Once known as Constantinople, Istanbul is the city that sits astride two continents. Airfare to Istanbul lands in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Inside the airport you’ll find food, banks and currency exchange, wi-fi, and almost anything you need. But there would be little reason to visit Istanbul if you plan to stay in the airport. Transportation from the airport includes buses, the metro, taxis, or rental cars. Some visitors may not need transportation, as there is a hotel right in the airport.
Even if you are staying in the airport hotel after your Istanbul flight, you’ll want to visit the city at some point. There are two areas that you are most likely to spend your time in: Beyoglu and Sultanahmet. Both are ideal for foot travel. For other locations you have several options. The first and cheapest is public transportation on buses, sea buses, and the metro. You can purchase an Akbil, or travel card that is valid on everything but minibuses. Or you can choose to flag down a Dolmus, which is a taxi that continues to take passengers until there is no more room left in the car. You can rent a car, but the traffic is heavy and dangerous.
Book a cheap flight to Istanbul to see some of the marvelous attractions there. First, have a closer look at the Hagia Sophia Museum, a beautiful old historic church. You can even download maps and guides before you go. Next, check out Turkish Dance Night at Hodjapasha for an entertaining review of traditional dance. Other areas include: The Istanbul Archaeology Museum housing Greek, Roman, and Byzantine artifacts; the Istanbul Modern Museum for a look at contemporary works of art; and Topkapi Palace, once the seat of the Ottoman Empire. You’ll see the amazing opulence of this former home of the Emperor.
The Grand Bazaar, with over 4000 shops, is the obvious first destination for shopping in Istanbul. but it isn’t the only shopping available. Flights to Istanbul will also bring you to modern shops and traditional markets throughout the city. Consider taking the walking tour. For dining, first take the Turkish Flavors tour from Selin Rozanes. She’ll customize a tour of the finest markets and restaurants for you to sample. You can even arrange to end up at her home and take a cooking class. There are a number of different options for nightlife. Here are just a few: Babylon has live music every day; Dulicinea plays more traditional music as well as jazz and classical; High End plays techno and dance music. All three are excellent nightspots. Istanbul flights lead to fun and adventure!
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