Glorious İstanbul, former capital of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, fascinates travellers with its awe-inspiring mosques and ancient monuments, its colourful history and natural beauty. Perched like a sapphire on a tiara straddling the Bosphorus between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, the former Constantinople is the only city to span two continents. In the heart of the old city, step into the world of the Ottoman sultans at the Grand Topkapı Palace.
Marvel at the iconic Hagia Sophia, first built as an Orthodox Basilica by Byzantine emperor Justinian in 537. Witness the Islamic call to prayer at the striking Blue Mosque commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1609. Bargain for souvenirs at the labyrinth of shops in the Grand Bazaar and inhale the pungent scents of cumin and cloves in the spice market.Let the magic continue with a sunset cruise on the Bosphorus.
Travel northwest to explore Edirne and its lively bazaar and beautiful mosques,including the 16th-century Selimiye Camii whose four minarets are reputed to be the highest in the world. Travel south to the ancient spas and gardens of Bursa, that served as capital to the Ottoman Empire in 1326.