Itinerary Highlights
    • Cruise along the Bosphorus at sunset
    • Hunt for treasure at the Grand Bazaar
    • Discover the history of Istanbul’s Ottoman sultans on a walking tour of the Sultanahmet and Topkapi Palace
    • Get arty at an ebru (paper marbling) workshop

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Istanbul may not spring to mind when you think of family Big Short Breaks, but it should. The only major city to straddle two continents, it delivers big in history, views and culture. Once the seat of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, it has more top-notch attractions than it has minarets (and that's a lot). Its skyline is studded with intricate domes and imperial minarets, while its ground is packed with quirky neighbourhoods, grand markets and an old town so remarkable that UNESCO deemed it an archaeological park. So trust us when we say this five-day break promises to capture the imagination of even the most jaded teenage traveller.

Make lifelong memories on a cruise along the Bosphorus at sunset, hunt for hidden treasure in the Grand Bazaar and get your hands dirty learning the art of ebru design.
And when you’ve had enough culture for the day, head to Maçka Park for a dose of fresh air. Stretch your legs around Karaköy, a once-port-turned-hipster-haven neighbourhood, and stop by a few of its chic cafes for freshly made baklava. Come nightfall, you’ll have a whole host of family-friendly restaurants to choose from. And if you’re struggling to choose, just ask your resident Concierge. That’s what they’re there for.


Everything is 100% tailored to you


Rise and shine. Today’s an early (but exciting one) as you head to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Enjoy all the perks of our airport assistance and access to the lounge while you wait. Once you’ve landed in Istanbul (just a four-hour flight from Blighty), you’ll be whisked away in a private transfer to your hotel.

Once at your hotel, in the trendy Karaköy district, you’ll have the rest of the day to explore the city. Snack on classic sweets at Altan Sekerleme, admire the blooming tulips at Gülhane Park (season dependent, of course) or treat the family to some retail therapy in Nisantasi, one of Istanbul’s more affluent neighbourhoods. In the evening, we recommend heading to Roof Mezze 360 where 360° rooftop views promise to impress the most jaded teenager.



After a breakfast of champions, comprised of cured meats, cucumbers, eggs, fresh cheeses and bread, you’ll head to the Grand Bazaar for a tour and exhilarating treasure hunt. Armed with a map, a camera and a few pennies, your ‘mission’ (should you choose to accept it) is to use clues to find, barter and buy items renowned in the Bazaar.

If, after lunch, your young travellers still have steam they need to blow off, head to Maçka Park. A slender green oasis in central Istanbul, it's beloved by locals seeking respite from the city’s crowds and chaos. There’s a children’s playground and adult outdoor exercise machines so all the family can get in on the action.

Don’t work out too hard, though. By 5pm you’ll be back in the cool and quirky Karaköy, for a trip on the Bosphorus strait just in time for sunset. Sail past the Dolmabahce and Beylerbeyi palaces and Galatasaray University, discovering their histories and secrets with a knowledgeable English-speaking guide en route. Toast the cruise with a glass of wine before winding your way to another of Istanbul’s esteemed restaurants for mouthwatering meze and pistachio baklava.



Ignite you and your children’s inner historian on a day-long tour of the Cistern Basilica and Topkapi Palace. The subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together, you’ll take a deep dive into the lives of lascivious sultans, ambitious courtiers, beautiful concubines and scheming eunuchs at the palace. Ogle at opulent pavilions, once haute harems and a jewel-filled treasury at Topkapi, and discover the underground Byzantine cistern, which dates back to the sixth century. Afterwards, we recommend simply wandering around the Sultanahmet (old town), soaking up the city’s glorious past.



Spend today learning about Turkey’s traditions, including ebru or Turkish paper marbling. Spend the morning learning the unique techniques of this UNESCO-listed art form that dates back to Ottoman times. Create your own colour patterns and leave with the ultimate souvenir – a beautiful, self-created piece of art.

Reward your efforts with a trip to the Turkish Kili Ali Pasa Hamami in the city’s busy waterfront district, Tophane. The hammam is known for its majestic dome, which stands at 59ft tall, but the main event is its heated marble slab, scrub and bubble massage. And with your complimentary slippers, sponge, soap, olive oil and lotion, it’ll be tough leaving here not feeling completely relaxed. Come nightfall, it’s all about Bomonti. Join locals at its bohemian arts, music and entertainment hub. Grab a pint at its Populist brewpub and order some street food favourites from its market.



Enjoy your final morning in Istanbul sauntering around Kadiköy’s colourful street market. Pop your head into its small independent art galleries and hip boutiques (if the children allow) and stop, one last time, to admire the view from the long waterfront park’s promenade. From there, you’ll be privately transferred back to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The cost for this trip starts from £1,530 to £2,100 per person.

The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote.

The average starting price for this trip is £1,800 per person.
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