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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Majorca, also referred to as Mallorca, is the largest island of the Balearics. The charming island, positioned in the Mediterranean, has long been drawing travellers from Europe and across the world for its picturesque beaches, turquoise waters, sandy coves, islets, and a breathtaking mountain range.
With a steady growth of visitors since the 1950s, the island is largely dependent on the tourism industry revenue. This also means that it has a well-established tourist infrastructure and amenities, which also draw in visitors from nearby countries who are looking for some rest and relaxation.
The island has mild winters and warm summers. If you are looking to have a sunny summer escapade, it is best for you to visit from May until September.
This resort situated on the southwest coast of the island is a well-known European destination thanks to its epic nightlife. Younger crowds who enjoy partying especially frequent the resort. Pair your chill day by the beach with a memorable night of drinks and dancing.
An explorer’s dream, Serra de Tramuntana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the cultural landscape category. The unspoilt mountain range featuring dramatic landscapes was the first attraction that brought in visitors in the early 20th century. The landscape is perfect for walking, hiking and biking as it offers a picturesque view. You can spend a few days just discovering this side of Majorca because there’s a lot to see—villages, cliffs, landscapes, and beaches. You can also enjoy the natural beauty of the mountain range by joining tours or driving by if you are pressed for time. While its strong slopes pose as an inviting challenge for hikers, there are a lot more activities to take on from canyoneering to cliff diving.
The Roman Catholic cathedral, located in Palma, is an impressive landmark of the Balearic Islands. The 14th century structure features stunning Gothic architecture. Many refer to it as the ‘Cathedral of Light’ and for good reason. When you enter its premises, impressive stained-glass windows greet you. These windows turn the morning sunbeams into colourful light that flood the entire building. The cathedral is open to public from Mondays through Saturdays. You can take tour the Gothic cathedral with an audio guide that for an extra cost will allow you to find out more about its history.
North of Mallorca is the old town locals refer to as Port d’Alcudia. The walled town’s narrow streets are lined with quaint shops, plenty of restaurants, and lovely houses that feature amazing ancient architecture. It is located close to the centre so don’t hesitate to visit if you’re around the area. You can also head over to the busy market to buy homemade souvenirs and other goods.
Have your eyes set on Majorca for your family outing? You’re in luck! Take advantage of our all-exclusive package so you don’t have anything else to worry about but packing. The 10-nights all-inclusive package includes accommodation and hotel transfers at £5179 per family of four. You will spend 7 nights at the 5-star Zafiro Alcudia & Spa, Majorca. It features several bars, a buffet restaurant, fitness centre, and outdoor and indoor pools. The hotel is at Port d’Alcudia, just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
You may find out more about this amazing deal at clbglobaltravel.com
CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we have your back. Get in touch if you want a quick quote for your next trip. Simply email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647.
Situated in the southernmost region of soulful Spain is Granada. Dramatically set in the Sierra Nevada mountain foothills, the city is one of the popular tourist destinations in Spain and for good reason.
The setting in the middle of four rivers with the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains as backdrop is a sight to behold. When winter comes, the snowy mountain peaks boasts a majestic view while also serving as a haven for winter sports enthusiasts.
While Granada is primarily a Catholic town, it was once under Muslim rulers for eight centuries. Knowing about this captivating period in the region’s history not only provides a glimpse of the past but also explains the distinctive, harmonious mix of these two cultures and traditions featured in Granada.
Granada, globally known for its Moorish heritage, has an impressive display of Moorish architecture and art. Among the most well known is the romantic and historic fortress known as the Alhambra Palace where the Nazari Dynasty, last Spanish Muslim Kingdom rulers, once lived. The complex of palaces, set at the foot of the country’s highest mountain peaks, features dreamy sights of gardens, fountains, plains, and an overview of the entire city.
If you travel to the east of Alhambra, you will come across Palacio de Generalife. The former summer palace and residence of emirs in the 13th and 14th centuries is now home to glorious gardens and well-laid grounds perfect for a leisurely stroll.
A visit to the residential district of Albaycín with its narrow meandering cobbled streets and alleys. Here, you can observe traditional Andalusian architecture harmoniously blending with Moorish architecture. Many have described the charming district as an outdoor museum.
