Let’s begin your Istanbul holiday. Are you ready to descend into the mysterious heart of the city formerly known as Constantinople? All you have to do is walk through a very unassuming doorway off of a very unassuming street and go down the rickety staircase to the Basilica Cistern. Scamper around on wooden planks while exploring this 6th-century water reservoir. There’s still standing pools of water down there that are home to several hundred koi fish. Let us not forget to mention the Medusa head pillars and the fact that it was a filming location for a James Bond movie.
If you’d like to escape the crowds of the city for a day, hop on a ferry to the Prices Islands, which lie just off the coast. Motorised travel is banned on the islands, so the only way to get around is by walking, horse carriage or bicycles, which keeps the noise level to a calm minimum. Explore some of the old Ottoman mansions or educate yourself at one of the many museums showcasing the history of development on the islands.
When you travel for Istanbul holidays you go to the Grand Bazaar. Why? Don’t ask why. You just do. There’s 61 covered streets with over 3,000 shops, hence the title “Grand”. If you like to cook back home, there’s no better place to pick up any spice you ever thought existed than this marketplace. Do you want some new decorations for your flat? The intricately crafted Iznik tiles would look great on your mantel. And we know you’re getting sick of that old rug in your living room, so why not get a brand new Turkish carpet? It’ll really tie the place together.
Hungry yet? Of course you are. For breakfast, make your way over to the Fatih district and scarf down a traditional Turkish breakfast of cheese, eggs, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, jam, honey and kaymak. Wash it all down with a cup of tea, of course. When lunchtime rolls around, get one of lastminute.com.au’s awesome Istanbul car hire options and head over to the Karakoy neighbourhood. Order up a plate of pide, commonly referred to as Turkish pizza. For dinner, grab a handful of lamb kebabs from a street vendor and drizzle them with yogurt sauce. Yes, yogurt sauce and lamb kebabs go together perfectly.
If you thought there was no nightlife in this city, you were misguided. After dinner, tuck into a hookah bar to settle the stomach and lighten your head before you enjoy some adult beverages. After that, take a walk along the Bosphorus, where there’s a number of local hotspots. The Cihangir district is another good option for getting your drink on. Just make sure you’re under control—don’t want you to end up an Istanbul drunk tank. If you don’t feel like wandering the city, the hotels you booked with our sweet Istanbul packages will have lobby bars jammed with fellow travellers.
It’s about time for you to leave everything behind and go somewhere. Not forever, but just long enough to take care of the travel bug. Check out these great selections of Istanbul holiday packages and book a trip at the last minute, because spontaneous travel is the best travel!
23 Dec. - 24 Dec.
12 Dec. - 13 Dec.
21 Dec. - 22 Dec.
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