Where to stay

You're likely to start at the vibrant metropolis of Istanbul. After that, you can choose your base. Quiet, friendly Eceabat? Or bustling, cultured Çanakkale?



Istanbul is a colourful metropolis – full of cafes, bars, clubs, and great shopping from bazaars to boutiques. There are festivals and special events on almost every week, and two millenia of history to explore.

Istanbul’s favourite fast food is balik ekmek – fish sandwich – and you’ll find a stand near any dock.
As well as numerous hotels there are short-term apartment rentals available.
Driving is difficult in Istanbul – and never count on pedestrian right of way.


  • 1 Grand Bazaar
    Containing 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops, colourful Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest covered markets in the world.

    Open 9am – 7pm every day except Sunday.
  • 2 Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts
    Originally an Ottoman palace, the museum houses many artefacts including remarkable examples of calligraphy and the finest collection of antique carpets in the world.

    Atmeydani Caddesi 46.

    Open Tues – Sun, 9am – 6.30pm from April to October, and 9am – 4.30pm for the rest of the year.
  • 3 Basilica Cistern
    Built in 532 AD and designed to store water for a palace, the Basilica Cistern is an enormous, atmospheric underground chamber, and today a favourite tourist attraction.

    Yerebatan Caddesi 13.

    Open 9am – 6.30 pm every day.
  • 4 Ayasofya
    Commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in 537AD, the magnificent Ayasofya is among the greatest buildings in the world.

    Open Tues – Sun, 9am – 6pm from mid-April to September, and 9am – 4pm for the rest of the year.
  • 5 Istanbul Archaeology Museums
    This three-part complex houses many ancient and classical treasures and is just a short walk from Topkapi Palace.

    Osman Hamdi Bey Yokusu, Gulhane

    Open Tues – Sun, 9am – 6pm from mid-April to September, and 9am – 4pm for the rest of the year.
  • 6 Topkapi Palace
    From 1465 to 1856, this opulent palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans. Today it offers fascinating insights into Ottoman court life.

    Babihumayun Caddesi.

    Open Wed – Mon, 9am – 6pm from mid-April to September, and 9am – 4pm for the rest of the year.
  • 7 Military Museum (Askeri Muze)
    On display are weapons and military uniforms through the ages and a Gallipoli diorama. Viewings of a concert by the Mehter – perhaps the world’s first military band – run most afternoons between 3pm and 4pm.

    Vali Konagi Caddesi.

    Open Wed – Sun, 9am – 5pm.
  • 8 Haydar Pasha Cemetery
    This burial ground holds graves of British soldiers who died in the Crimean War and Commonwealth soldiers who died in the First and Second World Wars.

    Selimiye Mh.

    34668 Uskudar.

    Open 8am – 9pm every day.