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Why Fly to Istanbul?
Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus, a narrow strait along which lies the border between Europe and Asia. With roughly half its land on each side, cultures combine and collide in Istanbul, resulting in a unique atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Its status as a top international travel destination makes it easier to find cheap flights to Istanbul online, so start searching for fares now. The earlier you book your tickets, the more money you can save for scouring Istanbul’s famous bazaars.
Which Airlines Fly to Istanbul?
There are a few nonstop flights from the United States to Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport (IST); Turkish Airlines flies directly from O’Hare in Chicago and JFK in New York, and Delta offers service from JFK and Atlanta. Direct flights from New York and Atlanta take about 10 hours, and those from Chicago last about an hour longer. Of the more than 80 airlines that fly to Istanbul, many have flights from at least one U.S. city with just a single international connection.
Popular Istanbul Flight Routes
Istanbul Flight Tips
When choosing travel dates, keep in mind that while Istanbul’s summers are hot and humid, they’re also when the city receives its heaviest visitor traffic and hosts several major festivals. Expect smaller crowds and fairer weather in spring and autumn. You should also note that much of Istanbul observes the holy month of Ramadan, and that business hours often change during this time.
Quick Travel Guide to Istanbul
Authority over Istanbul has changed hands many times, and the city has even changed names; it was established as Byzantium in 7th century BC, then became Constantinople in the 4th century, and finally became Istanbul in the 15th century. As the former capital city of two major empires, Istanbul has a tremendous history that has left behind some of the world’s most famous historical structures and monuments. One such renowned site is the Hagia Sophia, the original cathedral of Constantinople, which eventually became the primary mosque of Istanbul and currently serves as one of Turkey’s most popular tourist attractions. Sprawled along the banks of the Bosporus, the nearby Topkapi Palace is now a museum exhibiting centuries of Ottoman treasure, art, weaponry and other artifacts. But for nearly 400 years, the same fortified palace was the official residence of the reigning Ottoman Sultans.
You could easily spend your entire trip immersed in local history, but the city’s modern side has just as much in store. Several luxurious hotels in Istanbul are destinations in themselves, and state-of-the-art spas put an indulgent twist on the traditional Turkish bath. Restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, thriving boutique shopping districts and a young and energetic nightlife scene ensure a well-rounded vacation experience.