Istanbul … A Gem!
“Just A City Girl!!”
Istanbul has it all: over 2500 years of history, culture, amazing landmarks, vibrant nightlife, and breathtaking views. This transcontinental metropolis is a fast-paced cultural melting pot you can’t afford to miss.
Rome and Istanbul are both over two-and-a-half millennia old, but for the majority of the time Istanbul was larger, more influential, and wealthier than Rome.
The city has enchanting cobblestone streets that making walking around town such a pleasure. The gorgeous minarets of the Blue Mosque and the Galata Tower provide such beautiful views. These are sights that make Istanbul unique.
There is no shortage of breathtaking views from the city. One of my favorites is the city’s silhouette seen from a boat on the Bosphorus during sunset. For a 360 panoramic view of Istanbul, you can visit the Galata Tower or one of the many rooftop bars.
Turkish hospitality is welcoming. Even if you aren’t a regular customer, you’re bound to get offered Turkish Tea as soon as you walk into a shop. Even if you do not purchase anything from the shop, an enthusiastic conversation is enriching.
The changing colors of the Bosphorus are one of the many things you will notice and wonder at. The early mornings can turn the waters a hard, steel gray and then a sparkling, brilliant shade of blue or turquoise in the afternoon and even a murky black as the day wears on. Find a café and enjoy the cool sea breeze, or take a ride along the Bosphorus and let the world pass by!
Towering over the Bosphorus and Marmara Sea, the Topkapi Palace in Sultanahmet is one of Istanbul’s most visited tourist attractions. Topkapi Palace is rightfully a sight you can’t afford to miss while in Istanbul. This complex of kiosks and pavilions contained by four lush green courtyards is where generations of sultans had their principal residence for almost half a century.
The Hagia Sofia – A splendid church-turned-mosque-turned-museum is among the world’s greatest architectural achievements. After years of restoration works, its finally scaffolding free, enabling you to absorb its splendor as it was meant to be. Stunning as it is!
A trip to Istanbul is not complete without a Bosphorus cruise. Not only provides it a nice overview of the city from a different angle, as well as both the European and Asian shores of the famous waterway have a lot to offer – century old palaces and mansions galore. There are several cruises you can choose from, a short one, a sunset tour with dinner and belly dancing, or a full day cruise all the way to the black sea and back. Choices are plenty depending on your preferences.
The Grand Bazaar – True to its name, Over 500 years old, but still one of the largest covered bazaars in the world. Its 60 streets contain no less than 5000 shops, 60 restaurants, 18 fountains, 12 mosques, and even a school!!! Unbelievable isn’t it!
The Galata Tower is one of the best spots in town to get a 360 panoramic view of Istanbul. On a bright day you can even spot the Princes’ Islands from this 60-meter high tower. There is also a restaurant/cafe on the ninth floor if you want to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and soak in the views!
Alternatively, you can walk around in the cozy streets of Galata surrounding the tower and have a drink or some local food on one of the many terraces. You might enjoy them a lot, it is nice to watch the world go by an escape from the fast paced life back home.
Istanbul Nightlife – Whether you want to enjoy a (local) live performance while sipping on your favorite drink, attend concerts of current and past world stars, or dance the night away in open-air venues by the Bosphorus or while enjoying a rooftop 360 view, Istanbul has it all. please check back for events that would be happening around your travel dates.
Delicacies – Baklava the finest example of the Turkish dessert passion. The ingredients are simple but the craftsmanship unique! Turkish Delight another specialty of the region is a rather simple jelly candy. It’s quite different from other jelly candies that we normally have. Well, you certainly can’t return home without a few of these delicacies.
Shopping – There is no dearth of shopping options in Istanbul, you can choose from luxurious, mainstream designers, Shops galore in Istanbul. You can go luxurious and mainstream or hunt for authentic handmade items by local designers. Also, don’t forget to stock up on exotic spices, olives, or the great selection of nuts and teas available.