Places to see and stuff to do in Istanbul:
- Hagia Sophia – former Greek Orthodox basilica, then imperial mosque and now museum. Worth queuing up to see. Bear in mind there are some works going on right now inside and outside.
- Basilica Cistern – one of the largest ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city.
- Sultan Ahmed Mosque – also knowns as Blue Mosque. It is very impressive from outside. I haven’t been inside since it’s only that much of the building I enjoy seeing a day.
- Bosphorus tour – take the longer one that takes you to the Black Sea. The last stop is filled with nice restaurant, lots of tourists. You can also hike up to the hill and see an amazing view of the sea.
- Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar – filled with everything. Expensive and fake stuff. Spices and turkish delights you can actually buy somewhere else cheaper. It is still worth seeing.
- Setustu Tea Garden – has the best panoramic view and it is located in the far end of Gulhane Park. Order a tea served in traditional way in samovar.
- Sit on the rocks – by the Kennedy Road opposite Gulhane Park and watch how the group of kids are jumping into the water and being taken by the strong current.
- Turkish kebab – in bread and with fries inside. Delicious.
- Take a walk in the evening on Istiklal road – take a picture of the vintage tram and enjoy the busy crowd and hundreds of shops and restaurants open until late.
- Turkish ice creams – one of my favourite thing in the world. The ice cream are like cheese, really chewy but they are absolutely delicious.
- Turkish delights – look like crap but taste amazing.
- Simit – the Turkish pretzel, sold almost next to every Turkish attraction.
- Taksim Square – a place to hang around during the evening with all the hippy people and creepy guys looking for girls to chat with and use one of their cheesy pick up lines.
The best Instagram account for pictures of Istanbul – Sefayamak.
Onward and upward,