London Istanbul Flights
Istanbul, one of the major cities of contemporary Turkey, the only town built on two continents, was also the metropolis for the ancient Roman Empire. Next off, the Byzantine Empire (1261-1453) and the Ottoman Empire, until Turkey Republic set forth in 1923. Despite the august age of the town, its actual name, Istanbul, is relatively new dating since 1930 and nowadays it designates a part of UNESCO patrimony (since 1987), being as well European Capital of Culture in 2010. Our ancestors and the history honored the traditional Constantinople next to Athens and Rome, the first one being designed also on seven hills, each of them capped by a mosque.
With 10 million inhabitants, it is the economical capital of the country and its commercial, financial and cultural center. People from all over the world are captivated not only by its heritage, but also by the steep contrasts between civilizations, habits, languages, sceneries, architectural details, fashion and colors. There are so many famous and exquisite palaces (Okapi, Dolmabahce), mosques (Blue Mosque face to face with renowned Aya Sofia, or Süleymaniye which is considered the most beautiful in the whole country), towers (Galata or the Big Tower), Turkish baths, bazaars and bridges (Bosphorus, Halic, Bridge of the Conqueror). Any tourist has the feeling of a dreamland getting the impression that he is seduced by a diversity of smells and flavors coming from God’s attractions (the Sea of Marmara, Black Sea and Aegean Sea) or from men’s attractions (restaurants, coffee houses, bistros). The kindness of the natives and the exciting atmosphere of the city, no matter the season, are solid reasons to travel to Istanbul and get the hang of its life.
Being situated on two continents, the city is at hand for travelers, but rather complicated in its inner system. The Old City is on the European side and takes advantage of the beauty of The Golden Horn creating a natural harbor. The multitude of narrow streets in this congested burning point for traffic makes everything more interesting and diverse. Walking from a highlight spot to another one must be considered an efficient pattern of visiting. In order to cross the strait, one may use cars, due to the bridges and, very soon, on account of a tunnel which is under construction. Despite the fact that ships are an old and still very frequently used mean of transportation, the speed of the wheels saving time has been a challenge for architects, even for Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo. The inhabitants and the romantic tourists may prefer any kind of transportation device based on engine or sails. Numerous ferries offer a cheap choice. Buses and street-cars are also available besides the Hafif Metro. Quite the same indecision regarding means of transportation arises in somebody’s mind when one considers going to Istanbul by plane or by train.
The medium duration of one direct flight is of almost four hours. The shortest one is 3 hours and 50 minutes. As usual, one may come upon a quite long flight with connection and high price; for example, KLM offer for 545 $ a flight which lasts 16 hours and 30 minutes, with connection in Amsterdam – (7:15 p.m. LHR – 1:45 p.m. IST). In order to keep track with flights and costs we suggest you access one of the many OTAs available on the internet (Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity etc.) These are at your disposal for the best choice. It is also better to keep in mind that food and drink prices in Turkish airports tend to be quite high.
Travelling by train implies a range of advantages which can be hardly imagined at an early consideration: safety, pleasure to admire sceneries, indulge into a slow pace of life similar to the one existing in Balkans, a feeling of adventure or even taste the thrill as in Agatha Christies’ novels, and nevertheless comfort if a person books a sleeping-car. Of course, the possibility of additional stops appeals to any of us. One can leave London by Eurostar arriving at Brussels where a transfer to another train is possible. A better option is to travel by Eurostar to Paris (price: £ 69 at standard-class/ £ 189 Standard Premier; in autumn a discount of 40% is provided; train is leaving St. Pancras at 16.02/15.32 in weekends, arriving Paris Gare du Nord at 19.17/18.47 at weekends) and then via Vienna and Budapest, getting at Sirkeci Station, Istanbul.
The admirable Haghia Sofia is only ten minutes away walking distance, a solid argument for a tourist. The journey lasts three nights and covers almost 2000 kilometers. Choosing train is synonymous with luxury and walking space hard to find in a plane. Premiere Eurostar packages also spoil train-upholders. A travel by train is a proper choice for a sophisticated or fashionable person willing to observe and enjoy landscapes, cities, and different people during a cozy, safe time-loop.