I had the pleasure of being invited on city break with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul.
We flew direct from Dublin with Turkish Airlines to Istanbul. The flight was just over 4 hours. When we got onboard we were given complimentary pillows, blankets & headphones to sit back and relax and enjoy our own personal entertainment system. We were offered a menu to choose from for meals and also had a choice of complimentary wines, beers, liquors and soft drinks. The service was excellent from start to finish. On arrival in Istanbul airport we paid €15 for our visa and went to baggage area where our bags were waiting for us.
We took a short transfer to Madison Hotel, located in the vibrant Taksim area. After settling into our hotel we went for a stroll in the area and sampled the fine cuisine Istanbul has to offer.
Our first day was full of sightseeing. We had a guide bring us to the Topkapi Palace, which dates back to the 1460. The Palace was residence to the Ottoman Sultans. There are many different areas within the Palace grounds to explore. The Treasury showed some Ottomans jewellery and clothing showing us the life they had back then. We had coffee in the restaurant which had amazing views of the Bosphorus, where East meets west. We then visited the Hagia Sophia Museum and then to the Blue Mosque which is stunning to see.
After our lunch outdoors we were ready for some shopping, so where better to go than to the Grand Bazaar. It certainly lived up to its name with over 5,000 shops selling anything from carpets, jewellery, hand-painted ceramic, antiques, leather goods and spices. The Grand Bazaar is known for the World’s greatest shopping experiences. We also visited the local spice market, where I bought some traditional Turkish delight, spices and teas. As if I hadn’t had enough of shopping we took the local metro train and went to a shopping centre ‘Cevhir’ where it had many shops that we have here at fraction of the price.
On our last day we visited many hotels in the Taksim area including the Lares Park, Gonen, The Richmond, The Point, The Konak and Titanic Hotel. Each hotel was different and can cater for my clients personal requirements.
Istanbul has it all amazing culture, sights, shopping, great nightlife, fine cuisine and wines. It is easy to see why Istanbul was awarded the European City of Culture in 2010.
For more information on Istanbul and to book hotels at great rates, please call me.