Istanbul is one of my absolutely favourite cities in the world.
A city which straddles Europe and Asia, a city where those two different continents merge and meld to form a wonderful mix of cultures, a city of fantastic history – first as Byzantium, then as the capital of the eastern Roman Empire, Constantinople, and then later as the capital of the Ottoman Empire – a city of domes and minarets contrasting now with graffiti and boutique, hipster stores, a city so vibrant and happening, a city that has utterly stolen my heart.
Join me on a photo joinery to discover what makes Istanbul incredible!!
The journey starts in Sultanahmet, the heart of Old Istanbul. A compact area stuffed full of so many wonderful historic and gorgeous buildings and places, like the oh so elegant Blue Mosque
Facing opposite the Blue Mosque is the grand Aya Sofia. First built as a church, then converted into a mosque before finally changing to a museum in 1935. Aya Sophia is imposing and so full of history!
Nearby is the colour and crazy layrinth-like Grand Bazaar. This place is seriously big and it’s very easy to get lost amongst the covered ……. and many, many shops selling everything. My absolute favourite are the gorgeous Turkish lights and bright, colourful bowls.
Down towards the Golden Horn is the fascinating and aromatic Spice Bazaar. I love the perfect pyramids of spices, herbs and teas, and the yummy looking Turkish delight.
Istanbul is full of places selling Turkish delight and Turkish coffee. A definite must try while in incredible Istanbul!
Linking old Istanbul with hip and happening Beyoglu is the Galata Bridge which crosses the Golden Horn, an inlet off the Bosphorus. Every time I crossed there were throngs of fisherman. Below are lots of cafes and restaurants where the speciality is Balik ekmek (aka. a fish sandwich).
Pedestrianised Istiklal Caddesi cuts through the heart of Beyoglu and is all things new and happening in Istanbul. Expect plenty of Western shops, restaurants and nearby bars. This busy streets leads to Taksim Square.
The Bosphorus not only cuts through Istanbul, it also divides Europe from Asia. A boat trip on the Bosphorus provides a different perspective of incredible Istanbul, and takes you past some wonderful Ottoman palaces and Rumeli Hisari, a European fortress.
Have you been to Istanbul and also think it’s incredible? I’d love to hear from you!!