Have a great time in Istanbul

istanbulIstanbul 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 Hagia sophia museumIf 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 Turkish bathTo 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. whirling dervishesAnother 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!

Stay in London for the weekend

big ben londonIf you are feeling tired and despondent, and are looking for a good way to recharge your batteries, look no more. Stay in London for the weekend. Gauging from all the words that have been spoken and written about great cities of the world, London remains one of the most vibrant and vivacious among the lot. It is definitely THE place to go for the weekend to rejuvenate your worn-out and weary soul! Great Attractions Trafalgar square londonIf you are like millions of conventional London guests who go for the regular sights that make the city what it is, then Madame Tussauds, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Downing Street are there for you to visit. When you are done, head for the Big Ben and Parliament, the Eye of London, Covent Garden, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower Bridge – to name a few. If you still have some more time in the weekend, and want to continue along the same lines, carry on to Shakespeare’s Globe, Westminster Abbey, and of course, Buckingham Palace. See Them All If you fear that there is not enough time in the weekend to cover all these places, fear not. Just board one of the many hop-on hop-off buses or river cruises. By taking these, you do not have to worry about overlooking any of the attractions on offer. However, you might find it difficult to choose which place you want to spend more time on, given the fact that you have limited time to spend in the city. Peace and Calm kyoto garden holland park londonBut your stay in London for the weekend does not have to comprise these regular diet of attractions alone. If you fancy some peace and calm, head to a couple of London’s secret gardens. Chelsea Physic Garden, located in the stylish Sloane Square, should be your first destination. Sometimes called ‘the secret walled garden’, it is the oldest botanic garden that has an amazing collection of medicinal botany that hail from around the globe. If you are into alternative medicine, this place is a treasure trove you do not want to miss during your weekend in London. Another garden paradise worth visiting is Kyoto Garden at Holland Park. As its name implies, Kyoto Garden is Japanese in looks, housing a delightful cascading waterfall that leads into a pond. The sound of water and the sight of carp fish in the pond give a soothing, precious feeling. Immerse in the surrounding, and you will slowly see your spirits soar in response to the tranquil surroundings. Your stay in London for the weekend will definitely be worth your while if you know where to go and what to do. A little bit of planning will go a long way in ensuring that your weekend in London is a good and memorable one.