As we flew to Northern Cyprus with Turkish Airlines and Due to the Cyprus dispute, TRNC is recognized only by the EU candidate state Turkey. All other countries recognise the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state, as the only legitimate government for the whole island. However the Republic of Cyprus de facto controls only the south of the island while the TRNC government controls the north. Our plane had to land in Istanbul on mainland Turkey so as their was no additional cost on our flights we decided to stay in Istanbul for a few days before continuing on to Cyprus. We found a nice apartment on the website AirBnB in the Beyoğlu district, on the Galata side of the Golden Horn river we were also very close to Taxim square with its abundance of good bars and restaurants. Getting around Istanbul is a breeze either by using the Metro or the Trams, you can purchase your tickets at the machines situated at the tram stops (make sure you have the correct change) or tickets can also be purchased at various tobacconists around the city, Taxis are also cheap but make sure the meter is running don’t accept the price the driver will try to charge you. Now, as Turkey is predominantly a Muslim country however in the Islamic faith the drinking of alcohol is forbidden, this especially adhered to in the area around the Grand Bazaar, Aya Sophia, Blue Mosque, New Mosque and Topkapi Palace, where the restaurants don’t sell alcohol. However if you like a beer or a glass of wine like myself its much easier to find a bar or a restaurant selling alcohol in the Galata and Beyoğlu district which is the area where we stayed “happy days”. Now enough on drinking habits. Istanbul has an abundance of sights with plenty to see and do. I found a useful site listing the attractions also some sample itineraries depending on your length of stay so Click Here. for more information. In addition to whats listed, I would also recommend getting lost in what is the myriad called the Grand Bazaar and a boat trip on the river Bosphorus. “Top Tip don’t pay for an expensive private tourist boat offering cruises, but take one of the many local ferries which are equally as good but far cheaper Click Here.” Istanbul is in my opinion a safe city for tourists, just take the usual precautions you would do in any city in the world and you won’t go wrong. Finally here are a few photos to wet your appetite but more can be found on my Flickr photo stream.