Turkey: Istanbul travel guide – explore the location of ‘Gregg Wallace’s big weekend away’

Gregg Wallace visits cat shelter at Julius Caesar's place of death

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In this weeks episode of “Gregg Wallace’s Big Weekend Away”, the television chef explores the streets of one of Turkey’s biggest cities, Istanbul. While Turkey may currently be on the UK’s “red list”, the nation is usually a holiday hotspot.

Should coronavirus figures decrease in the country, with vaccinations going up, there could be hope in the future for those eager to get back to Turkey.

For those who are inspired by Gregg’s travels, and are planning their next Turkish vacation, Express.co.uk has rounded up a handful of things to do when visiting the metropolis.

Explore Sultanahmet – the old city of Istanbul

Sultanahmet is the historic centre point of Istanbul, filled with shopping precincts, beautiful hotels and an array of restaurants.

The neighbourhood is perfectly suited to explore on foot and offers plenty of landmarks including mosques, palaces and churches.

Much of the area’s buildings date as far back as the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods so it’s well worth packing a camera to snap some incredible photographs along the way.

Enjoy a Turkish coffee at one of Ortaköy’s waterfront cafés

If you’re looking to experience Istanbul like a local, the less-crowded Ortaköy is a perfect destination.

Located at the base of the Bosphorus Bridge, the area stretches along the waterfront and promises plenty of restaurants and cafes owned by locals.

This is the perfect location for coffee lovers to get a sip of something strong.

Traditional Turkish coffee is on offer across the area and uses locally sourced beans finely ground before being poured without filtering.

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Follow in Gregg’s footsteps and try something from the food stands lining the Bosphorus

As part of the Channel 5 documentary, Gregg visits the food stalls which line the Asian side of the Bosphorus.

In particularly the Kadikoy market area is renowned for its array of fresh produce and traditional street food dishes.

From spice shops to patisseries, this is the ideal place to get a taste of life in Istanbul.

Soak up history at Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya)

Hagia Sophia, sometimes known as Ayasofya, is one of Istanbul’s most iconic structures and was built in 537 AD.

The place of worship was designed by Greek geometers and was one the largest Christian church of the eastern Roman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

It is famous for its beautiful architecture, including an array of notable doors, sculptures and mosaics.

The building has been used both as a church and a mosque over the years and is home to a selection of religious symbolism.

Find some treasure at the Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar is a tourist Mecca in Istanbul and can be busy at times, but is still well worth a visit.

It is one of the oldest and largest converted markets in the city and is home to 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops run by locals.

Here you can discover everything from ornate lamps to intricately woven carpets.

It is also the ideal spot to grab an authentic souvenir to take home.

Gregg Wallace: Big Weekends Away is on Channel 5 at 8:00pm

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