Benefits of Business Class travel to Istanbul
Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey. A truly captivating city, Istanbul has a rich historical heritage for over the centuries it has served as the epicenter of three great empires, namely the Roman, the Christian Byzantine and Islamic Ottoman regimes. The influences of this rich cultural heritage continue to have a bearing on Istanbul until today. Another unique aspect of Istanbul is that is its topography is such that it straddles two continents, Asia and Europe.
While Istanbul’s old city is situated in Europe it's more modern sections are located within Asia. These two very distinct parts of Istanbul are separated by the azure waters of the strait of Bosphorus. This strategic location historically rendered Istanbul as an important center of trade down the ages. The city continues to be an important center for finance and culture in Turkey until today.
Tourists who visit Istanbul are captivated by its unique culture which is a blend of the ancient and the modern and features Byzantine ruins, lively bazaars, palaces, mosques and hammams( marble communal bath houses).
If discovering new cultures is your passion then Istanbul should figure in your vacation plans for this city ticks all the boxes in any quest for an exotic location. You however should try to locate a cheap business class fare to transport you to Istanbul and back for this magical city is accessible only via a long haul flight from most cities in the US. Moreover if you have allotted only a limited time for your discover Istanbul holiday then you it is imperative that ...Read Moreyou must not to lose any days to jet lag and fatigue and this can only be achieved by flying on a business flight to Istanbul for business class travel affords you with a certain degree of comfort which allows you to rest and relax onboard a flight. However contrary to popular opinion business class airfares need not decimate your bank account for discount business class airfares to Istanbul can definitely be found if you know how to look for them.
Often airlines which offer flight connections to Istanbul from various US cities, like Turkey’s own home grown carrier, Turkish Airlines offer special offers on business class fares to Istanbul in order to popularize the destination. These special offers translate as business class deals to Istanbul. However these cheap business class airfares to Istanbul often have conditions attached to them like advance purchases or restricted travel dates and if these conditions don’t suit you or if you need more flexibility and can’t plan your travels way in advance then perhaps you would consider purchasing your discount business class fare to Istanbul from a reputed airfares consolidator.
Consolidators usually sell deep discount business class tickets which are often priced nearly 70% than regular business class but have all the amenities of business class like fast track immigration and priority check-in, enhanced baggage allowance, more personal space, a convertible seat that extends into a bed and personalized service on board that keeps you satiated with limitless gourmet food and wine along with complimentary pillows and blankets. These airfares consolidators have access to such deep discount airfares to Istanbul (and other destinations too) due to the exclusive consolidator contracts that they have with various airlines. Airlines award these consolidators with these contracts because they have established sales records and do huge volumes which ensure the airlines regular, repeat business.
Once you have located your discount business class ticket to Istanbul and are on your way to the city of spices and carpets, you are likely to gain access to the city via its Istanbul Ataturk International Airport which is situated 23 km (15 miles) west of Istanbul. Istanbul’s airport receives a whole host of budget and full service carriers and is connected to the city by the Istanbul Metro which provides quick and easy access to the city. Taxis, public and shuttle buses offer additional connections to the city.
Transport within Istanbul is provided by a cheap public transport network that consists of the metro, buses, taxis, passenger ferries and ‘dolmuses’ which are communal minibus taxis though the roads of Istanbul which is home to more than 12 million people are often gridlocked with horrendous traffic jams.
The weather in Istanbul is generally hot and humid and the hottest months in the city are between June to September when temperatures routinely touch 82oF (28oC). Summers in Istanbul are generally dry but precipitation is quite common all year round. Winters in Istanbul tend to extend from November to February, temperatures during these months dip to around 9oC (47oF) and snowfall is also common. Depending on when you intend to visit Istanbul, your luggage should include summer or winter clothes, though an umbrella and comfortable walking shoes are de rigueur for the old city is best explored on foot.
The electric standards in Istanbul are 220V, 50Hz and sockets use standard two pin electric plugs. The Turkish Lira is legal tender in Istanbul. Foreign currency can be converted at banks, exchange booths, post offices and airports. Like in other tourist destinations, banks in Istanbul offer the worst exchange rates and charge the highest commissions for exchange transactions.
A holiday in Istanbul is ideal for anyone who wants a taste of the exotic without leaving Europe. In the magical ambience of Istanbul the old world and the new world peaceful co-exist as it offers something for all tourists, shoppers who love to haggle in the bazaars, history buffs who like to explore ancient sites and young revelers who like to dance the nights away at the city’s many pulsating clubs.
Istanbul offers a plethora of ancient sites but perhaps its most famous landmarks are the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia (Agya Sofya).
The Blue Mosque whose official name is the Sultan Ahmet Cammi is located in the heart of Istanbul’s historical district, called Sultanamet. This multi domed mosque which has 6 minarets is the prime exponent of Istanbul's Islamic past. The blue mosque was built during the reign of the Ottoman Empire and it receives hundreds of worshippers every day who come to offer prayers in its elaborately decorated interiors. The mosque is called the 'Blue mosque' because it is decorated with 20,000 16th century blue and white Iznik tiles which are arranged in intricate and exquisite floral and abstract patterns. While visiting the many mosques of Istanbul it is advisable to cover your head with a scarf or a cap and not to wear revealing garments.
The other famous attraction of Istanbul is the Hagia Sophia which is called 'Aya Sofya' in Turkish. This ochre-colored domed monument was used as a church during the Christian Byzantine Empire but then was converted into a mosque during the Islamic Ottoman Empire. The Hagia Sophia is perhaps the perfect symbol of Istanbul, a city which which has served as the seat of power of three diverse and mighty empires. The interiors of the Hagia Sophia are adorned with elaborate Islamic calligraphic roundels as well as Christian mosaics which represent the dual religious history of this monument most effectively.
Aside from these famous landmarks, the cityscape of Istanbul is also littered with many ancient palaces like the Topikapi Palace which has now been converted into a museum. This Palace which is located on one of the hills that surround Istanbul once served as the residence of one of the Sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The huge palace with its interconnecting courtyards, fountains, terraces, exquisitely designed rooms and elaborate gateways gives you an insight into the magnificently opulent lives of the fabulously wealthy Sultans of the Ottoman Empire.
The Grand Bazaar and The Spice Market (also known as Egyptian Bazaar) should classify as two not to be missed experiences on any visit to Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar, which is one of the oldest and biggest covered bazaars in the world is noisy, busy and bustling with life. The Bazaar is a maze of narrow lanes and alleyways which contain more than 4000 tiny shops which sell Turkish carpets, glazed tiles and pottery, leather goods, colorful glass sheeshas (hookahs or water pipes), bed spreads, clothing and slippers, lamps etc Bargaining for your purchases is an accepted norm in the market and the wily shopkeepers more or less expect you to haggle with them for your purchases as they enjoy engaging you in conversation.
However while you are shopping in the market you must be vigilant with respect to your belongings as pickpockets and thieves abound. There are many small restaurants in the market where you can enjoy a bite to eat in the midst of your shopping expedition which can be quite exhausting. A similar atmosphere prevails at the fragrant spice market which is located close to the Galata Bridge. Here the wares consists of spices, tea, dried fruits, nuts and seeds and the decadent Turkish desert called lokum or Turkish delight which comes in various varieties. Both the markets are closed on Sundays and the best time to visit these Bazaars is early in the day when they are not s Hide