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Istanbul guide to top locations and luxury resorts
Istanbul holidays
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Mix the past with the present, throw in a metropolitan city full of charm, history, cultures and adventure with friendly people you have the magic and mystical Istanbul where East and West meet. There's so much to explore and enjoy in and around Istanbul both for holidays or mini breaks. Fine beaches, mouth watering cuisine and everything you would expect from this vibrant city that hardly ever sleeps. Resorts are more expensive, but so is the quality. We have picked the top hotel resorts in Istanbul with exclusive 5* Eser Diamond Hotel resort, ByOtell, Mercure or Eser Premium. The 4* Hilton Garden, Ramada Encore and 60 others all from under £400 inc flights. Check them out HERE
Sunset over Istanbul
Istanbul
Often mistaken as the capital of Turkey, Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia and is the most populous European city by population within city limits. The Old City is a hybrid of historical cultural influences from the many empires that have ruled here dating back thousands of years, oozing timeless charm and serves as a focal point for an abundance of exciting Turkish holidays. The most notable thing that will really make your holiday in Istanbul are the people who are incredibly friendly and hospitable.

Istanbul's - once named Constantinople - fame as the tale of two cities is very correct as there are two distinctively different parts to the city - the modern and the old. Which makes Istanbul a magnet for so many tourists wanting to explore the different cultures and lifestyles where historic sights of remaining chariot racing arenas and Egyptian obelisks can be witnessed. Ancient rulers have left behind wonderful architecture and domes across the city which has become a cosmopolitan capital of cultural differences and religious communities all mixed in together in a fast paced metropolis. For the explorer there is a wealth of locations with amazing landmarks and awe inspiring views. For the young at heart there's a buzzing vibrant nightlife. For the shopper? Well you are spoilt for choice with streets full of all the things you wish you had and of course the hallways of the Grand Bazaar a maze of covered streets full of kaleidoscope colours and shops.

Outside of the resorts, though tolerant of other cultures, dress code is quite important. Although very westernised, remember it is a predominately Muslim country. So if you plan a day out shopping or exploring then above the knee shorts or very revealing tops are a no no. Traveling around the area is surprisingly easy with many options and plenty of buses, dolmus, trams, the metro and ferries.

There are many beaches within close proximity to Istanbul and a wide variety to suit all. From intimate beaches like Babylon Beach or Uzunya Beach and for lively parties there's Solar Beach, BURC Beach or Aqua Green Beach. While for lazing in the sun there's True Blue Beach, Buyukada Beach, Nakibey Beach - just to name a few.

Costa Blanca (Alicante - Altea - Calpe - Benidorm - Denia - Moraira - San Juan - Torrevieja - Golf Corses) Costa Brava (Blanes - Calella - Catolonia - L'estartit - Loret de Mar - Malgrat de Mar - Pineda de Mar - Roses - Tamariu - Tossa de Mar) Costa del Sol (Benalmadena - Estepona - Malaga - Marbella - Torremolinos) Fuerteventura - Gran Canaria - Ibiza - Lanzarote - Menorca - Tenerife - Algarve - Madeira - Portugal - Turkey - Alanya - Antalya - Beldibi - Belek - Bodrum - Dalaman - Istanbul - Izmir - Side