Jacqui Ridler from The Luxury Cruise Company has compiled her 'Top Ten of things to do and see in Istanbul'. So if you are visiting the city as a port of call on a longer cruise, or staying there a few days before or after your voyage, then check out Jacqui's list for inspiration. Why not add your own tips using the form below?
1. Blue Mosque decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of the ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace. Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years. It was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. This is where large groups of pilgrims commenced their pilgrimage to Mecca.
2. Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. Here you can the famous treasury section, home to the Spoonmaker Diamond, the 7th biggest diamond in the world. Visit the third richest collection in the world of Chinese and Japanese porcelain in the kitchens.
3. The Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest shopping areas in the World, now housing over 3,000 shops; you can even see a demonstration's on Turkish Carpet making!
4. Bosphorus Cruise - this will take you between Asia and Europe. You will see the Anatolian Fortress built in 1393 and the European fortress built in 1452, Dolmabahce, Ciragan and historical Beylerbeyi Palaces as you sail under the modern Bosphorus Bridge. This is a city that was Europe's largest and wealthiest throughout most of the middle ages.
5. Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom located in the Old City. Here you can marvel at the superb mosaics and the marble decorations.
6. Byzantine Hippodrome, this used to be one of the largest chariot race grounds of the Byzantine Empire
7. The Archaeology Museum of Istanbul was built at the end of the 19th century on land that was previously gardens for the Topkopi Palace. The museum occupies two buildings; highlights of the museum's collection include artifacts and works of art belonging to ancient Greek, Roman and other Anatolian civilizations dating back to the 6th century BC
8. Ibrahim Pasa Palace has a fine collection of art and ethnography in a lovely setting. It was built in the 16th century and donated to Grand Vizier Ibrahim Pasha by the great sultan Soliman the Magnificent. After Ibrahim's death the palace was used as a military barracks and made into a museum during the Republic
9. Byzantine cistern - southwest of Hagia Sophia dating from the 6th century. It had a capacity to store 100,000 tons of water which was brought from Belgrade Forest, 12 miles to the north of Istanbul. It is supported by 336 various types of columns brought from different parts of the Empire. There are two Medusa friezes brought from the Temple of Apollo.
10. Jewish Heritage (best seen on an organised tour) The history of the Jews can be dated back to the 4th century B.C. Ortaköy is a cosmopolitan area and popular for its art galleries, night clubs, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Etz-Ahayim (Life Tree) Synagogue and the Galata district where you can see the Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace) Synagogue, and the central and largest Sephardic synagogue in Istanbul. Jewish Museum of Turkey (Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews.) is also worth a look.