Istanbul has been an energetic, busy metropolitan for centuries. Strategically situated at the meeting point of two continents, Istanbul continues to evolve as one of the most diverse cities in the world.
With a population of 15 million, Istanbul is culturally diverse. In this multiethnic city, people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and religions are able to live together in harmony. We rounded up the top reasons why you should visit this sprawling metropolis.
Istanbul has a rich history. It is nearly impossible not to be drawn by its fascinating past. Standing in between Europe and Asia, the strategic location of Istanbul has enticed many pillaging armies and empires in the past centuries. In fact, the city has served as the capital of some of the biggest and most powerful empires—the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Latin Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Today, the remnants of these empires still stand and are open to the public. You can take a walk around the Dolmabahçe Palaces in the Beşiktaş district, once the Ottoman Empire administrative centre, and be taken back to the time when sultans rule the city. There are guided tours in different languages so be sure to include the palace, among many other sites, in your itinerary.
You’ve probably heard it before—Istanbul is a city of contrasts. When you visit, it will soon be apparent that this city has many sides to it. As the megalopolis links the West to the East via the Bosphorus Strait, the influences from both continents can be seen all around the city. Here, the remnants of the city’s past coexist with the more modern present featuring skyscrapers and busy streets.
One moment you are marvelling at palaces and mosques, another minute you may be gazing at impressive high-rise buildings. It is easy to develop an appreciation for Istanbul’s ancient architectural wonders. But modernization has allowed these places to have amenities for those that choose the city as their holiday destination.
The unique mixture of cultures in Istanbul can be seen in its bustling food scene. If you are a tourist, expect to have a wealth of options when it comes to dishes. Of course, the typical Turkish tasty dishes should be a must on your list. From the classic shish kebab to the savoury flatbread Gözleme, flavorful apple tea, and sweet baklava, you will not run out of mouthwatering local dishes to try. Meanwhile, as a testament to its global city status, you can conveniently find restaurants serving Japanese, Indian, American, Thai or fusion cuisines. If you have the time, you can even take short-term cooking classes and learn how to prepare traditional home cooked Turkish dishes.
If a well-spent day on a holiday for you involves fun partying at night, then you’ll feel at home in Istanbul. With a population of 15 million people and a constant influx of tourists from all over the world, the city is well equipped when it comes to entertainment. There is something for almost any taste—nightclubs, bars, pubs, restaurant lounges, private venues and more. There are also different hot spots for every season. If you are going to the city during summer, don’t miss out on rooftop bars overlooking the city. On the other hand, lively underground, intimate clubs replaces the open-air venues come wintertime. Either way, you can expect an excitable crowd, lively music and amazing atmosphere.
As you know, we at CLB Global Travel love to include museums and galleries on the list of places one must visit while travelling. Why? Because visiting these structures allows one to have a glimpse of a city or country’s history and culture. Istanbul serves as home to Turkey’s most important ancient artworks and artefacts. The city has once been deemed as the European Capital of Culture back in 2010.
Here is a list of the museums you should include in your itinerary if you’re an art enthusiast:
Istanbul has plenty to offer shoppers with different budgets. Want to splurge? Visit the Nişantaşı neighbourhood and purchase goods from luxury brands and well-established local designers. Are you looking to add a unique piece for your antique collection? Explore the streets of Çukurcuma Caddesi for a trip down memory lane and a possible score. Whatever your shopping desire is, your visit to Istanbul is not complete without visiting the streets of the famous Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s biggest covered markets.
One of the main perks of working with a dedicated travel consultant is that we can create a holiday specifically tailored for you. Be it a quick city break, a long vacation, a romantic getaway or a family trip, we have your back! Get in touch if you want a quick quote. Simply email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647.
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Meghalaya is a picturesque hill state in the northeastern Himalayas. Spread over an area of 22,429 square kilometres, the pine-covered mountainous state features a wide expanse of valleys, highland plateaus, and rock formations. Mostly covered in forests that make up seventy percent the state, Meghalaya is overflowing with natural scenic beauty.
