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Istanbul - A tale of two cities

Istanbul, the beautiful capital of Turkey, spoils its visitors with a choice of two sides of the city, the Asian side and the European side, separated by the Bosphorus River. The European side is where you will find the city highlights, including century old markets, elegant mosques, decadent palaces and world-class museums.  And in the Asian side, you will find up and coming neighbourhoods with some of the best restaurants and bars in the city. Brightsun Travel has cheap holidays to Istanbul all year round, featuring short and direct flights from UK, and fantastic hotel stay options across the city. Starting in the Asian side of the city, you could immerse yourself in hipster culture in Kadikoy, and roam street markets by day, and see a ballet performance by night at the Sureyya Opera House. For shopping, you will find plenty of trendy boutiques along Bagdat Avenue in Moda. The Asian side has its fair share of attractions too, including the 19th century Beylerbeyi Palace. Finish your tour at one of the many restaurants along the Bosphorus River and watch the sun set over one of the most beautiful city skylines in the world.

On to the European side of Istanbul, and you could tick off the city’s ‘must-see’ attractions. Start at the Grand Bazaar, a traditional market in Istanbul, then on to the Blue Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most photographed buildings, leaving time for Topkapi Palace, which dates back to the 1400s, and the Basilica Cistern, a magnificent underground palace. Last but not least is Aya Sofya, a beautiful museum dating back as far as 537 AD, offering 300-roomed Harems to explore. Finish your tour of the European side of Istanbul in the neighbourhood of Beyoglu, a place where you will find modern galleries, plus a range of restaurants, bars and clubs along the Istiklal Caddesi Boulevard. And last but not least, make sure you visit the Galata Mevlevi Museum and watch whirling dervishes performing traditional ceremonies in its whirling-dervish hall. When you are ready for a city break in Turkey, contact Brightsun Travel and explore our all inclusive holidays to Istanbul, just a short journey from home.

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