Friday - - Get Away -

Call it Byzan­tium, Con­stantino­ple or Is­tan­bul, there’s no doubt­ing the cap­i­tal of Turkey has had a rich and colour­ful past. Poet WB Yeats waxed lyri­cal about sail­ing to this en­chant­ing city, and now we can all en­joy the bustling Grand Bazaar’s gold and car­pet stalls, juicy kebabs, and a sky­line alive with minarets and the dip­ping domes of the mo­saic-span­gled Ha­gia Sophia. The 15th-cen­tury Top­kapı Palace – the op­u­lent res­i­dence of gen­er­a­tions of Ot­toman Sul­tans – is also present in all its glory along with the Blue Mosque.

Strad­dling two con­ti­nents, this city has two faces – a his­tor­i­cal quar­ter and a mod­ern dis­trict as seen in up­mar­ket Zin­cir­likuyu’s Zorlu Cen­ter, where you’ll find a state-of-the-art per­form­ing arts venue, mall and the new Raf­fles Is­tan­bul. The ho­tel’s first birth­day An­niver­sary Pack­age in­cludes break­fast and din­ner for two at Rocca and Arola res­tau­rants re­spec­tively, in-room spa treat­ments, ac­cess to Zorlu Park events and more.

Check out lo­cal art at the Is­tan­bul Bi­en­nial (on un­til Novem­ber 1) or take the metro to the Golden Horn, an es­tu­ary of the Bosporus where sun­set al­chem­izes its cerulean wa­ters into molten gold. A sight not to be missed.

Pack­age from Dh2,884 for two nights min­i­mum, un­til De­cem­ber 25. Call 0090 212 924 0200 or email is­tan­bul@raf­fles.com

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