Meghalaya became a full-fledged state in 1972. The name directly translates to ‘Abode of Clouds’ in Sanskrit. It is considered as the wettest region of the Seven Sister States of northeast India, the state has an average annual rainfall of up to four hundred seventy inches.
The capital city, Shillong, is 1,496 metres above sea level. Going around is fairly easy with well-connected roads accessible to most vehicles. The city has a bounty of striking natural wonders from pine groves and manicured gardens to beautiful brooks, crystal clear lakes and breathtaking waterfalls. The flora and fauna are diverse which makes it an ideal spot for nature lovers.
Adding to the character of the city is its friendly, good-humored, and hospitable people. For travellers, few things beat the feeling of being warmly welcomed in a foreign place. The locals are among the many reasons why Shillong is an ideal travel destination.
The city is a largely Christian city. There are many cathedrals and small churches. Get an insightful experience of the church culture of the city and the Khasi lifestyle by paying these structures a visit.
While it is largely westernized, the city is considered the music capital of India where numerous prominent musicians hail from. Living up to its title, there are many musical events held here, which makes it a lively destination any time of the year.
The city also serves as an amazing entry point to the entire state of Meghalaya.
If you ever find yourself in Shillong, you cannot miss visiting the famed Elephant Falls situated right next to the city. An ultimate tourist paradise, it features three layers of waterfalls tucked in between dense greenery. Travellers can get up and close with nature and enjoy the cascading water in its entire splendour. While the Elephant Falls can be accessed any time of the year, the best time to visit is after the monsoon season when the clear water flows through in full might and magnificence.
Then find your way to another well-liked tourist spot in Shillong: Umiam Lake. The tranquil manmade lake spans an impressive 221 square meter—a size bigger than some countries. Not only does it provide water for locals but also serves as a key food source. Apart from appreciating the views, you can also get a sneak peak of the local way of life as people come and go about their daily chores. There are a number of activities to keep you engaged too. Go for a boat ride or plan a picnic. Try water skiing or kayaking. Or simply enjoy a hearty meal with a fantastic view.
Visit the village of Mawlynnong located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya. The village is renowned for its women-centric society. Among their well-preserved traditions is the passage of wealth and property from mother to the youngest daughter who also has the privilege of carrying the mother’s surname. The village takes cleanliness seriously so much so that in 2003, it was named as one of the cleanest city in Asia. It was also declared as the cleanest city in India in 2005.
There are a number of walking and trekking trails around. But the best would be Shillong Peak, Meghalaya’s highest peak in the Himalayas. At over 1,965 meters above sea level, it is the finest spot for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Shillong Peak offers panoramic vistas of the city and the Himalayas. Make sure to bring your identification cards though, since the area is within an air force base.
Of course, we could not miss including a museum. For art lovers who need their fix even while travelling, visit Don Bosco Museum, a seven-storey theme museum with seventeen fascinating galleries focused on local indigenous people and culture. The galleries display a comprehensive collection of regional clothing, accoutrements, handicrafts, photographs, tools, and various artifacts.
CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start.
The city of Kathmandu is full of life, buzzing, and busy. The streets are filled with rickshaws, mopeds, taxis, bicycles, and foot traffic bringing about a cacophony of sounds. The vistas are visually striking. Rich in historic sites, ancient shrines, longstanding temples, charming villages, and contemporary structures, Kathmandu represents a blend of ancient and modern times.
Chaotic is a term you may use to describe a metropolitan area that serves as home to two and a half million people. But fret not, because there is beauty in this pandemonium and sensory overload.
In Kathmandu, first impressions can be unreliable. Get past the dusty roads, traffic, incessant transport noise, assertive street peddlers, and you may just find yourself in the middle of an otherworldly cultural experience.
The sights to see in and around Kathmandu are plentiful. Take note, however, that Kathmandu had a massive earthquake in 2015. The infrastructure and tourists services are running normally and restoration efforts are ongoing. However, the effects of the natural calamity can still be seen in some structures.
Have you visited Kathmandu recently? Share your experience with us as well as any additional tips in the comment section!
What’s on your wish list? We, at CLB Global Travel, will create a holiday that is tailored fit for you while keeping in mind every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Send an email at [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 for more information or a quick quote.