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Your trip-tipp from Düsseldorf Airport

Istanbul

City between Asia und Europe: holiday in lively Istanbul

Between East and West, modern European culture and Islamic tradition, situated on the Bosphorus, straddling two continents: Istanbul is aptly described in most guidebooks as a multicultural destination, casting a spell over visitors with its enchanting sights from numerous eras. Among these are ancient underground cisterns, discovered purely by chance, which offer a fascinating insight into the myths and superstitions of the ancient Romans and Greeks. Similarly, the Hagia Sophia, an ancient Byzantine church and later a mosque, lays bare the history of Constantinople and the changes that followed the conquest of the Bosphorus by the Ottomans. The building is now an impressive museum.

The Ottomans brought not just their sultans, but also Islam and its mosques, which helped shape the cityscape as it is now. The minarets of the Sultanahmet and Süleymaniye mosques rise high above the roofs of Istanbul and proudly broadcast the call to prayer five times a day. You can get a taste of the splendour in which the Ottoman sultans lived, with a visit to Topkapi Palace. From this magnificent palace-fortress, they surveyed their empire on the Bosphorus. But modern Istanbul is also easy to access, with a quick peek at a guide book. The Kadikoy district on the Asian side of the city buzzes with a young student population and countless music stores and studios. Around Taksim, you can buy the latest in modern western fashion. And after a shopping spree, the only way to relax is with a massage in one of the Galata district’s famous hammams.