Istanbul

This City is
Unpredictable – It keeps growing on you – full of different things to do
1- Make sure you spend most of your time over looking the Bosphorus
2- Walk around the Bosphorus, boat trip around the Bosphorus.
3- Go to: Bebek, Orakoy, Istiklal, Yenikoy, Galata bridge, Beyoglu
4- Touristic Attractions: Topkapi Palace, Mosques around the Old City (Blue Mosque, Aya Sophia, Sulieman Mosque) Dolmabahci Palace, the Eminonu square, Grand bazaar, Spices Bazaar, Turkish Bath (Hamam), Istanbul Modern Museum, Yeldiz Seray
5- Few turkish words: Nikadar (How much), Tshakolar (Thank you)
6- The Four Seasons Hotel was a Jail before.
7- Try Ustad (Lahmeh bi Ajeen) around Old City, Hafiz Mustafa (for the best turkish delight), Chilai (for an unforgettable night), Kasibeyaz (Good turkish food & view), Sultanahmet Koftecisi (the best meat balls), Assk (for an unforgettable sunset)
8- Cute small affordable hotel in the center of Istanbul – Rosato Suit
Airport

There are 2 airports in Istanbul – one in the Asian Side (Sabiha Gokcen) and the main one in the European Side (Ataturk Airport)

Kadikoy

We stayed in the Asian side and took the ferry every morning to the European side. If you visit this side check out: Baghdad street,

Gonja

The best parts about traveling is meeting up with old friends.

Sahan

Sahan is a very good turkish restaurant in the Asian Side, make sure you order their main dishes and main appetizers. Turkish food is really good. Try the following food: Doner Kebab, Odaneh Kebab, Kashek Cheese, Manta,

Really GoodFood

The Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque view from Aya Sofia Mosque Museum

Sultan Ahmet

At the Sultan Ahmet walking towards Topkapi Palace

Mosque Istanbul

View from the ferry

Mosque sunset

Sunset in Istanbul

Mosque

This might be Suleiman’s Mosque – but I am not sure

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Mosque

Istanbul – Asian Side

You can order and have Chai almost anywhere. Having Chai on the Ferry going to the European area.

Ferry Trip on the Bosphorus

Beautiful wind breeze

SultanAhmet

Sultan Ahmet – Old City of Istanbul – Make sure you get to see it at night

SultanAhmet

In the heart of the old city, you get to see Blue Mosque on your right and Aya Sofia on your Left

SultanAhmet

The other half of the 360 photo over looking Hagia Sofia

Hagia Sophia

Turkish people are very friendly and are always around and available to help with directions or taking your photo. You will love them for being very helpful.

The Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmad Mosque or The Blue Mosque, built from 1609 – 1616 during the rule of Ahmad I

The Blue Mosque

Islamic Prayers (Salah) – is practiced 5 times a day – Therefore you can only visit the Mosque as a tourist before or after the Adan and Prayer.

Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmad Mosque is referred to as The Blue Mosque for its blue tiles. Usually woman must be covered to enter the mosque, but you can enter without covering your head during visiting hours.

Kashaf Al Deen Al Jamal

In the Blue Mosque there are beautiful saying all around. This one says: Religion revealed Beauty by the Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)

Hajia Sofia Museum

Hajia Sophia or Aya Sophia, was a Church, then a Mosque and now a museum.

AyaSophia

If you look into the picture, you will notice Sitna Mariam / Mary the moteher of Jesus between the name of God in Arabic (Allah) and the name of the Prophet (Mohammad “SAAW”) and the name of his close friends.

AyaSophia

Hagia Sophia is beautiful and we spent around an hour just staring at its beauty.

AyaSophia

Make sure your camera is full of battery, mine ran out 🙂 and this was taken with my blackberry phone.

AyaSophia

You get to feel the beautiful spiritual mix between a Church and a Mosque in one place.

