Always conscious of its cultural significance, the city of Istanbul sponsors a number of international festivals, one right after the other, in summer and fall. The Istanbul International Theater Festival, followed by film, music and design festivals. Each venue is marked by the festival signs that decorate the streets of Beyöglu, Taksim, Galata Tower and Sultanamet explore istanbul. Visit the underbelly of the city with a tour of the Byzantine Cisterns. It will be the prettiest plumbing you ever did see. Only people with an eye for secluded charm would build a underground palace to store water. Advertisements for Bosphorus tours proliferate as you get closer to a ferry station, but don’t get sucked in. Instead, buy an Istanbul Kart for 5 TL from any kiosk with a sign that says akbil, load it up and use it to take ferry rides for less than a pound. Some ferry routes run in a loop through stations along both the Asian and Europe sides, while others simply cross over. Pickup a schedule at one of the stations and map out your own tour. The larger boats have cafes on the upper deck that serve tea, nescafe, sandwiches and snacks. Get off the boat at out-‐of-‐the-‐way stops to poke around on your own time, then hop back on to head back to the centre.