Istanbul is such a stunning city that even without an arts festival with an international reputation it is more than worth a visit. The Topkapi Museum alone can take several days to properly appreciate and for an art lover the city is full of iconic places to see. The Biennial Festival is held in the city at various locations, so that artists can be matched to the surroundings without the strictures of a finite space. Visitors to the city between 14 September and 20 October are bound to find themselves caught up in the excitement, with educational offerings and also workshops from international artists.
The opening ceremony to the 2011 festival:
Travelling to the International Biennial Festival in Istanbul could not be simpler. Because Istanbul is such an iconic destination for travellers worldwide, there are a number of ways to get there, starting with frequent straight through flights from all major UK airports. Flights average just under four hours and this is a short time to wait to experience a city like no other. From the markets selling nuts, dried fruits, brassware and of course the famous Turkish Delight – it doesn’t taste quite the same if you buy it anywhere else – to the churches, mosques and gold quarter, Istanbul is a city with something for everyone.
Travelling by train to Istanbul is a very viable option, although meeting Hercule Poirot is not likely these days! Whether you want a three, four or five night journey, you can choose from a number of routes all of which take in some beautiful cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest and Belgrade. This is an excellent way of making your holiday one to remember and with Istanbul waiting at the end of the journey, what could be nicer?
Istanbul has a unique location, straddling Europe and Asia as it does and if you are staying for a while it is certainly worth taking a bus trip across the Bosphorus by one of the two bridges. The view from either is amazing, although it is important to choose your time wisely, as both can get rather snarled with traffic. There is never any need to make an excuse to visit Istanbul, which is a city once seen, never forgotten. But just in case you are looking for a reason to visit there, then the International Biennial Art Festival is the very best you could think of.
Interested? There’s still time to book a last minute trip to Turkey with First Choice.