ISTANBUL: For more than a thousand years Istanbul was the western world's largest and most important city, capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 330 until the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 17th century. Once again, Istanbul is the largest city in Europe offering an exotic array of attractions and rich history.
Istanbul intro: this is the largest city in Europe and presents such an exotic array of attractions and rich history that it should be on everyone's list to visit. travel video
Cruising to Istanbul on board the Cristal is a relaxing voyage, strolling through this beautiful ship, with a glimpse at shore excursions offered by Louis Cruises. travel video
Our cruise ship has a spectacular arrival in Istanbul, with splendid views of the Blue Mosque, Haghia Sophia and the historic harbor. Then we preview our travel video visit.
Blue Mosque, built in the 17th century, is one of Istanbul's greatest buildings, famous for the blue tiles covering the vast interior. We tour with our guide, Yener. travel video
Our guided tour continues with a brief look at the Grand Bazaar, with 4,000 shops. Then we take a walk in the crowded lanes behind the Spice Market and duck inside briefly.
Istanbul Grand Bazaar: This giant market in the heart of Istanbul has 4,000 shops under one roof and a maze of 65 alleys in a vast and disorienting conglomeration.
Istanbul Hagia Sophia: This huge, domed structure was the world's biggest church and largest enclosed space when built in 5th century for the Emperor Justinian. travel video
Istanbul Blue Mosque: Breathtakingly vast,the 135-ft high ceiling is a cascade of spheres with the large dome flanked by smaller domes creating a magical sensation. travel video
Istanbul Topkapi Palace, home of the former Ottoman sultan, most popular visitor attraction in Istanbul. Beautiful palace has been transformed into major museum.
Istanbul Dolmabahce Palace: the royal Sultanate built the new palace of Dolmabahce in 1842-1856 with standards fit for European royalty.
Istanbul shopping streets filled with locals & the busy Spice Market is where you find many good deals. Completely safe, this is the heart of the city.
Istanbul Bosphorus boat ride: ferry ride on the Bosphorus, the strategic 20-mile-long strait that divides Asia and Europe, offers beautiful views of palaces and villages along the waterfront.
Ephesus: Ancient site on the coast of Turkey built by the Greeks and the Romans, with ruins in good condition. We reached Kusadasi via cruise ship and shopped for carpets.
Combined Videos: The previous videos collected together in a one-hour complete Istanbul movie, detailing how to spend Three Days in Istanbul. travel video