Cruise the Bosphorus and see where east meets west in Istanbul
The intriguing city of Istanbul is where the continents of Asia and Europe collide. A crucial staging post along the Silk Road brought this Turkish city the cultural diversity we see today. Straddled between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, Istanbul is home to 15 million people and is the only city in the world spanning two continents.
The best way to get a sense of its unique location is with a cruise along the Bosphorus strait which marks the divide between east and west. From these waters you can view the city skyline of minarets and mosques along with yalis (seafront mansions). The grand Suleyman Mosque perches high on the third hill of Istanbul’s seven and dominates the skyline of the Golden Horn. Monuments not to be missed include; the Blue Mosque and the beautiful domed basilica of Aya Sofya with its rich religious history reflecting in its glittering gold mosaics. The opulent Topkapı Palace provides you with a glimpse of the Ottoman empire.
The labyrinth of alleyways of the Grand Bazaar lies in the heart of the walled Old City. Meet local artisans, sip Turkish coffee and haggle over the price of onyx jewellery or silk carpets. The covered bazaar dates to 1461 and is one of the best places to watch the hustle of daily life. No visit to Istanbul would be complete without indulging in a traditional Turkish bath. Join locals under the sweeping domes in one of the many hamams dotted around this vibrant city.