Being in Istanbul is quite an interesting experience. You can spend your afternoon in one continent and your evening in the other. Being the straddling point of Asia and Europe, it holds immense geographical importance. There is a prominent synthesis of diverse cultures in this city because it served as a host of many civilizations.
It draws the line between Asia and Europe thus there is a prominent influence of both the cultures in the city. It connects the two continents across the strait of Bosphorus. The reason is very simple; it bears the true soul of the country and is the representative of its glorious history. It is a fusion of antiquity and modernity and there is a very interesting connection between history and present.
The country has an affluent landscape, which is both diverse and dynamic. Many travelers visit here every year because it has plethora of exciting locations where a wholesome vacation can be enjoyed. Istanbul is the most impeccable city and is acclaimed as one of the most visited city in Europe. Being a bustling cosmopolitan with sky high modern structures at one end and ancient preserved strictures on the other, it provides a feast to the eyes. Buy cheap flights to Istanbul to explore this city personally. One thing is for sure, travelers bound to Istanbuldo not feel any tedium because there are so many site seeing opportunities and a number of attractions, which are of great value. Istanbul Atatürk International Airport is the largest in the country and holds a large chunk of international traffic. So buy cheap flights to Istanbul to delve into the magnificence of this city.
Yes, there are direct flights regularly scheduled from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports. These direct flights are predominantly operated by Turkish Airways, but one direct British Airways flight is operated out of Heathrow airport. These direct flights are about 4 hours long.
Keeping in mind that the temperature range to explore any city and enjoy the sun is from 15°C to 22°C, the ideal time to come to Istanbul is between April and June or, perhaps come to the city between September and November, later in the year. The mild Turkish sun, the bustling bazaars and the Bosporus are in a different trance in these months. With many festivals also falling into the above mentioned time span, a traveller can soak up all the Turkish culture in the best climate.
There are three international airports in Istanbul. The details of these facilities are provided below.
A British citizen has to apply for an e-visa before entering Turkey. The e-visa can be purchased from the following website for USD$ 20, and the traveller can use a debit or credit card to get one. Please visit the Turkish government’s official website https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/apply/ to apply for your e-visa and avoid using any phoney overpriced websites. The e-visa is a 90-day multiple entry visa for tourists coming to Turkey. Please keep a hard copy of the e-visa with you in case there is a computer failure at the airport.
The cheapest time to visit Istanbul is the months of December and January. Being a predominantly Islamic country, the prices do not skyrocket greatly when Christmas arrives, as is the case in most European countries. Moreover, Istanbul gets cold enough that it snows at least 10 days in December. Coming to Istanbul and spending Christmas in the city of the Blue Mosque can make you feel like a true global citizen and it would be less taxing on your pocket as well.
Napoleon Bonaparte was famous to have said that, had the entire world been one country, Istanbul would have been its capital. Istanbul is strategically located right on the narrow strip of land between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, connecting Asia to Europe. Istanbul was named by the Ottoman Sultans but before that, it was known as Constantinople to the Romans and Byzantium to the Greeks.
Apart from celebrating Christmas and many Islamic Festivals, the Turkish people living in Istanbul love to celebrate many festivals that stem out of their rich history but have been westernized over time. The Istanbul Film Festival in April brings all the filmmakers and actors of Turkey to Istanbul. April and May are also the months in which the Istanbul Tulip Festival is carried out. The tulip has been long associated with the Ottoman Turkish culture and it is still celebrated during this festival. Many types of the tulips have been named after the ancient saints and philosophers of Turkey. The Conquest Celebrations begin in the last week of the May. This festival celebrates the Fall of Constantinople in May 1453 at the hands of the Seljuk Ottomans. The real party begins at the Istanbul International Music Festival when numerous musicians and bands come to the city to showcase their talent. In July there is Istanbul’s Shopping Festival, where the grand bazaars and the modern malls sell different items at discounted prices.
Istanbul is a great city to get around and explore. Interestingly, your Turkish adventure does not need a taxi or running shoes since the city has developed extensive transport systems. The vast bus network is among the most efficient in Europe and can get you from place to place cheaply. There is a highspeed Metrobus line that zooms through the city. A dozen tramways crisscross the streets of Istanbul and an underground rapid transit system with eight lines connects 82 stations aids the tourist to get from one landmark to the next. So, buy yourself an Istanbulkart and use this magnetic card to purchase tickets to any mode of transportation available in the city.
Being on the cusp of two continents, Istanbul has always been greeting guests from far and wide. There are many great five-star luxury hotels in Istanbul that could make your wishes come true.