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How To Do Chrıstmas In Istanbul


For sure, Istanbul is not the first city that comes to mind when you say Christmas, yet it is one of the best alternative spots to enjoy the holidays since you can do many things at once; improve your history while visiting famous UNESCO world heritage sites, attend multilingual Christmas ceremonies in various historical Catholic churches of the city, spoil yourself in the world famous Turkish bath (remember Buston Keaton’s movie, ‘Seven Chances’ or Ferhan Ozpetek’s movie ‘Steam: Turkish Bath’) and splurge as you shop yourself out in the Grand Bazaar where you can find famous Turkish towels, fine cashmere & pashminas for holiday gifts and admire handmade Anatolian kilims and carpets, Byzantine and Ottoman influenced & modern jewellery, traditional and modern silverware & silver jewellery, home textiles (remember ‘ikat’ -woven silk from Central Asia- that is used to cover pillow cases in many Manhattan homes), fine leather purses and bags and much more in the world’s first shopping mall and biggest covered bazaar.


Istanbul is home to some of the most important UNESCO World Heritage sites. World famous Hagia Sophia -biggest church of her time- and Suleymaniye Mosque -finest example of world famous Ottoman architect Sinan in Istanbul- (his masterpiece is in Edirne, in the second capital of the Ottoman Empire), are only some of them. The city is largely home to Byzantine and Ottoman heritage, however her heritage is not limited to those two famous empires. Here you can trace Genoese heritage when you look at Galata Tower, Jewish heritage as you walk past Ahrida Synagogue (oldest one in the city) and many others, Armenian heritage as you visit various churches (predominantly Georgian, though Catholic and Protestant are present as well) in different neighborhoods of the city.


It is not only her world famous historical sites that make Istanbul so special, it is actually her geography. The Bosphorus (famous strait that divides Europe and Asia) and the Golden Horn (quiet natural harbour used both by Byzantines and Ottomans) make her unique. A cruise down the Bosphorus is remedy for all kinds of souls, watching the sunset over the Golden Horn is mesmerizing and a walk by the blue waters of the Bosphorus is rejuvenating.


All in all, this is where you can relax, spoil yourself with holiday gifts, improve your history, indulge yourself in the very rich traditional and contemporary Turkish cuisine and sip less known yet brilliant Turkish wine and watch the sun go down over the most eastern part of Europe. 

We have created a special itinerary for Christmas though all our itineraries will be available throughout Christmas and New Years. 


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