Magical Istanbul is divided by the Bosphorus and straddles two continents, Asia and Europe. This ancient city is packed with Ottoman and Byzantine treasures, but make time to explore Istanbul's new town as well. A cruise along the Bosphorus is another unforgettable experience here.
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- Spend a day visiting the Old Town's biggest sights: Aya Sofya, once the cathedral of Constantinople; the iconic Blue Mosque; and Topkapi Palace, which holds a trove of Islamic art, jewels, and decor.
- Explore Beyoğlu, Istanbul's fashionable new town. You'll find elegant buildings and sophisticated cafés and shops. Don't miss the Pera Museum that highlights European and Ottoman artists.
- Flex your bargaining skills at the enormous Grand Bazaar, where you'll find everything from spices to rugs and antiques.
- The Istanbul International Film Festival is held each April.
- Mid-June is the month-long Istanbul Arts Festival, Turkey's premier cultural event.
- The Prince's Islands, 12 mi/19 km off the coast, are green, car-less, and quiet.
- Take a day cruise along the Bosphorus.
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