Treat yourself with a pleasant trip to one of the most visited cities in the world: Istanbul, Turkey.
This enigmatic city is full of history, as in the past it was the capital of three empires: The Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman, being known as the ancient Constantinople.
Two natural landscapes make the visit to this destination unique: the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.
Today, the population of Istanbul is over 15 million inhabitants and is Turkey’s largest city. Located on the European border, it maintains aspects of two cultures: The Western and The Middle Eastern.
Visiting Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, sailing the Bosphorus canal by boat, bargain in the Grand Bazaar and see the reflection of the maximum splendor of the Ottoman Empire in Topkapi Palace: pamper yourself, as it is something that every traveler has ever wanted in their lives.
Here is the list of sites that you cannot miss during your visit:
Hagia Sophia – The AyaSofya, as the Turks call it, has to be one of the most impressive attractions in the city, and probably in the world. This structure was originally from the time of the Eastern Roman Empire, but was later converted into a mosque during the time when Islamic rules dominated. It is currently a museum with a fantastic collection of mosaics within a masterpiece of Roman engineering.
Topkapi Palace – it is another key site, which was the original palace for the Ottoman Sultans. After touring it, you can visit the Archeology Museum, where there is one of the best collections of articles in exhibition in the world, with an extensive collection of the Mesopotamian Region.
Blue Mosque – It is the most important mosque in Istanbul. Its name in Turkish is Sultanahmed Camii, Mosque of Sultan Ahmed, since it was built by Sultan Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616. It was inaugurated in 1617, during the mandate of Mustafa I. There are over 20,000 blue tiles adorning the dome and the top of the mosque. All the tiles were taken from the city of Iznik (Nicea). The lighting of the mosque comes from the more than 200 stained glass windows and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
Turkish Baths – Suleymaniye Hamam has 450 years of history, being the oldest. The venue is located at the foot of the Suleymaniye Mosque, and it is considered to be part of it. It was built in 1557, during the mandate of Suleiman the Magnificent, and designed by Sinan as part of the complex that included the mosque itself and some other constructions such as a hospital and an elementary school.
Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art – The museum’s collection consists of over 40,000 objects of various categories: carpets, ceramics, sculptures, sarcophagi and even diverse versions of the Koran and lecterns to read them. One of the objects that caught our attention was the Gate of the Great Mosque of Cizre. In addition to the collection of objects, in the museum there is a small and interesting ethnological section where you will be able to see recreations of daily life in different geographical and momentary points of Turkey.
Treat yourself with the utmost comfort and resting
With your vacation credits from your Royal Holiday membership, you can book your stay nearby at the Senator hotel, which is located in the old town and a few steps from the main sites of historical and tourist interest. Indulge yourself in great rooms with air conditioning, carpets, satellite TV, radio and telephone. The beautiful and elegant facilities that complement this fabulous alternative include jacuzzi, sauna, gym, cafeteria, playroom, safety box, conference room, laundry service, a historic restaurant with international and Turkish cuisine. An absolute delight for you. Ask your holiday advisor the availability of dates to book.