Istanbul, Here We Come

March 26, 2013 Turkey 6 Comments 8,426 Views

Istanbul, Here We Come!

It’s been almost 15 years since the last time we visited Istanbul. Far to long if you ask me!

Although Istanbul isn’t the capital, it’s the largest city in Turkey and the leading industrial, commercial, historical, and cultural center. Not only because of the diversity of people, but also geologically; Istanbul is the only major city world-wide that lies on two continents, Asia & Europe. I heard that it’s supposed to be one of the most fascinating places and therefore, I can’t wait to to dive into the “Soul of Turkey” in less than two weeks!

We booked ourselves into a fantastic historical flat right next to the Galata Tower with a 360° roof top terrace, which I desperately need for “bird view” photo opportunities – whether day or night.

Things we want to see:

Hagia Sophia
One of Istanbul’s illustrious landmark, the Hagia Sofia was a former church, mosque and now a museum. It is the most important achievement of Byzantine architecture.

Topkapi Palace
This palace was home to all the Ottoman sultans. Today it’s a museum. The Treasury of the Museum is considered one of the most celebrated treasuries in the world.

Blue Mosque
Although popularly known as the Blue Mosque, its real name is Sultan Ahmet Mosque. It is famous for the beautiful blue tiles and glass work ornamenting its walls.

Grand Bazaar
We love markets, so this is a definite must! Grand Bazaar is the oldest and largest covered bazaar in the world. It’s situated in the heart of the city. Inside the Grand Bazaar you can enjoy shopping and find great bargains in 3.000 shops.

Galata Tower
It was called the Christea Turris by the Genoese and the Megalos Pyrgos by the Byzantines. It has a modern restaurant and cafe on its upper floors with a stunning view of Istanbul. The Galata Quarter is also the trendiest area in Istanbul…

Suleymaniye Mosque
This mosque is the largest and most imposing. It’s an architectural masterpiece. The aesthetic supremacy of its interior and exterior and its perfect proportions have been captivating visitors for centuries.

Old City Walls of Istanbul
Old Constantinople was surrounded by walls described as land walls and sea walls. These walls were considered to be the largest fortress ever constructed in the Christian era. With the numerous towers, it’s a magnificent sight.

As you can see, the fours day we have there are packed. But I’m always open to even more suggestions, especially the ones a tourist would never find. So, any Istanbul insider tips?

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6 Comments

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“Istanbul, Here We Come!”

  1. Hello ladies… .not exactly an “insider” tip, but have you seen the Basilica Cistern? Was my favourite site in Istanbul. Have fun!

  2. Nisa

    Thanks for the tip Nate! Just read about the Basilica Cistern … “Sunken palace” definitely sounds pretty intriguing. We’ll check it out for sure :D

  3. Istanbul is one of my favorite places on earth! I second the Basilica Cistern (it’s right by the other historical sites, definitely an easy thing to add in). Also, don’t miss a trip to the Spice Market and New Mosque (next to each other). And a visit to a hamam is a must in my opinion! Last but not least, drink LOTS of orange juice – it’s unreal good. You will adore it, have an amazing time!

  4. Oh! And eat at Khorasani Restaurant in the Sultanahmet. The food is fabulous.

  5. Nisa

    Thanks Ami for the great tips! We actually went to the spice market yesterday, which was really great. Loved the smell there :) We didn’t get a chance to eat at the restaurant you mentioned, but we still got some great Turkish food in other great restaurants.
    Best, Nisa

    Thanks Virginia for nominating us! We’ll try and get to this over the weekend :)

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