Istanbul Vacations

Today Istanbul remains as one of the world’s greatest cultural landmarks. Historically, the city has acted as the meeting place of eastern and western culture and the sight of countless power struggles throughout history. Straddling the Bosphorus strait connecting the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea, the city once known as Constantinople and ... Read more
Byzantium still stands as the metaphorical bridge between Europe and Asia. In Istanbul you'll see two of the world's most impressive buildings, the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, dominating the landscape with their tall minarets. The nearby Topkapı Palace exudes the grandeur of its former residents, the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Shop at over 4,000 stalls and browse through 550 years of history in the Grand Bazaar. Scrub away your traveler's grime at a local hamam, the Turkish bathhouses known for turning out clean and relaxed patrons. Istanbul's restaurants are legendary, but you needn't even go inside; street food (döner kabobs) is are scattered throughout the city. New stylish hotels in the Old City have added a layer of hip sophistication to this impossibly old city.


Istanbul places to stay and top hotels

Istanbul things to do and experiences

  • Hagia Sophia
    9.4302 reviews
    History Museum
    Popular withHistoryArtsy
  • Topkapı Palace
    9.3159 reviews
    Sights and Museums, History Museum, Historic Site
    Popular withHistoryArtsy
  • Blue Mosque
    9.1229 reviews
    Sights and Museums, Historic Site, Mosque
    Popular withHistoryArtsy
  • Grand Bazaar
    8.6178 reviews
    Shopping, Mall
    Popular withHistoryAdventure




The winter in Istanbul is just a little too cold and snow is a regular possibility, while the summer is a little too hot, which, coupled with muggy humidity and high-season crowds, can make doing things ... Read more
outdoors a little overwhelming (although the former might be worth braving if you are really desperate for a deal). But late spring and early fall are both just right. The pleasant temperatures and lighter crowds are sure to make your time wandering around the city's monuments and bazaars a magical affair. An exciting time to visit, although one that would require booking hotels well in advance, is during the Istanbul Biennial, which takes place every other September - October and celebrates the country with art and performances. Ramadan (dates change annually) is also a festive season, with plenty of excitement and activities after the fast has been broken at sundown.

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Top Istanbul restaurants

  • 360 Istanbul
    8.435 reviews
    Popular withLuxuryNightlife
  • Ciya Sofrasi
    8.920 reviews
    Popular withFoodiesVegetarian
  • Maiden's Tower
    9.618 reviews
    Turkish, Bar
    Popular withHistoryBackpackers
  • Pierre Loti
    8.812 reviews
    Popular withHistoryBackpackers

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Istanbul reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 9.2
  • 8.8
    Family Travelers
  • 7.2
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 7.1
    Adventure Travelers

Member Reviews(1015)

Write a review

Travelling to a place with a GPS and seeing so much different historical building and walking from morning to night. The people, culture, surroundings was amazing and I felt like i was being respected and accepted into a society that is different from mine.

Recommended for:Family TravelersBackpackersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers

It was budget friendly,fair taxi prices,food is affordable, tourist areas in Sultan Ahmet are walking distances, nice to take pictures,Grand Bazaar was nice and places to shop for everything. I would like to visit for a few days another time

Recommended for:Budget Travelers

I loved it! My favorite area is sultanahmet early in the morning before tourists crowd the place. It's magical

Recommended for:Family TravelersFoodiesHistory Buffs

I spent 4 days there, for my SAT exam, l really enjoyed the culture and the history, street food was great and people were so kind, I definitely recommend visiting Istanbul to everyone, especially people who like history

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersHistory BuffsAdventure Travelers

Everyone will fall in love with Turkey. An absolute location for your holiday

Recommended for:FoodiesHistory BuffsNightlife LoversSpiritual Seekers

Value for money! Even if you stay two weeks or more you have always something new to explore. Magnificent city, you feel welcome all the time. City that you will return in for certain.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFoodiesHistory BuffsNightlife Lovers

I’ve been to Istanbul a few times now but always in December/January and even though it’s freezing cold, its so beautiful. There’s so much history to discover, the breathtaking nature and the amazing food. So worth to visit

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersFoodiesHistory Buffs

Turkish people very very kind.I felt very safe in Turkey.We stayed in Hilton hotel and we had the best experience.

Recommended for:Business TravelersWellnessLuxury TravelersAdventure Travelers

Too many histories to embrace and learn. And I love the cats. They are everywhere and very lovely!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersFamily Travelers

The best city to shopping in Europe and Middle East especially for Muslim women’s

Recommended for:Budget TravelersFamily TravelersFoodiesHistory Buffs