Turkey with Simon Reeve: Where to visit in the historical city of Istanbul

Turkey with Simon Reeve airs again this week, giving Britons a taste of what it’s like to holiday at the stunning hotspot. With 2.5million Britons previously holidaying there every year, Turkey is known for being a glorious holiday destination with beautiful coastlines and a rich culture. Reeve visits the country while it’s undergoing dramatic changes from its hostile border with Syria to the property boom.


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Reeve explained the reason why he chose Turkey back in 2017: “In many ways Turkey is the most important country in the world.

“It’s a really critical time in its history and it’s an important place for us to understand.

“So for those reasons and because it’s pretty beautiful as well.

“I hadn’t seen a lot of the areas we went to before and I don’t think many outsiders appreciate how gorgeous the Black Sea mountains are, for example.”

Beginning in Istanbul, here’s everything you need to know about this truly unique city.

Where is Turkey with Simon Reeve filmed?

As the title suggests, the series is all about Turkey, beginning in the country’s capital of Istanbul.

During the first leg of his journey, he travels from Istanbul along the Aegean coast to the border of Syria.

He meets Syrian refugees as well as a billionaire who is taking advantage of a house price boom.

The city is both a part of Europe and Asia, spreading across the Bosphorus Strait.

The city is rich with history having been heavily influenced by the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

In 2015, the city received 12million foreign visitors after being named European Capital of Culture back in 2010.

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Can I stay in Istanbul?

Istanbul has plenty of places to stay from hotels to apartments.

If you want to be surrounded by history then Sultanahmet is the place to stay.

In the old town, the area is where all the ancient sites are.

Another great area to stay is Beyoglu which is both lively and close to all the tourist attractions.

It’s also close to the tram, metro and boats and is surrounded by delectable street food.

Or if you prefer luxurious hotels then the Taksim area is perfect for you.

But be warned, the price tag isn’t cheap.

How can I get to Istanbul?

Flights from the UK to Istanbul can be very cheap.

Currently, there are flights available from just over £100.

But with travel restrictions in place, Britons should not be travelling abroad unless it is essential.

It is likely that once Britons are allowed to go on holiday, flights will be even cheaper than usual.

If you don’t like flying, then you could always try a cruise to Istanbul where you can see some stunning destinations along the way.

What is there to do in Istanbul?

The Hagia Sophia was the world’s largest cathedral for centuries.

The Hagia Sophia is massive, breathtaking and is considered to be an architectural marvel.

The Basilica Cistern features hundreds of ancient Ionic and Corinthian columns.

The relic is stunning with one of the column bases featuring the upside-down head of Medusa.

Another amazing spot is the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar.

Built in the 16th century, it features row upon row of stalls which sell spices, sweets, teas and dried fruits.

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