Start planning your trip to the breathtaking coastal city of Istanbul using these tried and true tips.
This post comes to us from the Australian beauty, Billie Edwards!
With over 14 million people jam-packed into a single city, Istanbul is one of the largest and most ancient metropolitan areas in the world. Istanbul is a transcontinental city as the inland Marmara sea separates the European and the Asian sides, coming together to create a beautiful fusion of East and West. I spent a few days exploring and admiring everything I could lay my eyes on. Here are my top suggestions:
See: The Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. Beautiful architecture and the most inspiring tile artwork I have ever seen.
Eat: Everything! Eat locally. It’s cheaper, more fun and more delicious. There are plenty of restaurants with their goodies out on display for you pick and choose from. If you want to grab a drink, aim for a rooftop at sunset. And always order coffee.
Shop: If you want a taste of small busy streets filled with cheeky yelling locals then visit the Grand Bazaar. For cheaper treasures and a calmer vibe head over to the Egyptian Bazaar. There are plenty of beautiful jewels, ceramics, rugs, colourful spices and delicious dried fruit desserts to choose from.
Do: If you want to escape the city and see some natural beauty, take a short ferry ride to the Princes’ Islands. The island Buyukada contains the prettiest beaches and no cars are allowed. Hire a bike, explore the island and enjoy the sea.
Lastly, and most importantly – take a traditional Turkish bath! These are called Hamams, and are absolutely stunning temples with spa-like rooms filled with a beautiful mixture of women. Traditionally, you are scrubbed, washed and massaged by a local Turkish lady. If this sounds too much, you can choose to simply bathe yourself with the soap and following water provided. Be brave, get naked and enjoy the best cleansing experience you will ever undertake.
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