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Why Fly to Istanbul?
Sitting on the waters of the Bosphoros and straddling the continents of Asia and Europe, the city of Istanbul vibrates with culture, its mosques and temples literally calling out to the people, its palaces stuffed with treasures and its frenetic bazaars a wonder to behold. You can search for cheap flights to Istanbul with Travelzoo’s SuperSearch.
Flying to Istanbul from the UK
Flights leave the UK for Istanbul from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, Manchester, Dublin and Birmingham. All are direct and take just under four hours. You can take a flight out of London Stansted airport to Istanbul but be aware that some flights land at the new Sabiha Gokca airport on the Asian side of the city, not Ataturk International airport.
Popular Flight Routes to Istanbul
Which Airlines Fly to Istanbul?
You can get a cheap flight to Istanbul with Easyjet which operates services to the city from London Luton and London Gatwick airports. Turkish Airlines brings the majority of UK residents to the city, flying in from Dublin, Manchester, Heathrow, London Stansted and Birmingham. British Airways operates out of London to the city from Heathrow. Pegasus Airlines will offer low-cost flight to Istanbul, landing at Sabiha Gokca airport on the Asian side of the Bosphoros.
Mini Travel Guide to Istanbul
Along a single Istanbul street you’ll rub shoulders with small children selling postcards, rug salesmen offering you a mint tea in return for a trip to their shops and tourists studying guidebooks filled with Ottoman history. You can wander the old city, once known as Stamboul, and ponder the centuries of events that have happened in the streets you’re in, take a short ferry crossing from one continent to another or simply while away the afternoon in a rustic Turkish café, smoking a water pipe and catching up on the day’s news.
Tourists make a beeline for the deeply romantic Sultanahmet in the heart of historic old Istanbul. Here you’ll find the city’s number one attraction, the Topkapi Palace, where the Ottoman sultans lived for four centuries until the mid 1800s, making it the nerve centre of their empire. Within it lies the sparkling Treasury, the Harem and the Queen Mother apartments. Next on the tourist trail is the stunning Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya) which symbolises its city’s Byzantine and Ottoman history. Once a church then a mosque now a national museum, the building is festooned with beautiful Byzantine mosaics on the walls and ceilings. Look out for the eerily beautiful Mary that seems to hover around the high dome ceiling of the building. The Blue Mosque is close by and it’s especially beautiful to stand in its grounds as the sun sets and watch the birds swoop around the iconic building’s lights. Inside 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles bearing tulips designs simply take your breath away.
The Ottoman Empire has long vanished and although Turkey is now a secular society, there’s still a feeling of peace as you potter around its mosques, gaze at its museums’ treasures or visit Prince’s Island across the water, where car-less streets take you back in time.
Don’t leave the city without taking a Turkish bath – they don’t come any better than in Istanbul and the massages will leave you just as blissed out as the city’s exquisite architecture.
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