What to see

Taksim Square

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.

Grand Bazaar

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.

Hagia Sophia

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

Karadeniz

Divanyolu St. Haci Tahsinbey Sultanahmet t. 90 212 522 9191 www.karadenizpide.net

Asskkaahve

Abdi Ipekci Cad. Milli Reasürans Carsisi No. 63 D:66 Nisantasi, Sisli
t. 90 212 265 4734 www.asskkahve.com

Leb-i derya

Kumbaraci Yokusu 57/6 Tünel Beyoglu t. 90 212 293 4989 www.lebiderya.com

Where to stay

Hotel Sultania

Ebusud Cad. Mehmet Murat Sok No. 4 Sirkeci 34110
t. 90 212 528 0806 www.hotelsultania.com

Hotel Prince

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)