Istanbul in depth

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Fascinating Istanbul is the gateway between East and West, sheltering centuries of learning and culture. Armed with a local guide, wander its streets and discover the ancient Byzantine and Ottoman history of the metropolis, as well as its dynamic modern sophistication. From the expansive blue domes of this city's famed mosque to the labyrinthine alleys of the medieval Grand Bazaar and the haunting beauty of the Aya Sofya, Istanbul will knock your socks off with its spectacular sights while seducing you with its infectious hospitality. This is one city break that will be truly unforgettable.

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Istanbul

Unearth the treasures of one of the greatest cities on earth on this Istanbul short break. From the grandeur of treasured buildings, to vibrant, spice-scented markets and cutting-edge nightlife, Istanbul is a tantalising mix of modern zeal and old world mystique. Joining forces with a local guide, journey through Sultanahmet to the magnificent Blue Mosque. Its domed ceilings and spires cast an unforgettable impression onto the city skyline. Mingle with enthusiastic vendors on a stroll through the cavernous Grand Bazaar, take time out to explore the impressive Suleymaniye and Rustem Pasha mosques, delve into the many sights and delights of the Spice Bazaar and be awed on a visit to Aya Sofya and Topkapi Palace. After working up an appetite it is time to experience authentic Turkish hospitality over a delicious home-cooked meal with a local family. Cap off the day by soaking up views of this intoxicating city from a popular local hangout.

Day 2 Depart Istanbul

Start the day with an invigorating body scrub at a traditional hamam before setting out to discover some lesser-known sights of this great city. Be immersed in modern-day Istanbul on a walking tour through the artisan neighbourhoods of Taksim and Beyoglu, known for their fashion, art and food, then step into the past in the narrow streets and quiet courtyards of Pera. Visit Armenian, Greek and Catholic churches before winding up this two-day city break with a visit to a Turkish coffee house. If time permits, why not stay on to visit the eerie underground Basilica Cistern?

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