Istanbul, Turkey – 2013

Istanbul, Turkey – 2013

Have you ever been to Istanbul?

No ?  

What are you waiting for?  

Believe me this city is nice for everyone. Let’s make it simple; if you are a fan of shopping, you will be served. If you are a football fan, you will be served. If you are a fan of monuments, architecture and history, you are served. Gourmands will be served, as well as party animals! Young and old alike, this city will delight all tastes.

My trip to Istanbul in the summer of 2013 was remarkable. I went with my family and spent a week there. We then made a trip south to Antalya (I’ll talk about it in a future post). August 2013, departure from Algiers, flight with Alitalia. Stopover a few hours in Rome, then second flight to Istanbul. Once there, our hotel was 200 m from Taksim Square. A lively place 24 hours a day. This square houses the monument of the Republic, built in 1928. Taksim Square is at the beginning of the shopping and pedestrian street, Istiklal Caddesi (Revolution Street). This avenue that stretches for several kilometers has several shops of various international and local brands, which will delight the addicts to shopping (like me eh …)

In the first place we visited the beautiful Galata tower (accessible along Istiklal street). At the top of this tower, it is possible to have a panoramic and impregnable view of the whole city. A fun activity we had done was to dress up in traditional Turkish outfits and get into the sultans’ skin for a photo on a couch and had pictures of us taken by a photographer.

 

What is also interesting to visit is the Topkapi Palace. I will not put the pictures, because I had them taken in a very bad quality due to the poor lightening and the glass reflect. What is very important to see are the two most beautiful mosques in the city, I quote; The Blue Mosque and the Basilica of Saint Sophia (Aya Sofia).Both of them are very beautiful, by their architectures, their colors and their immensity. A little moment of meditation there is good.

The evenings, we liked to get lost wandering in the city center, but especially on the edge of the Bosphorus (Karakoy). The locals meet there to eat, chat, laugh and wander in groups or couples. The view of the bridge is sublime on summer nights.

I advise you to take a cruise on the Bosphorus, before sunset. The colors of the sky are breathtaking.

 

Sunset is the best time to enjoy the beautiful last rays of sun on both shores. For boat trips, there are excursions to the charming Princess island. A very nice island with pretty houses and chalets of a special architecture.

On the island, it is possible to rent bicycles to go around, or to take a horse-drawn carriage. We had a carriage ride because we were many. For the less curious, a small rocky beach is not far from the port, it is possible to swim there.

The side of the city called Fatih remains particularly attractive for people wanting to do business in retail. Lanes filled with shops glued to each other offering all types of clothing, shoes and accessories wholesale at fairly varied prices. Not far from the tram stop “Lalleli University” in Fatih, you will find famous the Grand Bazaar! A real labyrinth where we found all kinds of jewelry, silver, gold or just accessories! Of course in this kind of place it is quite permissible to negotiate prices. I took a very pretty silver bracelet with fake emeralds. It is also possible to buy souvenirs from this bazar, because the prices are lower than elsewhere. We also visited the biggest shopping centers, including: Cevahir and Forum Istanbul. These are the best … Victoria’s Secret is in the Cevahir shopping mall. I think that it will interest many girls!

As for gastronomy, aaaaaaaah we have had so much from everything! Their cuisine is very good and quite varied, but also different from the European gastronomy (rather close to the oriental cuisine / Libanese and Syrian).

The fish is very cheap and just divine! The grilled sole is available everywhere and cheap, I highly recommend it. The kebab dishes are so varied that you will need several days to taste all of them. It is very easy to travel by metro and tram in the city, because the network covers almost all points of interest. The Turkish people are very kind and helpful, I keep a good memory of this trip! I recommend once again (I know I’ve said it already) to visit this city that I keep so many good memories from.

See you soon for a new trip and a new destination! Antalya of course …

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