All over Granada, there are many monuments and landmarks that are well worth visiting. Catedral de Granada, a Roman Catholic Church that spans 65 meters wide and stands 115 meters, is hard to miss. The Renaissance Cathedral boasts stunning architecture and history that makes it a must-see when you are in Granada.
Here are just a number of tips you should keep in mind:
If you are flying from across the world to Spain, it pays to book in advance. There are plenty of last minute travel deals that can be tempting but don’t bank on this if you are taking a transatlantic flight. Your best bet on getting the best price is booking well in advance especially if you’re choosing a budget airline.
There are many places to stay in and around Granada for every budget. But if you are travelling alone or as a couple, an option you can explore to save up on accommodation is couch surfing or booking through Airbnb. There are plenty of locals who open up their homes to tourists for a price way lower than hotels would charge. Another perk of staying with a local host could is gaining insights about the city and getting tips that are not usually published online. You could also connect with other vacationers like you.
Do you prefer some privacy? Youth hostels are an option. You get your own private room for a small price. While these places are not equipped with anything luxurious, many offer free breakfast and WiFi. Since you will most likely be out and about all day, this
Prefer to stay at hotels? Booking early could save you a bit of cash especially if you’re planning to go during peak season. Booking in advance for a festival and other popular events also mean that you have more options. The closer you are to the actual event date, the more likely it is that your first few accommodation choices will be fully booked.
Tapas are a vital part of the Spanish life. When in Granada, do not miss out on enjoying free tapas when you order a round of alcoholic drinks from casual dining restaurants. The free small plate can range from a few olives and breadsticks to hamburgers to generous servings of paella. Now, this is something you can find in many areas of Spain but Granada is one of the best places you can enjoy free tapas.
Granada is oozing with cultural and historical spots that are best explored on foot. There are quite a number of free walking tours in Granada that will let you explore the most important landmarks in the city. Through the capable local guides who have intimate knowledge about the city, you can learn significant stories on the sites you will be visiting. Tips or donations are accepted at the end of these entertaining and educational walking tours.
The Spanish usually eat a small breakfast and have a heavy, hearty lunch. A pastry and cup of coffee will be less than 2€. Meanwhile, a three-course menu of the day or ‘menu del dia’ can cost you around €6 to €15. Now you will have a lot of dining options in Granada. A good rule of thumb in choosing where to eat is to make sure the restaurant has patrons. Give it plus points if the people eating there are locals. If you come across an empty restaurant, it is best for you to walk away. Take note that eating out during evenings is considerably more expensive. So keep your belly filled during lunch to avoid splurging during dinner.
CLB Global Travel will create a holiday that is tailored for you with every destination, sights and experiences you are looking forward to. Be it a quick city break or a long vacation, we have you covered! Email [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7484 703 647 to get your trip off to a perfect start.
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Creative, culturally rich, and cosmopolitan, Copenhagen is easily one of the top travel destinations across the world. From breathtaking natural beauty to enchanting castles, there are countless reasons to visit the Danish capital.
As the centre of the Danish colonial empire, the capital city has a long and impressive history. The first settlement dates back to the eleventh century. The city is filled with cobblestone narrow streets, timeworn timbered houses, prehistoric palaces, and ancient castles. The majority of the historic sites can be found at the ‘museum island’ of Slotsholmen, nestled around energetic shopping streets, surrounded by waterways, and linked to the Indre Byen by nine bridges. Here in this little islet are the ancestries of the city and the current power base of the nation. The parliament of Denmark and the original ruins of Absalon’s Castle are located here along with the stunning Thorvaldsens Museum.
Copenhagen has grown from a humble fishing town to the centre of Denmark. The city strikes a great balance between being historic and modern. Nowadays, it is known as a cultural centre, a design hub, and a dream destination for foodies. It is also regularly ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and the happiest city globally.
Copenhagen is one of the most cycling-friendly cities in Europe. There are nearly 350 kilometres of safe bicycle lanes following the roads in the city. Each lane built above the road level as an added protective measure for cyclists. You will definitely encounter more locals biking than driving cars in the city streets.
