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Fly to Istanbul, one of the world’s truly great cities.
The city once known as Constantinople, comfortably straddling two continents for more than a millennia. Istanbul today is a metropolitan city which melds the greatest and oldest traditions of the East and the West, offering its guests both new and ancient for their enjoyment. A great way to get a good view of the city is on its many bodies of water from a sail or motor boat. This bold mixture of cultures and empires has left a treasure trove of attractions for today’s visitors. One such sight is the Hagia Sophia, first built as a church around 537 and then refashioned as a mosque with Ottoman conquest in 1453. Since the 1930s it has been a museum. The Blue Mosque, so called because of its luminous azure tiles and paint, was built some time later but close by geographically, with construction completed in 1616. Its nearly-infinite windows and lofty domed ceiling are breathtaking. The Ottomans needed a place to stay worthy of their enlarged status. They soon built Topkapı Palace, a sprawling complex with everything a powerful ruler might need, including baths, imposing courtyards, kitchens, and the harem for female members of the family. Today it also houses museum collections so even the non-conquering can experience, if just for a second, what it means to rule. Every house needs groceries, even one in a palace, and Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar has everything anyone might need, the smells of leather and tea wafting around its wares.
Traveling from Riyadh to Istanbul, made easy
Fly to the “Digital Bosphorus,” bustling with life, business, good fun, fine weather, rich Turkish cuisine and things to do. Don’t let all the wealth of historical sights fool you; Istanbul is a modern city and has everything a modern traveler or businessperson might need. Half of Turkey’s population is under 30, making for cutting-edge ideas to deal with modern challenges.