Istanbul is a remarkable and interesting city – one that should not be missed if you travel to that part of the world. For it is here that east meets west in a delightful mix of modern comfort, familiar ease, and exotic relaxation. Great Time in Istanbul If you would like to have a great time in Istanbul, some careful planning should be in order. The last thing you want is to find yourself overwhelmed by the many tempting sights and sounds that you are ‘pushed’ to visit, not to mention the barrage of last minute advice you hear from the people who claim that they hold the key to the secret of having a great time in Istanbul. Must See If you are a history buff and would like to set your eyes on Istanbul’s many ancient monuments, start by visiting the Haghia Sophia museum and church. This is truly an imposing 1400-year old building, with a huge, impressive dome that is adorned with mosaics and frescoes from the Byzantine era. Then, proceed to the nearby breathtaking Blue Mosque. Also ancient, it has six remarkable minarets and is decorated to the nines with the most beautiful architecture. Next, walk over to the Topakpi Palace not too far away. Once a dwelling of royalties, you need a long stretch of time to savour what you will be seeing here – harems, courtyards, meeting rooms, and many, many more. If this is the type of place that captures your interest, then, there are numerous other similar places to explore like the Kucuk Ayasofya Camii, sometimes referred to as the Church of Saints Sergius and Bacchus. This is a calm and peaceful place of worship, adorned by some live ducks in the courtyard! Similarly, there is the Ortakoy, which is a pleasant neighborhood that houses old buildings that have been renovated. Must Experience To keep the trip interesting, it is best to alternate between seeing and experiencing. If the Haghia Sophia is a must-see, then the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam is a must-experience. What is a trip to Istanbul if you do not indulge yourself in a traditional Turkish bath? Upmarket hamams like the Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam are simply lovely. You will feel relaxed and pampered as the attendants splash soothing water on your tired body. Just soak the moment and enjoy. Another great must-see and must-experience is to immerse in some delightful Turkish dances. For this, you need to spend time at the Hodjapasha Culture Center, where you can feast your eyes on great dancing costumes and engross in the fantastic sound of Turkish live music. Then, stroll into the exhibition in the foyer, where you can learn all about Turkey’s dance culture history. Enjoy Istanbul This is just a sample of how you can enjoy Istanbul. What you need is to plan your days well ahead. Good planning will definitely result in a great time there!