Top Reasons to Go

Change continents: Spend the morning in Europe and the afternoon in Asia, with just a ferry ride in between; how cosmopolitan is that?

Cruise the Bosphorus: Taking a boat ride up the strait, past scenic waterfront neighborhoods, forested slopes, and fortresses, is quintessentially Istanbul.

Haggle in the bazaars: Bargain like the locals do as you make your way through the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar—these markets may be touristy, but it’s still fun.

Marvel at ancient domes: From the stunning Aya Sofya to the graceful Süleymaniye Mosque, the city’s greatest works of imperial architecture never cease to impress, especially from the inside as you look up.

Ogle at opulence: With their sumptuous decor and fascinating harem quarters, the Topkapı and Dolmabahçe palaces offer a glimpse of the splendor of the Ottoman Empire.

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