Things to Do While Staying at the Best Istanbul Hotels
You really are spoiled for choice when deciding how to spend your time while staying at one of the best Istanbul hotels. Istanbul offers an abundance of choice and you should make sure you spend time planning your day. The diverse history of this city offers up its treasures and your most difficult decision will be which of these wonderful offerings will be the best use of your time.
The architectural wonders of this city are numerous and I've picked out a few favorites. The Haghia Sophia is a must see; having survived through the Byzantine and the Ottoman Empires and through into the modern Turkish Republic it describes your time. It's topped off by what had been the greatest Dome in Europe until Michelangelo took the prize with St Peter's Dome in 1590. Its wedding cake structure is visible from many of the best Istanbul hotels but it is worth a closer look for its beautiful interior. If your interest is the Baroque the harem of the Topkapi Palace with its 18th Century additions is worth a visit along with the Nuruosmaniye Mosque with its wonderful Baroque fountain. Fans of Art Nouveau should visit the area of ststiklal Avenue where the grand Embassies were built in this fashion.
Walking and Cruising
A great way to get some exercise is to walk the walls of the city. Constructed when Theodosius II (408-450) was on the throne they are the largest Byzantine structure to survive into modern Istanbul; it's quite a walk as the walls stretch for six and a half kilometers. If you have not got the energy for a walk another great way to see the city is one of the commuter ferries which run from Eminönü. You will be able to see some of the beautiful waterside mansions, parks and palaces that line the banks of the Bosphorus without having to pay the high prices of the cruisers.
A great way to see the city is from above and one of the best viewpoints is the Galata Tower. The Tower was built in 1348 and was originally called the Tower of Christ. Ascend to the top and enjoy the view from the 360 degree viewing gallery. If a moonlit view is your preference there are many rooftop bars, clubs and restaurants in Istanbul including some in many of the best Istanbul hotels.
I have only touched on the possibilities which are open to you and along with sampling the wonderful Turkish cuisine, steaming in a hamam, watching the Whirling Dervishes dance and shopping in the Grand Bazaar this city offers something to suit everyone.