Any city which actually sits cozily on two continents is worth checking out. Particularly when it is by no means lacking in sights and sounds guaranteed to make your visit simply unforgettable.  Welcome to Istanbul, a portal to both Europe and Asia where a wealth of architectural styles - Byzantine, Genoese, Ottoman and Roman - also make it a gateway to different eras, and the one place you can travel through both time and space with ease. This transcontinental metropolis which also happens to be Europe's largest city sits astride the Bosporus with the city of Corlu to its west, and Gebze and Bursa to its south, while the Black Sea lies to its north. Istanbul is a city of many marvels. There is its Old City, which tells the tale of its glorious past in stunning detail; the Princes Islands, the city's very own archipelago filled with the fragrance of pine trees and large, beautiful chalets; and its New City which invites you to shop until you drop in its numerous, vast malls. And it's all waiting to be discovered and explored by you. Once you have basked in its coastal ambience, you will certainly consider every moment of your vacation in this Turkish city well spent.

Thanks to its status as Turkey's historical and cultural hub, Istanbul is a shining example of a former capital which has successfully avoided tumbling into obscurity. Its architectural wonders, modern neighbourhoods and rich culture are all excellent trump cards which ensure it stands out in a limelight unmatched by any other. Its Istanbul Ataturk Airport welcomes the bulk of flights from all over the globe and other Turkish cities too, efficiently supported by the Sabiha Gokcen Airport on its Asian side. If you are flying in from its main rival, Ankara, you will be able to arrive following a trip of about an hour. The city of Marmaris however is slightly further away with flights averaging an hour and 20 minutes. Istanbul boasts a wide range of options for navigating it. You will be able to reach your destination using its metro, overland and underwater lines as well as its buses. Private dolmus buses are also a very handy option for moving about the city at any hour of the day or night.

Istanbul is proof of the fact that true stars are born, not made. Unlike the numerous cities which have sprung up from humble beginnings to attain the dizzying heights of global superstardom, this former Turkish capital has been suffused with glamour from its very beginning. And a glimpse of its dazzling opulence and the power which was once wielded here can be caught during a visit to its historic Old City. Here time almost feels frozen in stages as you view the immense Hagia Sophia with its vast dome, the Kariye Museum which was actually a Byzantine church, and the Suleymaniye Mosque built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. But it is also a city of the present and you will be able to step right back into the moment once   you set foot in the New City. Istanbul's main economic hub whose skyline is defined by glittering skyscrapers is also home to several modern shopping malls, such as Cevahir, Istinye and Kanyon, to mention a few. With so many amazing options, you will be able to spend several hours shopping to your heart's content - one of the very best ways of bringing a part of your holiday home with you.