What to see
It’s impossible to miss Taksim Square, since it’s the city’s transport hub. Once you’re here though, you may find it hard to leave. Home to numerous art galleries, books shops, luxury stores, jazz clubs and cafes, there’s no shortage of things to do.
The largest and oldest bazaar in Turkey houses over 3,000 shops, which line over 61 covered streets. The Grand Bazaar is great place to shop for jewellery, furniture and carpets, while the 553-year-old structure offers a fascinating ancient-market experience.
Having been a basilica, then a church, then a mosque before finally becoming a museum, the Hagia Sophia is draped in history and is well worth a visit.
Where to eat
Divanyolu St. Haci Tahsinbey Sultanahmet t. 90 212 522 9191 www.karadenizpide.net
Abdi Ipekci Cad. Milli Reasürans Carsisi No. 63 D:66 Nisantasi, Sisli
t. 90 212 265 4734 www.asskkahve.com
Kumbaraci Yokusu 57/6 Tünel Beyoglu t. 90 212 293 4989 www.lebiderya.com
Where to stay
Ebusud Cad. Mehmet Murat Sok No. 4 Sirkeci 34110
t. 90 212 528 0806 www.hotelsultania.com
Nobethane Cad. Darussade Sok No.5 Sirkeci – Fatih
t. 90 212 522 2550 www.hotelprince.com
Grand Hyatt Istanbul
Taskisla Caddesi, Taksim, 34437 t. 90 212 368 1234 www.istanbul.grand.hyatt.com
How to get there
Garuda Indonesia codeshares with Turkish Airlines, which flies the Istanbul-Jakarta route vv seven times per week. The best way to get from Ataturk International Airport into the city centre is via the city’s metro system, which you’ll find a mere ten-minutes walk from the baggage-claim hall.
Photography: gettyimages (1), jan dekker (2)