Turkey is a blessed land with so much to offer for every tourist. People are very welcoming and hospitable to everyone irrespective of race and color. The best way to kick off your journey is to land Istanbul which is known for some stunning architecture, prolific history & crafty mosques. According to a local citizen I met, they count to almost 3000 in numbers. Massive, isn’t it?
Beyoglu, Taksim Square should be one’s accommodation place as it lives in the heart of Istanbul. You will find the hustle and bustle of the foreigners around no matter what time you set your foot in at this vary place. The town lies in the western side of the Bosphorus. Another notable place for accommodation in Istanbul is Sultanahmet which is the eastern side. Streets are filled with so much life & color 24/7 & are always there to inject that spur of excitement and joy in you. You will love strolling around the neat areas of Istanbul and hey hey! Not to forget all these cute stray cats that coexist happily with Istanbulites since many many years now. Surely a soul-stirrer for feline lovers as they are in for some compassionate times.
Another most fascinating thing about this country i observed is the respect and amount of pride these people take in their national flag. You’ll find lots of banners & flags of just about every size really.
FOOD & GETTING AROUND ISTANBUL:
Transportation is pretty simple as the underground metro runs through every major spot in the city. I found the system to be very efficient and travel-friendly. There was not even a single moment that we found ourselves lost in the city. Would suggest buying Istanbul Kart if you plan to use public transportation frequently. Istanbul kart is a prepaid rechargeable RFID card and is easily available from stations. By the way, Cabs are not that expensive too if you know how to negotiate smartly.
Food around Istanbul is very open in range from 5 Lira upto 30 35 Liras. We found all the prominent shopping brands and restaurant/fast food chains in the Taksim vicinity and literally at walking distance. One must try ‘Adana Kebap’ in Istanbul served hot with rich green salad and typical tota rice of Turkey.
Things your eyes shouldn’t miss:
Blue Mosque with its all famous minarets
Appealing Bosphorus Bridge connecting two continents
Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia
Fantastic sightseeing & rich history in this area at Sultanahmet. We were lucky enough to offer Friday prayers at The Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet. You can cover all these major landmarks by foot. Topkapi Palace & Hagia Sophia is the prime example of the world’s most colorful stories put together under museums. Golden horn to the north, Sea of Marmara to the south, such accuracy in the geographical dispersion of these museums. Ready to tick off all of them in one go?
Trip to Princess Island
The ferries to Buyukada left from Kabatas the last i went but I’ve heard about the closure of this dock and new dock is Eminonu for the departure. These ferries leave with the gap of every 15-20minutes from the docks. Return ticket will cost you around 15 TL. I will be covering details about princess island in a separate blog shortly.
Grand Bazaar & Spice Bazaar
The tower opens 9am in the morning and closes around 8pm. Be sure to reach early owing to the massive queue at the gate.
BOSPHORUS DINNER Cruise with traditional Turkish dance
A fun-filled & recreational activity that can be done at night. The passes are easily available around Taksim & in the lobbies of different hotels. A single pass will cost you around 150-200 TL on average per head. I highly recommend this activity for couples. Sailing through the Bosphorus at night will provide you with some photogenic views of both the eastern & the western side of Istanbul.
Malls specially CEVAHIR Mall near Taksim Square (10mins Drive)
Wander at ever-so-LIVELY Istiklal Street (but beware of pick pockets and scams here)
Don’t forget subscribing & dropping in your valuable comments. Feel free to ask me any questions. Below box belongs to each & everyone of you. I will be covering details about more topics in my next blog. Thank you for reading and Happy travels to you all.