Istanbul is a city with two faces; old Istanbul still holds on to the traditions of Islam, while modern Istanbul is becoming home to trendy and contemporary clubs and bars.


Due to its long history of Islam, there are a large number of mosques in Istanbul. The most important and popular of these is the Blue Mosque. Istanbul has been a place of conflict for Christianity and Islam for centuries, and to mirror this, another very important attraction is the Christian Hagia Sophia. Both religious buildings are beautifully decorated and impressive to look at.

Ibrahim Pasa is a former sultan’s palace which is now used to house the Turkish and Islamic Art Museum. The Topkapi Palace Museum is another museum to visit. Its excellent hilltop location provides spectacular views over the city.


For more traditional style Turkish shopping, head to the Kapali Carsi in old Istanbul. This covered bazaar is home to over 4000 shops selling everything from traditional Turkish products such as carpets and leather, to souvenirs and everyday goods.

Clothes shoppers should check out Nisantasi, and those looking for Turkish food should go to Misir ÇarSiss. Istanbul is an antique collector’s paradise. The district of Beyoglu is home to a huge number of antiques shops.

Nightlife and Eating out

The main districts for nightlife in Istanbul are Beyoglu and Ortaköy. Beyoglu in particular is a very modern and trendy part of Istanbul, and is favoured by younger generations looking for a good night out. In terms of eating out, fish is very popular in most restaurants, as are kebabs. Many of Istanbul’s good restaurants can be found in trendy Beyoglu. There are also excellent open-air restaurants along the water overlooking Bosphorus.

Tourist Information

Istanbul TICAtatürk Hava Limanı içi -Yeşilköy İSTANBULTel: +90 (212)5 734


Istanbul Airport is situated close to Istanbul city centre, and offers flights to most major international destinations.