A Guide to Istanbul, Turkey

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:

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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.

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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.

Follow Billie On Instagram: @BillieBillie

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8 years ago

I would absolutely love to take a visit to Istanbul. Perhaps one day I will but for now I will live vicariously through you & these amazing photos. :]

// ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

8 years ago

I’ve wanted to go to a Turkish bath ever since reading about them earlier this year…so maybe not that long BUT I still want to do it! It sounds like one of those cultural experiences you can’t miss!


8 years ago

If I wasn’t dying to visit before.. I am now!


8 years ago

This is such a beautiful guide of Turkey! Now I would really LOVE to visit this place!

8 years ago

Wooow! So gorgeous!!
I love the prints!
And the landscapes oh my god!

Turkey is definitely on my bucket list!
Looks amazing!


8 years ago

Lovely little guide! Seems like an amazing place (:
xx http://www.nuunablog.com

8 years ago

Beautiful photos! I love Istanbul, I have also written a travel guide about it! I didn’t have a Turkish hammam but I had one in Marrakech and it was amazing!

8 years ago

I love the look of those islands too- I’d love to go back to visit them.


8 years ago

Beautiful pictures, I would love to go to Istanbul one day.. It looks so beautiful there. Great post and very helpful :) Sofie xx

8 years ago

It looks absolutely beautiful! A bohemian haven or rugs :O


Kristie carroll
8 years ago

Some one please tell me where these dresses are from and the names of them please they are stunning

Cait Lehuta
8 years ago

Wow! This post could not come at a more perfect time. I am studying abroad in Istanbul next spring and this makes me even more excited!

8 years ago

Istanbul looks amazing! I hope one day I can visit it :)

8 years ago

I LOVE Istanbul! Beautiful city, wonderful, loving people, and amazing history. I still keep in touch with the friends I made, and I hope to return someday soon. If you visit, don’t miss a trip to Freedom Street. I can’t tell you exactly where it is since we almost went to Asia trying to find it, but ask around and you’ll get there. I spent a memorable night at a charming little bar called Robin Hood tucked into an alleyway of Freedom Street. Check it out if you make it to the ancient city, and say hello for me. :)

8 years ago

I love Istanbul but maybe she could recommend wearing clothing appropriate for a Muslim country which although is very progressive, tourists should still respect the customs of where they are visiting. Wearing short shorts and a scarf over your head may be fashionable but it is far from respectable.

8 years ago

Istanbul holds a piece of my heart for ever. I studied abroad and traveled there, taking thousands of photos for my blog, and I’ll always remember it as one of the most enchanting and magical cities on earth, with some of the kindest people! Thanks for the post:)

8 years ago

Great article. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience. Really, Istanbul is the most amazing destination to travel. In this vacations, i’m going to plan a tour to Istanbul.

8 years ago

It’s a great article. We’d like to have an writer like you. :)

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