Cruise from Istanbul
Nothing will prepare you for Istanbul. How could it? This enormous city has forever straddled Europe and Asia, lying as it does on both sides of the Bosphorus. Greeks, Persians, Romans, Ottomans — they were all here, and they all left their marks on a vibrant city of 13 million that can still be felt today. The sites are extraordinary: A short list includes the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern and the Blue Mosque. The shopping is extraordinary: The Grand Bazaar is a must-see. (And must-haggle!) The food is incredible, a fitting mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors and textures. A day, a week, even a month is not enough. Take it from us: The best ports of call are the ones you'll never have enough time in. (Start planning your next cruise now.) Istanbul is where time stands still, and runs out, all at the same time.