Istanbul's unique setting defines the city's East-meets-West identity and also makes it a hub for boating activities. If you're keen for a laidback day at the beach, take a ferry to the Princes Islands which lie 20 kilometres southeast of the city in the Sea of Marmara. There are no cars here, making it the perfect place to hire a bicycle and cruise around at your own pace. Stop to walk in peaceful pine groves, swim at tiny beaches and admire ancient Greek monasteries. For a more romantic experience, take a night cruise of the Bosphorus to admire the twinkling lights, picturesque mosques, minarets and palaces that make up the old city.
Famous for its great restaurants and nightlife, Istanbul really comes alive after the sun goes down. Join the locals for a glass of raki, the traditional aniseed-flavoured spirit that is typically served with small appetisers such as rice-stuffed vine leaves, köfte meatballs, calamari and cheese, known collectively as meze.
After dinner, allow yourself to be mesmerised by a whirling Dervish performance from a troupe like Dance of Colours, whose shows feature colourful costumes and professional dancers.
Istanbul Airport (IST)
Flights from Australia to Istanbul will disembark at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) is one of two international airports in Istanbul. The other port, Sabiha Gökçen International Airport is much newer, yet Istanbul Ataturk remains the busiest and largest of the two. The airport takes its name from Istanbul's first president, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and is a hub for Turkish Airlines.
Airport Accommodation: There are a number of hotels located in close proximity to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. Book your Istanbul Airport accommodation.
Getting to Istanbul
There are many airlines that offer flights to Istanbul from Australia. Flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane via Singapore, Dubai or Abu Dhabi take between 20 and 24 hours depending on the stopover. Flights from Brisbane via Singapore or Dubai take between 24 and 25 hours depending on the stopover. Flights from Perth via Singapore or Dubai take between 17 and 20 hours depending on the stopover.
Airlines that fly to Istanbul
Airlines that offer cheap flights to Istanbul from Australia include:
For more information on Istanbul holidays check out our Istanbul travel guide.
For flights to Istanbul from the Gold Coast, give our experienced travel consultants a call.