A Luxury City Break to Istanbul

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What we came up with

Istanbul, the only city on earth that spans two continents, is home to - officially - 12 million souls, living on the European and Asian shores of that most strategic of waterways, the Bosphorus. Some say the population figure is more like 20 million, but whatever the number, it's easy to see the attraction, and whether you visit for the antiquity of ancient Constantinople or the happening nightlife scene of Turkey's contemporary capital, a luxury city break to Istanbul should appeal to all.

— Harriet, Original Travel Expert

Itinerary Highlights

  • Arrive into Istanbul and check in at your hotel. We have a range of accommodation in the city catering to most budgets and, in a city that can be difficult to navigate, different districts. We recommend The House Hotel Karakoy as a central and well-priced option. We will also provide you with an up to date and detailed Dossier on Istanbul, listing our recommendations for where to visit, eat, drink and shop in the city.
  • On your first full day, you really need to concentrate on Sultanahmet. Despite the city's size, the vast majority of the 'mustn't miss' sites are conveniently located in this area. We can arrange for an expert local guide who can tailor a tour dependant on your particular interests (Byzantine history, Ottoman architecture, shopping in the bazaars, food - you name it) or who will just to bring this extraordinary city even more dramatically to life on a tour of the classic sites, such as the Topkapi Palace (particularly the harem), the ancient and awe-inspiring one-time church and mosque and now museum of Aya Sofia, the Blue Mosque and finally the Basilica Cistern.
  • The next day it is worth heading a bit further afield to the Bazaar District, walking through the Grand Bazaar down to the Spice Bazaar, into the 'New' (built in 1660) Mosque and across the Galata Bridge, past the fish market (on the west side of the north end of the bridge) and finishing at the Galata Tower. Again we can arrange for a guide, but today that might not be necessary. If nightlife is on the agenda, the happening areas are Beyoglu and Nisantasi and we can book a table in the restaurant du jour .
  • The next day, it's time to take to the waters that have made the city such a strategic location for millennia. Take a ferry up the Bosphorus (get there at least 45 minutes beforehand to guarantee a seat outside, and preferably on the port side) passing the amazing Ortokoy Mosque, The Fortress of Europe, and possibly coming back by cab to have lunch in Bebek. Alternatively, take a ferry in the opposite direction to the car-free Princes' Islands to get away from the hubbub of the city itself.
  • On your final day, ideally you would have an afternoon flight and can relax at the hotel, catch up on some last minute shopping and enjoy one last lunch in a local restaurant before a private transfer back to the airport and an early evening flight back to the UK.

A rough idea of price

A similar itinerary would cost from £1,975 per person, which includes flights, accommodation at Vault Karakoy and private transfers, but not the organised trips as described. Please note that prices can fluctuate dependent upon season and international flight availability.

A note about prices

The guide prices shown are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip. Prices are generally for private arrangements using economy flights based on two people travelling together and sharing a room. There are a number of factors which will influence the price; these include the standard of accommodation, the season, the class of flights, the airline used and the level of private guiding versus shared excursions.

Key Stats

Spring and Autumn
Couples and groups of friends


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Harriet, Kate L and Molly are our Turkey experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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