Crowded and chaotic, but a real-life Turkish delight, Istanbul has an exotic and buzzy vibe, and will fascinate children of all ages.
Heading into the Grand Bazaar, you will need to keep a firm grasp on your child, so they don’t get lost. Reputedly the largest retail area of its kind, there are 4,000-plus shops and stalls where you can barter for everything from clothes and jewellery to carpets and scarves.
The Topkapi Palace in the Old City provides an oasis of calm amidst this chaotic capital, with a wonderful garden for children to run around.
Take a day trip on a public ferry up the Bosphorus to the village of Anadolu Kavagi, one of the last stops before the Black Sea. Take hats and sunscreen, as you will want to stay up on deck for the ride and views. Stop for lunch, then head up to the ruined fortress above the village.
The W Istanbul is a stunning boutique hotel in the Besiktas area. Rooms with two double beds cost €216 per night with Pure Luxury.
Alternatively, you can stay in the heart of the old town at The Ottoman Hotel Imperial, which is close to all the wonderful historic sites of the city – helpful when you don’t want to travel far with a young child. A junior suite (which comfortably accommodates four) costs €350 per night.
Check out our Cities section for more superb holiday ideas.