Istanbul
Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city with a taste of East and West.

Flight schedules

Scheduled flights

Airport served: 

ISTANBUL-ATATURK

On 31/03/2019

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5 good reasons to go

Istanbul is a museum in itself
Istanbul is a museum in itself
When you stroll around Istanbul, you’re travelling through ancient history. Each district features fascinating treasures. Here are a just few of the incredible landmarks you have to see: the Blue Mosque, the Süleymaniye mosque, Hagia Sophia Cathedral, Dolmabahçe Palace, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower, the Basilica Cistern and more.
The city with three riverbanks
The city with three riverbanks
Istanbul extends out over both sides of the Bosphorus strait which forms the border between Europe and Asia. So, the city has one Asian riverbank and a European one, which itself is split in two by the Golden Horn urban waterway. Stroll through neighbourhoods such as Vefa, Nisantasi, Beyoglu and Cankurtaran, and appreciate how the ambience changes from one to another.
Wander between Asia and Europe
Wander between Asia and Europe
The Bosphorus strait alone is worth a plane ticket to Istanbul. This incredible Turkish river connects the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara. A cruise is the perfect way of appreciating the city in all its splendour. Hop on board and drift by the Bosporus Bridge, the palace and the opulent waterside houses known as yalis.
Experience an authentic hammam
Experience an authentic hammam
Locals flock to hammams or Turkish baths to mingle and wash, purifying their skin and clearing out their airways. These temples of well-being are everywhere you look in Istanbul, and you'll appreciate kicking back in their enchanting oriental settings after a long day of sight-seeing.
1001 Turkish delights
1001 Turkish delights
Turkish cuisine is as ornate and varied as the tales of the One Thousand and One Nights. Börek, vine leaves, stuffed aubergines and keftas form the backdrop to many a delicious meal. In Istanbul, on the banks of the Bosporus, tuck into a balik ekmek, the local fish sandwich. Street food is a way of life here. And don't miss out on the mounds of oriental pastries and apple-flavoured tea!

To see / do

Culture and history

A basilica and mosque in one

A basilica and mosque in one

Hagia Sophia embodies the spirit of Istanbul: originally a basilica, and a 6th-century architectural gem. This Orthodox cathedral became a mosque in the 16th century as a result of Ottoman occupation. Now a museum, the basilica is open to the public and visitors are treated to an awe-inspiring tour. Just around the corner is the Blue Mosque, another one of Istanbul's most iconic buildings.

The palace of the first sultans

The palace of the first sultans

Rising up in a UNESCO-listed district, Topkapı Palace was the residence of the sultans from the 15th to 19th centuries. The courtyards, the Conquerors' Pavilion and the harem chambers are decorated with mosaic, faïence and gilded embellishments that reflect the power of the monarchs of the times. From the palace, expect breath-taking views of the Golden Horn and the Bosporus.

The palace of the last sultans

After exploring Topkapı, head over to Dolmabahçe Palace, where the sultans moved to in the 19th century. More western in style, the palace was decorated by French and Italian artists. The Throne Room, monumental staircase and other chambers and rooms are all dripping in opulent embellishment. Visitors can also stroll through the gorgeous gardens.

Outings

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

No trip to Istanbul would be complete without wandering through the Grand Bazaar. Located on the city's European Side, this covered market is a maze of narrow streets studded with colourful stalls. There are bargains to be snapped up here in this bustling labyrinth, from pottery and jewellery to carpets and clothing in dazzling shades... A real Ali Baba's cave! If it's spices you're after, head over to the Egyptian Spice Bazaar...

Underground concerts

Deep below the surface of the city is a world you'd never expect to find: the Sunken Palace. Plunged into semi-darkness, this shadowy forest of basilica-looking columns is a cistern that once supplied Istanbul with drinking water. In the summer, free concerts take place here in this unique setting. 
 

Gastronomy

Börek: a delicious, flaky snack

Börek: a delicious, flaky snack

Börek is a Turkish speciality, a mouth-watering savoury pastry generally served rolled like a cigar or flattened like a pasty. Layers of wafer-thin filo pastry are stuffed with meat, spinach, cheese or potato. 

Turkish sweets

Walk past any oriental bakery here and you'll see the windows overflowing with towering mountains of Turkish delight, the ultimate Turkish sweet treat. Made from a sugary gel flavoured with rose and orange blossom to name but a few, the most unique Turkish delights feature a nutty centre and are topped with chocolate and fruit rather than the ubiquitous icing sugar.

Practical information

Flight duration

3h30

Time difference

+1h GMT

Currency

Livre turque

Distance

2428 km

Average temperature

Spring

18°C (max 26°C)

Summer

23°C (max 29°C)

Autumn

13°C (max 21°C)

Winter

7°C (max 12°C)

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* The information provided is for reference purposes only. The programme and times are subject to change at any time and without prior notice. Find out more about the airline companies