AyaSophia

Take a walk around Aya Sophia – beautiful garden.

You will see this around the city, you can try it if you love sugar.

Have the best Kofta (Meat balls) at this place in the Old city.

The Basilica Cistern

Get to see Medusa in the Basilica Cistern that was built during the Byzantine Emperror. The sculpture placed Medusa in three different positions according to sun rays.

Costume

On your way to the Cistern, you can dress like an Ottoman Costume, take a photo and live the moment.

Suleiman Mosque

Suleiman Mosque is also very beautiful. The Mosques are always lite during the night, and it creates a magical view, make sure you do not miss it.

Suleiman Mosque

Men are going into the Mosque for prayer time.

Kaak

Kaak will be found around every corner, try it with cheese filling.

Kastana or what is known as Chestnuts, are also found everywhere in the city.

Grand Bazaar is where you will find all the turkish delights, hand made jewelry, faux brands and leather, etc… If you have the patience to negotiate then this is the place for you.

Istanbul

Time to roam around Istanbul

CAB

You can learn alot about the Islamic religion in Istanbul. People are very religious or / and spiritual.

Mosaic

Mosaic wall – Streets of Old City

Istiklal Train

Try to catch the red tarin at the Istiklal Street.

Train

Istanbul

Topkpi Palace – back to the Ottomans

360 view from inside the Palace – tip – don’t waist your time at the very beginning, get to see the Haram, and get to really see the big sultan rooms.

Names on the walls of the Palace.

Set your dreams and imagination free.

The tiles in the palace are magnificent, this is one of my very favorite

Topkapi Palace

Happy at the Palace

Beautiful Balcony at the Palace

This is what you get to see outside the Palace

Transportation

Transportation varies in Istanbul from, tains, buses, taxis, and metros. it is a big city with lots of traffic.

Branded train, this is a fast way to move around the city.

The Market

Night Life

Great places to see: Bebek Area: Chilai is a beautiful lounge over looking the sea, Lucca Cafe, Kitchenette, Istiklal Street: Midpoint Cafe in Istiklal street over looks the old city. Ortakoy Area: House Cafe, Banyan, Assk Cafe (over looking the sea with great food and drinks) Reina (Luxurious night out under the bridge and in the middle of the sea) . Beyoglu: Avlu, Ponte, Ltera (for unforgettable views) Pera Palace, Lokai, Angelique, Mangerie & Sortie.

Eminonu Square, where all the ferry’s are.

Eminuno Stop

House Cafe

Ortakoy Stop

Tty the Manta but make sure its served at a good restaurant and not just any commercial one.

Ortakoy is just beautiful, roam around and have a seat under the bridge between the crowd.

Have a Kompeer for lunch or dinner in Ortakoy, it is super good.

Kompeer street in Ortakoy

Have a waffle right after the Kompeer.

Over looking Banyan in Ortakoy

i am not sure which Palace this is, but it looks nice and is around the four seasons hotel area.

Ferry view

The view from one of the cafes in Boyoglu

Kafek is a must see and try in Istanbul, near by Taksim square, experience the life by chilling on the pavement with cushions, chai and a baklava (baklava is a famous desert in Istanbul)

This is a sea food historic restaurant in Istiklal Street and is supposedly very good.

You can work out infront of the Bosphorus

Have turkish food at Kasi over looking the Bosphorus

Reina, the famous night life spot with restaurants, lounges, and a club.

This is not a picture taken by me, I just found this on twitter and it is exactly the same scenery from Reina

Meeting my friend from camp after 16 years.

In Ortakoy under the bridge

It sure does leave an impression… that is very hard to let go.

6 thoughts on “Istanbul

  1. This is a great post, but I think you may have mistaken the New Mosque near the bridge with the Suleiman Mosque which is a bit of a climb and much more imposing.
    You’ve made great recommendation and I will definitely see some of the places you suggested. Thank you for such a detailed itinerary!

    Like

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