20 Best City Breaks in the World


Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey

Straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul is where East meets West and continents collide — a true melting pot set across the bustling Bosphorus Strait, and the perfect place to take a break.

Turkey’s charismatic capital is a fascinating spot to spend a little time, with tourism proving more popular than ever here, and more and more visitors unable to resist Istanbul’s unique allure. There’s a great deal to see — with the Old City’s ancient architecture reflecting the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here.

Yet there’s little that can beat sailing across the Bosphorus on a ferry, a short crossing that, in just 20 minutes, showcases many of Istanbul’s greatest treasures. Exploring on foot? Be sure to visit Aya Sofya, Topkapi Palace and the iconic Blue Mosque, before heading to one of the city’s many bazaars. You can acquire just about anything here — just don’t forget to haggle.