Have you ever heard someone say that they visited Istanbul and came back disappointed? Probably not right? It is practically guaranteed that this Turkish city will leave you “in love”. You know why? It has one foot in the West and another in the east, that way you are able to enjoy this mixture. On the European side is its class, modernity and comfort. The asian side comes the tradition, the culture. For that reason, it has plenty of reasons to please everyone.
Istanbul is a pretty big city, it has around 15 million inhabitants and nearly 99 percent are Muslim – this is the first interesting feature. They are not radicals but the apparel of the people is different from classic European standards.
And speaking of Mosque, Hagia Sophia or Saint Sophia is a treasure. Its huge minarets and its great dome has been exhibited in the historic center for over a millennium. It was built by the Byzantines as a christian temple. It was then transformed into a mosque and today it is a museum. To sit on the terrace of the wonderful Sultanahmet Four Seasons hotel (which has served as a prison of politicians and intellectuals) and have a tea and watch the sunset with the silhouette of Santa Sofia as background is spectacular.
By walking a few steps, the Basilica Cistern, called Yerebatan Sarayi is a must see! It supplied the town with water since the 6th century. Circling in the underground, among more than 300 columns is sure to leave you speechless.
The Blue Mosque is another must seen in Istanbul. It is almost in front of the Hagia Sophia. Its beauty is impressive. It is the only mosque with six minarets and outside it isn’t blue just inside. It is filled with stained glass windows and blue tiles.
And the Grand Bazaar? Ahhh! You can say that this market is giant, more than 4,000 shops, it is the forerunner of the shopping center. After all, it was built in 1450 and until today it drives the trade in Istanbul. It sells everything you can imagine. I would say that cycling in their mazes is almost an anthropological experience.
This is only the beginning. The restaurants are fantastic, the history pulsates every corner, they have the tradition of turkish eyes, and the boats are always coming and going. There is so much to see and enjoy. Istanbul deserves at least 5 days to visit. Do you want a fantastic accommodation tip, on the banks of the Bosporus, in a former Ottoman Palace? Çiragan Palace Kempinski. One of the most luxurious hotels of the city, with the best baklavas I have ever had in my life and an unforgettable sunset.
I hope you have gained inspiration with today’s tip.
I wish you all a wonderful and blessed week! See you next Tuesday!