Turkish Airlines is the only operator of direct flights from Pakistan to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines operates from Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. The airline operates a single daily flight. From Peshawar and Quetta, only connecting flights are available. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Gulf Air offer connecting flights.
The tourist peak seasons are spring (April-May) and autumn (September-mid November). The temperatures are overall moderate which is why the majority of travellers plan their holidays in these periods. A cruise ride on Bosphorus is guaranteed to be a memorable trip as there is neither snowfall nor sun glare during these seasons.
Prices may see a slight drop during the low season; from November to the second week of December, and afterwards, from the second week of January to early March. Except for the Christmas week, winter is overall considered to be the low season. Hotels are partly booked, and accommodations might come at a reasonable price. To catch the best price, book six to eight weeks prior to your flight.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport, the fifth busiest airport in entire Europe, is the receiving airport for cheap flights to Istanbul from Pakistan. The airport is situated at a convenient distance of 20 kilometres from centre city Istanbul. The IATA code of this airport is IST.
Constituting the dividing line between East and West, Istanbul is one of the most picturesque cities in the world today. Even in the city proper, two architectural wonders exalted by two different civilizations stand facing one another. The Hagia Sophia, once a cathedral under the Byzantine rule, and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, a grand mosque remarkable for its bluish interior theme. The Hagia Sophia serves as a museum nowadays and showcases different architectural and artistic forms taken in over time. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is enriched with oriental decorations, calligraphy, and emphasises the Turkish tradition of building six minarets around the dome. Take your time and offer a prayer or two, visit the mosque courtyard as well as the minbar. You will also find in the nearby Sultan Ahmed Square those tricky ice-cream sellers who have enjoyed worldwide fame in recent years.
A cruise ride is the main attraction here. Coming to the deck on a fine afternoon, one catches all the sights of the city; the domes and the minarets, buildings of every description. The perspective changes after every ten minutes, and if the time is right, even the dock buildings will be seen reflected in the water. The duration of your yacht ride depends on the package you have chosen but the average trip takes 3 hours. Some prefer a morning ride when the city is still wrapped in mist while others prefer an evening trip to watch the sun as it sets behind the horizon.
The Topkapi Palace served as the main residence of the Ottoman Sultans and their wives. Personal belongings of the kings have been preserved in a museum inside the palace, and the Haram (for the wives of Sultans) is still intact. As a whole, it is a fusion of rich history and oriental artwork that makes it site worth your while.
Are you ready for some stress-relieving Turkish massage? Or maybe you just want a sauna service; in any case, this is the place for you. When done shopping and looking around, make your way to the nearest Turkish hammam. The bazaar is a large-scale marketplace and the right place to search for cheap souvenirs and articles. Feel the carpets in your hand and take a good look at those beautiful patterns; you would definitely want to have one for yourself.
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