Istanbul is one city that should not miss in your bucket list. This amazing city boasts of enchanting ancient tradition, a lovely mix of different cultures and a history that will blow your mind away. In a nutshell; it has everything you need for a perfect vacation.
Istanbul is known as the world’s cross roads. It is here that the East meets the West and Europe meets Asia. It is indeed the melting pot of the world. The city is packed with chic bars where you can enjoy some of the worlds delicious cocktails, designer fashion shops and magnificent buildings with a rich history behind them. The following are some of the places you should visit during your vacation in Istanbul:
If you are in love with history then you cannot afford to miss this spectacular jewel. Located in the heart of the Ottoman Empire, this palace was the home of the Sultans and their harems. You will get a chance to view the jewels worn by the royals and huge kitchens that would feed 5000 people daily. You can get a great view of this palace from the Breakfast Pavilion.
Buildings like the Hagia Sophia are what make Istanbul to be a city rich in fascinating history. This great masterpiece built by Emperor Justinian in 537 is truly one of Istanbul’s greatest treasures. It was known as the greatest cathedral in the whole world for nine centuries. It was however converted to a mosque after the invasion of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453. It was then later converted to a museum. You will experience its great history by just walking along its corridors. The stunning pieces of art mosaics found in the gallery will take your breath away.
Also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century. It is one of the quite few mosques in the world that has six minarets. It derives its nickname from its eye-catching interior décor that is made up of blue tiles covering the walls. It is open to non-Muslims. However keep in mind that it’s still a prayer house so you better dress appropriately.
The food in Istanbul will leave your taste buds asking for more. You will be spoilt for choice for there are a lot of varieties to choose from. You can choose to either dine some of the world’s finest restaurants that Istanbul has to offer or get a taste of authentic Turkish cuisine in the traditional street food-stalls. You simply have to try the gourmet version of a kebab in Leb-I derya. Ciya and Alo Muhiddin are some of the restaurants that specialize in traditional foods.
The Grand Bazaar
The Grand Bazaar is the ideal place for you to buy a couple of souvenirs. You need to have great haggling skills for you to get a good bargain. It is advisable that you arm yourself with a map for chances of getting lost in this huge bazaar are high. All in all it will give you a once in a lifetime experience of how shopping in an open-air market feels like.
Your trip to Istanbul will be incomplete if you fail to cross the Bosporus and further proceed to the Asian Shore. It is here that you will get the chance to see the Maiden’s Tower, Florence Nightingale’s Hospital and 16th century mosques. You should definitely take a ferry ride to explore the peaceful town of Uskudar. \
You simply cannot miss enjoying the spectacular view of the sun setting over Istanbul’s beautiful skyline. There’s no better place to enjoy this spectacle other than at the Galata Bridge. You will get to see the sky turn pink if you are positioned behind the Galata tower.
Sentinus Wellness and Spa
Istanbul is famous for its rejuvenating spas and massage parlors. Located in the Hilton, the Sentinus Wellness & Spa offers over 50 different spa treatments. Don’t pass out on a chance to enjoy a revitalizing Turkish bath and massage.
The Basilica Cistern is a true definition of natural beauty. It is one of Istanbul’s breathtaking sites. Its 336 underground columns are illuminated by different colored lights; a sight you will live to forever remember. This ancient spot was constructed by the Romans in the 16th century. It still has that timeless feel. The still pools are occasionally disturbed by ripples, making the, an awesome sight to behold.
Enjoy relaxing walks along the streets of Isiklal Caddesi. Its alleys are paved with magnificent buildings, shops, dainty cafes, art galleries and the spectacular ornate arcade which is also known as the flower passage.