Istanbul, the Turkey's biggest city is a unique mix of Europe and Asia, ancient and modern culture.

It is an excellent time to visit this booming metropolis, standing boldly astride the Bosphorus Strait dividing Europe and Asia. On the best days it's still warm enough to stroll around the old city's Byzantine and Ottoman Turkish architectural treasures in shirt sleeves, or sip sweet black tea from a tulip-shaped glass in the open courtyard of a 300-year-old medrese.

With a host of places to visit in the old city and, across the Golden Horn in the buzzing entertainment quarter of Beyoglu, myriad shops, galleries, cinemas, clubs and live music venues, there's always something to do, whatever the weather.

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