I decided to do a new thing from now on.
I will do tb every Thursday to places I visited in the past.
First stop is going to be my second favorite city in the world.
Honestly I can not wait to get back to this amazing city.
It was one of my first destinations ever. Before that I was a student without a travelling budget 🙂 …
I remember arriving at Taksim and literally staring as a little child with my eyes wide open. I have never seen so many people at one place in my whole life.
I was standing at the beginning of the main street with two large suit cases and thinking, omg how the hell am I going to move trough this crowd :D.
My friend Gümüş soon arrived and help me find my way. She was so kind that she accomodate me and my friend for the 12 days in her apartment in the center of the city.
Sooo huge shout out to her and her amazingness. ❤
With her great apartment and super helpful tips this was one of my best trips everrrrr …
Yes, I did say 12 days, but trust me this was not enough. Istanbul is huge city and every corner is worth exploring.
Rich history,culture, crazy energy, people, food, shopping. I loved everything about it.
I decided to write about few places you definitely have to visit, because not everyone have 12 days to stay in the same city and because I do not want to write a novel ;D …
1.Sultan Ahmet Camii ( Blue Mosque)
For sure the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul, built between 1606 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I .
This building is magnificent in every way. From the exterior to the breathtaking interior. 20 000 blue tiles are the reason why this mosque got her nick name “Blue Mosque” and this wonder incorporates mix of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture.
It is open every day, except 90 minutes during the prayer and have in mind that religious people can come at any time to pray, so try to avoid flash photography.
Blue Mosque is on the list of Unesco World Heritage list. Entrance to the Blue Mosque is for free.
2. Aya Sofia
Aya Sofia was Greek Orthodox basilica, transformed into an Mosque after Ottoman conquer, and now a Museum .
The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I. In 1453. Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire and cathedral was transformed into the mosque. It was used in that purpose until 1931. After four years of being closed for pub;ic, building was open as a Museum of Turkish Republic in 1935. Interesting fact is that Only Pantheon in Rome has slightly bigger dome than the dome of Hagia Sophia in the world. One more surprising facts which I learned during the tour was that this mesmerizing building was built in record time 5 years, 10 months and 4 days. Just for comparison, construction of Notre Dome in Paris took over a century. Entrance is 40 TL (around 7,50 e).
3. Topkapi Palace
The palace is located directly behind Hagia Sophia, and was built on the same spot where the acropolis of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium stood.
Complex consists four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Female members of the Sultan’s family lived in the harem, and leading state officials, including the Grand Vizier, held meetings in the Imperial Council building. As many as 300 concubines lived in the Harem of the palace.
And again interesting fact ,(which obviously I love),is that in the early days white eunuchs were guardians of the harem, but black eunuchs sent as gifts by the Ottoman governor of Egypt later took control. As many as 200 eunuchs lived in the harem.
When the sultans moved to the Dolmabahce Palace in 1853 Topkapi lost its importance as the official royal residence. It was transformed into a museum in 1924 upon the order of Ataturk.
4. Dolmabahce Palace
Dolmabahce palace built in 19 th century is one of the most glamorous palaces in the world. It was the administrative center of the late Ottoman Empire with the last of Ottoman Sultans was residing there.
Dolmabahce palace has 285 rooms, 44 halls, 68 toilets and 6 Turkish baths.
The palace was the home to the last six sultans of the abolished Ottoman Empire.
*Interesting fact* 😀
The founder of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, died in the most basic bedroom of the palace compared to the rest and the clock in the room is still pointing to 09:05 am.
5. Basilica Cistern
This is the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul, built in the 6th century during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I.
There are 336 giant columns (mostly Ionic or Corinthian in style) supporting the structure in 12 rows of 28 columns.
*Interesting fact* 😀
The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film from Russia with love.
6. Grand Bazaar (Kapalıçarşı)
One of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops. In 2014, it was listed No.1 among world’s most-visited tourist attractions.
Place where you can find literally everything. From needle to locomotive.
(We have this saying in Serbian, but pretty sure it is not a rest of the world thing) 😀 .
You can spend the whole days here, and still not see everything.I got lost so many times I lost count. 😀
If you re good in negotiating your price, hurry up, this is the best place for your auction. On the other hand if you suck at it, like myself, try not to buy a lot of stuff. You’ ll end up paying three times more, the their reall worth. lol :’D
7. Bosphorus Cruise
From the deck of your boat, glance left to see the shoreline of Europe, right to see the wooded hills of Asia. Pass underneath the massive spans of two intercontinental suspension bridges.Boats depart hourly on the hour year round between 10am and 7pm and go as far as the second suspension bridge. during the route you’ll see everything from Dolmabahçe Palace to the Ottoman fortress of Rumeli Hisarı, plus scores of cormorants and low-flying squadrons of shearwaters. The Turyol quay is just west of the Galata Bridge in Eminönü.
There are few cruises depending on your time and budget. From short one to those of few hours and lunch. There are even those during the night.
8. The Princes’ Islands
In the 19th century, the Princes’ Islands, just an hour’s ride from the ferry terminal, were the summer retreat of the city’s wealthy elite. The islands still provide rest from the big city, and locals come here to take horse-drawn carriage ride, hire bicycles and organize picnic. The thing I love about this island is that the cars are forbidden.
9. Galata Tower
Placed almost at the end of the main Istiklal street.The nine-story tower is 66.90 m, and was the city’s tallest structure when it was built.There is a restaurant and café on its upper floors which have views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus. Also located on the upper floors is a night club which hosts a Turkish show. There are two operating elevators that carry visitors from the lower level to the upper levels. If you are lookout lover like myself this is a must stop for you.
10. Nevizade sokak
I personally fell in love with this area.
The lively Nevizade Street (Nevizade Sokak) in Beyoğlu, located in the modern part of Istanbul, is where the party’s at, on any night of the week, winter or summer. A trip to Istanbul simply is not complete without having tasted the mezes in one of the many meyhanes (taverns), or having enjoyed a beer on the terraces of the various pubs.
11. Shopping time
I have never seen this many shopping malls and markets in my life. If you are on a shopping spree this city is perfect stop. There is one shopping center on each metro station, huge markets , small local stores and even several store of the same brands in th main street.
When you’re done with overwhealming tour, you definitely deserve a break.
Mine was always with great turkish which I adore and balkava baby 😀 …
This was really short listed list of the things this stunning city has to offer. Maybe the best thing about Istanbul is how warm, friendly and welcoming his people are.
I never felt more welcomed in my life, while being in a foreign country.
See you soon Istanbul 🙂 … I sure can not wait.
Talk to you soon guys