The unrivalled historic and cultural heritage of Istanbul combined with its dynamic modern existence make the city a popular destination for a great number of tourists worldwide. Istanbul short breaks enjoy currently immense popularity, considered by many to be the best way to view the plentiful sights of the 3000-year old city. Among the oldest must-sees in the city are Haghia Sofia, dating from the 6th century; Topkapi Palace with four courts of increasing splendor; Sultanahmed Mosque, comprised of six minarets of sweeping architecture; Basilica Cistern, capable of holding nearly 80,000 cubic meters of water; Galata Whirling Dervish Hall, housing currently the Museum of Divan Literature, and much more.
An essential part of Istanbul short breaks is a visit to the Turkish bath, offering great fun and excitement for the entire family. Travelers can choose from a number of bath variations, including Cagaloglu Bath, Sulemaniye Bath and Cemberlitas Bath among others.
While staying in the city, consider the "Top 10 Things" to do on Istanbul Short Breaks to make your trip a memorable experience. The number one tourist attraction and the internationally recognized shopping heaven -- the Grand Bazaar -- is located close to Beyazit Square and has the reputation of the world's largest covered market, housing more than 4,000 shops, restaurants, cafes and mosques. From pottery and Turkish carpets to all kinds of cotton, wool and leather goods, Grand Bazaar can offer you goods of every sort and kind in one place. The main area of the market ends at the Egyptian Spice Bazaar, which is worth a visit as well.
One of the greatest attractions on the list of your must-sees, the Blue Mosque was erected in 1606 by the architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga with the aim of surpassing the Saint Sophia Church in size and beauty. Because praying to images is strictly forbidden in the Islam culture, you won't see any statues inside the Blue Mosque.
Located some 20 kilometers from Ataturk Airport, the Hyatt Regency Istanbul is a luxury hotel that reflects the culture and spirit of the magnificent city. It is nestled in a beautiful setting overlooking the Bosporus Strait, and is only several minutes from all historic landmarks and attractions the Old City has to offer.
Thus, staying in Hyatt Regency Istanbul during Istanbul short breaks is a great chance to visit such world renowned sites as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, the Taksim Square and Topkapi Palace. The latter deserves special attention, rating with the most widely reputed and visited attractions. For more than 400 years this beautiful palace was heart of the Ottoman Empire and home to the Ottoman sultans. Nowadays it houses artifacts, dating from the period of the sultan's reign.
The heart of the sporting and political life of Constantinople -- the Hippodrome has been the major scene of riots and games through 500 years of the Ottoman history.
For fine dining during city breaks in Istanbul consider Tarihi Pano Saraphanesi and Develi Restaurant. Located on the corner of Hamalbasi and Kalyoncu Kullugu streets, Tarihi Pano Saraphanesi is a famous cafe-bar, founded in 1898 and renovated within the last five years. Today it is a hotspot for Turkish professionals, offering its guests light meals and snacks, as well as a wide selection of drinks.
One of the oldest and most popular kebab restaurants in the city, Develi Restaurant specializes in dishes from the southeast Anatolia and offers Turkey's most famous drinks.
So what are you waiting for? Turkish short breaks offer so much to see and do you'll have to plan several city breaks in Istanbul in order to enjoy everything the city has to offer.