While public transportation is efficient, cycling is one of the best ways to explore the charming city. Tourists can easily rent a bike since there are rental shops all over the city. Pro-tip: you can hire motor-powered electric bikes fitted with GPS tables for easier navigation.
Stay environment-friendly while saving cash by not buying bottled water everywhere you go. The water in Denmark is held to the highest standards and is potable. Just refill whenever you can to stay hydrated while touring the city!
Copenhagen is a highly walkable city. Not only is walking great for the body but also for the pocket especially since taxis can be quite expensive. Many attractions and main accommodations are within reasonable distance. If you ever find yourself in need to pass time, just take a leisurely walk along the canals and parks.
The city is expensive. There is no denying that. If you want to spend more on experiences over a five-star accommodation, you may want to consider booking through an Airbnb. You can also stay with a local by couch surfing. Of course, if you follow this course to cut your expenses, make sure to plan and book way ahead of your trip dates.
If you only have a couple days to spend in Copenhagen, here are the things you must try!
Apart from being free, these tours are an insightful way to get introduced and acquainted with a new city. The local guides are knowledgeable and personable. They can point out the main attractions along with its history and background. They may even give you tips on what street food to try or where to get drinks. There are no set fees but the guides earn from tips given by tourists.
The size of Copenhagen makes it easy to explore by foot. But if you are pressed for time, joining a guided walking tour ensures you get to see the most significant sights while knowing the stories behind them.
A grand tour of Copenhagen gives visitors a glimpse of the key landmarks, which often include the following: The City Hall, Christiansborg Palace, Nyhavn Harbour, The Royal Opera, The Royal Palace of Amalienborg, and more.
There are also free walking tours of Christianshavn. Just make sure to book ahead to make the most out of your weekend.
You cannot miss seeing one of the most recognised statues in the world. The ‘Little Mermaid’, created by Edvard Eriksen, is the main tourist attraction in Copenhagen. More than a decade old, the more than a decade-old sculpture lies atop a rock by the Langelinie promenade. Ride your bike from the city centre or take the canal cruise.
The rows of vibrant and colourful buildings in Nyhavn are iconic. Nyhavn literally translates to ‘New Harbour’, is one of the most well-known areas and probably the most photographed spot in Copenhagen. The 17th-century waterfront is an entertainment district. The streets are lined with quaint cafes where you can relax and great restaurants where you can order a hearty seafood meal. In Nyhavn, anyone from locals to excited travellers can have a great time. This is also where you can book a scenic and fascinating boat tours along the canals.
The Kompagnistraede and Laederstraede, known as Copenhagen’s “food street”, has a number of good restaurants where a hearty meal with a beer will not break the bank. Want to sample some street food? Head on to Paper Island which houses a large warehouse where you can find dozens of stalls selling a wide variety of cuisines including Danish and Asian food. Going fancy? Book months ahead to get a seat at Nobu—a gastronomic mecca considered as one of the world’s best restaurants. Renowned chef René Redzepi runs the two Michelin star restaurant.
Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget to try Smørrebrød, a traditional dish similar to an open-faced sandwich. The buttered rye bread is topped with a combination of seafood, meats, cheese or cold cuts.
The Rundetårn or round tower in English is a 17th-century tower set in central Copenhagen. Considered the oldest functioning observatory in Europe, the historical monument provides the best sprawling views of the city. You’ll have to go through a long, tiring walk through the spiral stairs leading to the top though but the reward of stunning vistas is worth it.
Explore the Freetown of Christiania, one of the most distinctive parts of Copenhagen. The story behind it is quite interesting. Established in 1971 by a group of hippies, the first settlers set their own rules completely independent from the government of Denmark. There is a mishmash of homes, art shops, galleries, music venues, workshops, and organic restaurants. From here, you can take the metro to Norreport and another connection straight to the central train station.
Spend at least a night out in the city! Danes love to drink and have a tendency to stay out in bars until the wee hours. Copenhagen has many pubs, lounges, and trendy clubs. Whether you want to dance your heart out or have cocktails with your friends, you won’t run out of choices for places to go.
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