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Making new friends is a big part of travelling, and with 11,200,000 residents calling this place home, you're certain to have plenty of chances.
To reach Istanbul from Ankara, the national capital, you'd need to travel 220 miles to the west. Another good point of reference is Adalar, which lies 12 miles to the southeast.
While there are lots of things to do here, the Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome really stand out. The Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace also feature on the pages of almost every Istanbul travel guide, and they simply cannot be missed.
Your entire family is sure to have a blast at Miniaturk and Vialand. If that isn't enough to tire the young ones out, why not visit Kumburgaz Lunapark or Aqua Club Dolphin as well?
Enchanting deep-sea worlds are waiting to be found at TurkuaZoo and Istanbul Aquarium. For even more fishy adventures, make your way to Istanbul Dolphinarium.
Keen on taste testing local wines? Treat your taste buds, as well as learn the art of winemaking used this region, at Bomontiada.
In the mood for an alfresco lunch? Grab some cheese and crackers and head to Taksim Gezi Park or Gulhane Park for a chilled out picnic. You can also settle back with a newspaper and watch life pass by at Camlica Hill and Emirgan Park.
Your holiday wouldn't be complete without a day by the seaside! Round up the troops, pack some games and enjoy some real downtime at Kilyos Beach or Suadiye Beach. Also consider going for a leisurely walk along Buyukcekmece Beach and Florya Beach.
Istanbul offers a range of nature reserves, such as Piyer Loti and Suada Island. For a little more quiet time, make your way to Aydos Hill and Joshua's Hill.
Wander the quiet halls, study the engaging displays and chat to the accommodating staff. The Istanbul Archaeology Museum and the Maritime Museum are peaceful places to reflect and discover something new. If you have extra time, also go to Florence Nightingale Museum and the Museum of Innocence.
For a day full of discovery and fun, make your way over to the Sadberk Hanim Museum. Here you will learn about a variety of intriguing and bizarre things.
In a place that's filled to the brim with terrific art collections, the Istanbul Modern Art Museum and the Pera Museum stand a head taller than the rest. More bright canvases and stunning sculptures await you at the Sakip Sabanci Museum and the Mosaic Museum.
Discover Istanbul's past and come to understand the present with a visit to the Panoroma 1453. Want to learn more? Then stick the Adalar Museum and the İstanbul Museum of the History of Science & Technology in Islam on your list too.
Do you want to discover some historically significant sights? A few hours at Basilica Cistern or Galata Tower offer visitors a fascinating peek into Istanbul's bygone times. If that doesn't satisfy your inner history nerd, keep going to Dolmabahce Palace and the Cagaloglu Hamami.
Want to explore Istanbul from another angle? Check out Halic Koprusu and Topkapı Harem, two historic pieces of architecture that have stood guard over the city's waters for many years.
Interested in military history? Enjoy an outing to Yedikule Hisari and Anadoluhisari and discover their roles as defensive structures as well as what happened to those who fought there. Anadolu Hisari Fort and Yedikule Zindanlari have also withstood many sieges throughout their time.
Beylerbeyi Palace and Yildiz Palace have housed some of Istanbul's most well-known people throughout the years. Kucuksu Palace and Ihlamur Palace are a couple more opulent dwellings. Enquire about guided tours if you care to see the best bits of them.
For a magical escape, look up and gaze in awe at the captivating impression of Rumeli Hisari and Riva Castle. Yoros Kalesi and Anadolu Kavağı Kalesi also look like they've leapt out of the pages of a fairytale book. If you're lucky, there might be a guided tour happening.
Hoping to add a spiritual aspect to your holiday? Take a look around the Suleymaniye Mosque and Chora Church. You can gain an even greater insight into the city's beliefs at Church of St. George and the Rustem Pasha Mosque.
When you're venturing to new lands, keep in mind that it's sometimes the more ordinary destinations that you'll most fondly remember when you get back home. Two cases in point in Istanbul are Galata Bridge and French Street. You'll also find plenty to keep you amused at Istiklal Avenue and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge.
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