Istanbul is where East meets West. Architectural diamonds include the Aya Sofia with its rich history and breathtaking beauty, Topkapi Palace, famous for its opulent pavilions and mysterious harems, as well as the grand Suleymaniye Mosque.
For an opportunity to see a magnificent collection of artifacts dating from the 8th to the 19th century, head to the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. Within the neoclassic Dolmabahce Palace, visitors will find the National Palaces Painting Museum. Istanbul has multiple vibrant neighborhoods, from the chic Nisantasi to the buzzing Kadikoy. The shores of the Bosphorus attract locals and visitors alike who sit in open air cafes or head to the open waters on brightly lit ferries. These ferries also carry passengers between the European and Asian sides of the city as well as to the pedestrian-only Princes’ Islands with their grand mansions. Istanbul is a shopper’s paradise, and the Grand Bazaar is the best place to begin any shopping exhibition with over 5,000 shops peddling anything that comes to mind, while the Eminonu Egyptian Spice Bazaar has been a gastronomic go-to for city dwellers since 1664.