As Istanbul is the main hub of Turkish Airlines, it is the first stop on almost all of their long distance flights, so why not take the opportunity to explore the mysteries of Istanbul? No reason to hang around at the airport when you can be off exploring!
Istanbul is located right at the meeting point between Asia and Europe, where the East meets the West. As the center of the ancient world, Istanbul continues to serve as a bridge between two different cultural traditions. The result is a mesmerizing city of contrasts, where you can visit the beautiful Hagia Sophia (a former church, turned mosque, turned museum) and then explore the gorgeous Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Also, make sure you don’t miss the stunning Topkapı palace, home to Turkeys famous gem covered Topkapı Dagger, and to the pear-shaped 86 carat Spoonmaker's Diamond – The world’s fifth biggest diamond!
For history buffs, Istanbul has a lot to offer. As the former center of the ancient world and capitol of the Ottoman Empire, Istanbul’s history is long and rich, stretching back all the way to 600 B.C. In Istanbul’s old-city, Sultanahmet, old castle ruins and glamorous palaces tell the stories of the ancient Sultans, their harems, and life in the golden age of Istanbul. After learning about Istanbul’s fascinating history, it is time for some food, and what better than having a real kebab in its country of origin! We can guarantee you that the kebabs you have tasted at home will bleach in comparison to the real deal. Go all the way inn and finish off your meal with some Turkish Delights before you move on.
A visit to Istanbul is not complete without a round at the Grand Bazaar. It is one of the biggest and oldest bazaars in the world, and a visit here will really make you feel like you have travelled years back in time. Have a chat with the sellers and put your haggling skills to work.
Before you head off to the airport and hop on your next flight, make sure you have enough time to stop buy a Hammam (Turkish bath). This is a truly pleasant and relaxing experience, perfect after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.
After a stopover in Istanbul, it is time to continue on your journey to your final destination. Turkish Airlines flies to a broad range of destinations all over the world and offers great value for money on flights to Africa and Asia.
So where do you want to go next? How about Cape Town or Dar es Salaam? Both cities are great starting points for a real African adventure, weather you wish to go on a safari, learn how to dive, or both! If Asia is more your thing, you can hop on a flight to Kuala Lumpur, a great starting point for round trips in Asia. Or how about fulfilling the ultimate dream of going to the Maldives? With Turkish Airlines, anything is possible!