Posted Mar 24, 2011
The city of Istanbul in Turkey offers you the chance to sample a wide range of history and stunning beauty on both land and sea when you book one of the many European shore excursions available here.
For starters, no trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the Hagia Sofia. This former basilica and mosque is now a museum, displaying artifacts from the building's ancient lifespan. Be sure to check out the gorgeous mosaics adorning the walls and the stunning architecture that has stood the test of time.
The Hagia Sofia is a great starting place for any journey, but there are many more options from there. To see a slightly more modern religious building, consider visiting the Blue Mosque, which gets its name from the 20,000-plus blue tiles that dot its interior. Alternatively, pay a visit to Topkapi Palace, which was formerly the center of power in the city.
It'll add some time onto your excursion, but a cruise on the famous Straits of Bosphorus is not to be missed. This waterway officially divides Europe and Asia, and you'll have the chance to view cliffs and palaces on both sides.
If you'd rather stay on land, then the Grand Bazaar is the place to be. Sprawling over 65 streets, you'll be able to say you've visited the largest covered market in the world. You'll even have the chance to see how carpets are made by expert craftsmakers.