Even on a weekend trip to Istanbul you can soak up the best of its medieval charms and cosmopolitan chic at this historical crossroads of Europe and Asia. Take a trip back in time to the Ottoman era when you explore the grand Hagia Sofia, marvelling at the Byzantine architecture. Did you know it was a mosque and church at different times in history? If you are a history buff, the city’s wealth of archaeological museums will surely satisfy your appetite. You'll see a lot of Istanbul's charming old-world character by strolling along the Walls of Constantinople and cruising down the Bosphorus on a local ferry. To beat the heat, why not duck underground to see the marbled pillars of the Basilica Cistern, the city’s ancient water cistern? Unwind with a hearty lunch of meze (tapas-style mini dishes) and a Turkish black tea. Think you've seen it all? Then wrap up your Istanbul break with a rejuvenating bath and massage in a Turkish bath, or hammam.