I always wanted to visit Istanbul and when I finally booked the tickets, it was like mother nature was the one stopping me this time. Just a few days before my trip, it was non-stop snowing in Istanbul and the airports were closed. But just like a miracle when the day I was traveling arrived, everything got back on schedule. Istanbul, the largest city in Europe, has a really big traffic problem and it’s the first thing you will notice getting into a taxi from the airport to the city. (Always keep an eye on the taxi meter).
I finally arrived at my hotel. I chose CVK Park Bosphorus just a few steps from the famous Taksim square, located on the European side of the city. The smell in the lobby was sensational and suitable for a luxury hotel. The suite was enormous with a perfect bed and a big window from where you can see Bosphorus and the other side of Istanbul (Asia). From the bathtub you could see the entire room and the view.
I walked through Taksim to get to the Galata tower. My first acquaintance with the city was the outstanding view from up there. Time for lunch at the little bistro right outside the tower and off to Galata bridge. Oh my God! I have never seen so many people fishing before. Fortunately if you want to try some fresh fish there are plenty of restaurants right under your feet. 🙂
Tip: Buying a leather jacket from Istanbul is a must!
Stay in the area until sunset to enjoy Bosphorus and the view of some of the city’s most famous monuments like New Mosque and Hagia Sophia. The spices market, just a few steps from the Galata bridge, was my next stop. Full of smells, colours and delights. You simply can’t leave without buying some of the spices.
I had my turkish tea with the best turkish cream at the Hafiz Mustafa 1864. After this long day the only thing I wanted to do, was to get in my hotel’s hammam (aka Turkish baths).
When the sun hitted my face from the room’s window and opened my eyes… I saw Bosphorus and I couldn’t wait for my day to begin. I ‘ve put on my sultan shoes and hit the road to Sultanahmet park like a pro.
I waited in the line to get in Hagia Sophia and when I got in it was like arrows of history were hitting me from back then. From a little window in Hagia Sophia I saw Blue Mosque which was my next stop.
I was hungry but I wanted to visit Top Kapi before closing time. This palace isn’t just beautiful but it also offers you a great view. Time to eat some turkish kebab at the traditional restaurants nearby.
Enough with the sightseeing… lets hit the clubs! I’m in Istanbul after all! Had a perfect night out at the clubs of Taxim and amazing cocktails at 360 bar.
One walk at the bazaars of Istanbul will travel you back in time. Grand bazaar is the oldest and biggest market with 60 streets and more than 3.000 stores. I bought a couple of traditional tea and coffee sets.
Don’t miss the sunset from Suleymaniye Mosque. The most beautiful one in Istanbul.
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