Istanbul is a city that conjures up all manner of exotic images. Colour, charm, mystery and substance are just a few of the superlatives that describe this exciting and somewhat intriguing city. If you are visiting the city, be sure to stay in one of the best hotels in Istanbul and your stay will be even more memorable.
This city is historically important and, having made its mark throughout the ages, has some marvellous sightseeing opportunities. Founded in 660 BC, the culture reflects the many civilisations that ruled here. From mosques to bazars, and elegant churches to quaint little teashops, this city is one sure to impress.
The Hagia Sophia Mosque is the highlight of the city and is perhaps one of the most visited museums in the world. Some people call this the Eighth Wonder of The World and once you have visited you will see why. The current building is the third reconstruction and has been completed in a different architectural style to the previous two. Originally a church, this stunning monument then became a mosque before being converted into a museum under the direction of Ataturk.
A visit here should be followed by a visit to the Topkapi Palace, which was the opulent residence of the Ottoman sultans when they ruled the country. It was altered and extended through the ages but remained a sultans' residence until the middle of the 19th century. Today the palace holds the royal treasure, the holy relics of the Prophet Mohammed and other imperial archives. Some state ceremonies are still held here, although today it functions mainly as a city museum.
If you're staying in one of the best hotels in Istanbul in the city centre, the best way to explore is to wander the streets, soak up the local atmosphere and explore the vibrant markets of the city. Follow your nose to the spice sellers, marvel at the street entertainers and be dazzled by the gold and silver jewels that adorn shop windows. Take a break in a coffee shop and drink the local brew or enjoy a real Turkish kebab while people watching on the streets. This city is alive and energetic and a visit here will leave you invigorated and yearning for more.
Hotel accommodation in the city centre is generally of excellent standard and the best hotels in Istanbul offer great service, comfort and decadence in abundance. Decorated in styles that fuse the ancient Ottoman flair with modern chic, they are individual but equally full of character and appeal. Whichever you decide to choose, you will not be disappointed. Facilities may include massage rooms, a swimming pool and a gym and many of the best hotels in Istanbul are proud of their in-house restaurants too. Boasting top chefs, wonderful food and a sophisticated dining atmosphere, these restaurants are often frequented by locals as well as tourists.