyer to explore.

There are a multitude of restaurants in the city that offer various gourmet cuisines, from Turkish to Middle-Eastern, to French, to Italian; kebab steakhouses and seafood specialties are also here, but the most recommended are 360 Restoran, Naz Turkish Cuisine, Kosebasi, Fancy Restaurant, Chocolate Macka, Beyti, and Mezzaluna.

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