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
There are 2 airports in Istanbul – one in the Asian Side (Sabiha Gokcen) and the main one in the European Side (Ataturk Airport)
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,
The best parts about traveling is meeting up with old friends.
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,
The Blue Mosque view from Aya Sofia Mosque Museum
At the Sultan Ahmet walking towards Topkapi Palace
View from the ferry
Sunset in Istanbul
This might be Suleiman’s Mosque – but I am not sure
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
Sultan Ahmet – Old City of Istanbul – Make sure you get to see it at night
In the heart of the old city, you get to see Blue Mosque on your right and Aya Sofia on your Left
The other half of the 360 photo over looking Hagia Sofia
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.
Sultan Ahmad Mosque or The Blue Mosque, built from 1609 – 1616 during the rule of Ahmad I
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.
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.
In the Blue Mosque there are beautiful saying all around. This one says: Religion revealed Beauty by the Prophet Muhammad (SAAW)
Hajia Sophia or Aya Sophia, was a Church, then a Mosque and now a museum.
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.
Hagia Sophia is beautiful and we spent around an hour just staring at its beauty.
Make sure your camera is full of battery, mine ran out 🙂 and this was taken with my blackberry phone.
You get to feel the beautiful spiritual mix between a Church and a Mosque in one place.
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.
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.
On your way to the Cistern, you can dress like an Ottoman Costume, take a photo and live the moment.
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.
Men are going into the Mosque for prayer time.
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.
Time to roam around Istanbul
You can learn alot about the Islamic religion in Istanbul. People are very religious or / and spiritual.
Mosaic wall – Streets of Old City
Try to catch the red tarin at the Istiklal Street.
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
Happy at the Palace
Beautiful Balcony at the Palace
This is what you get to see outside the Palace
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amazing post! Thank you Razan you’ve now prepared me for my upcoming trip 🙂 very informative and lovely pictures xx
Glad your liked it and found it useful.. i will upload more cities soon 🙂
Beautiful pics of a beautiful city. Loving the around the world section. Well done. X
Razooon this is amazing! def my point of reference xoxoxo
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!
Thank you for your comment Zarmina 🙂 I maybe have mistaken, I will take a second look and update my information on Istanbul soon.