If you fly with SWISS from Singapore to Istanbul (IST), you will experience a complete change of scenery. Istanbul is a proud shrine to Turkish heritage and an enormous metropolis divided by the Bosphorus Strait.
With around 15 million inhabitants Istanbul could be counted as one of Europe's largest cities. However, only half of Istanbul is located on European territory, while the other half is part of the Asian continent - the Bosphorus being the exact border.
The proud history of Istanbul dates back to the year 660 BC when the city was founded under the name of Byzantium, later to be renamed Constantinople. Countless sights illustrate the rich history of Istanbul and wait to be re-lived by you. Visit, for example, the fabulous Topkapi Palace, once the power center of the Ottoman Empire for more than three centuries. Marvel at the impressive landmark that is the Hagia Sophia, which had been built as a Greek Orthodox basilica, before being turned into an imperial mosque and serves now as one of Istanbul's most popular museums.
Stroll around the Grand Bazaar and haggle with the stall owners for a luxury carpet or Turkish attire. Experience Istanbul with all your senses and taste some exotic spices offered throughout the city. Smell the sweetness of the omnipresent Turkish tea and feel the hot air of a Turkish bath, locally known has a hamam, while enjoying a relaxing massage.
While most sights can be found on the European half of the city, a trip to the Asian half is well worth your time. Take a romantic ferry ride across the Bosphorus at sunset and enjoy the magnificent views of the city's world-renowned skyline and cityscape.
Once you reach the Asian part of the city, you will notice a different vibe. Most locals live here; many start-ups are successfully disrupting traditional business, and young, contemporary artists have left their mark on this part of the city. Whatever your interests, Istanbul is an incredible destination and has a lot to offer, so book your flights from Singapore to Istanbul today.