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With flights leaving from Beirut to Istanbul almost every hour and a half, many Lebanese are acquainted with the bustling district in the Old City of Sultanahmet and its various touristic attractions, such as the Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the Topkapi Palace. For those keen to see a different side of Istanbul, there are less commonly visited neighborhoods, parks and scenic vantage points that are accessible and just as breathtaking as the historic sites of the Old City. With Easter quickly approaching, April is an ideal time to visit Istanbul, as summer tourists have yet to descend to the city. As Orhan Pamuk notes in his aptly titled homage to the city "Istanbul," the district's proximity to the center of the early Turkish film industry gave it a glamorous atmosphere that persists today.Home to exiled royal family members during both Byzantine and Ottoman times, the chain of islands in the Sea of Marmara is easily reachable from Istanbul by a ferry, which stops at four islands.
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