22.02.2014 - 27.02.2014
For some other reasons, it was only a couple of months ago when I finally got the chance to go to Turkey. I had several plans for my itineraries, but since I got only few days to spend, I made sure to make the most out of it. By the way, thanks to Turkish Airlines for the complimentary tickets.
Here are the top things I enjoyed in Istanbul:
1. EXPLORE ALL OF TURKEY IN HOURS THROUGH MINIATURK PARK. Few hours after my arrival in Istanbul, my guide immediately took me to this huge park and I was stunned to more than hundreds of miniatures of all the historical sites, monumental buildings and important landmarks in Turkey, where each model is well detailed and designed. Audio guides are also provided and a great help to a better understanding of each site.
2. A CUP OF COFFEE IN PIERRE LOTI HILL. According to my guide, the place is named after the famous French writer, Pierre Loti, who fell in love with the place on his first visit. And who wouldn’t ? Upon reaching the hill through a cable car, you will be amazed with its magnificent view of Golden Horn. And the best way to enjoy the splendid scenery? Over a cup of Turkish coffee. But for me, i love the 3-in-1 way.
3. MORNING WALK IN TAKSIM SQUARE. Lucky enough, I did not find any protesters in this area during my stay in Istanbul. I grabbed this chance to enjoy the surroundings and find it very refreshing.
4. THE BLUE MOSQUE AND HAYASOFYA. Museums have always an appeal to me, and these two architectural landmarks of Istanbul did not fail to impressed me. The stories and histories behind their names are what makes these two sites interesting.
5. GET LOST IN GRAND BAZAAR. Everybody loves to shop! especially if you have the means! Built in 15th century, this bazaar is considered to be the oldest and largest covered market in the world. With over thousands of shops inside, you can choose from a wide range of products, from clothing to souvenirs. As I entered the hall, the atmosphere imbued the sense of history and I was enthralled by the colorful vaulted ceilings and to all the products displayed outside. Bargaining is the name of the game.
6. THE BOSPHORUS CRUISE. We began the tour in Eminonu, and after few minutes of cruising, a spectacular 360-degree panoramic view spanned the distance as far as my eyes can see. I just stood for a moment and enjoyed the breathtaking view of the surrounding scenery. The perennial mix of European and Asian cultures, ancient forts, fortifications, palaces, where architectures are sights to behold. Standing underneath the famous Bosphorus bridge was simply amazing.
7. INDULGE TO ISTANBUL NIGHTLIFE. I really made sure that I’ll be spending the weekend in Istanbul when I made this trip. I was not wronged. Nightlife in this city was pretty awesome. There are numerous venues spread out over Sisli, Beyoglu, Istiklal and Taksim districts. Karaoke bars are also popular amongst Turkish. I started the night with an ice-cold local beer.
8. STROLLING IN ISTIKLAL STREET. This vibrant street has a certain charm, approximately one mile, though its very crowded, I never got enough from walking up and down, entering every boutiques and shops. I enjoyed walking with the crowds, and feasted my eyes to the modern lifestyle of the city.
9. SWEETS OVERLOAD WITH TURKISH DELIGHTS. One should never leave Istanbul without tasting these Turkish delights! Lucky enough, my guide was generous enough giving me samples – and I managed to try almost everything.