The weekend trip to Istanbul was colorful, picturesque, exciting and impressive. Here are my highlights of what you should not miss and while visiting one of the world’s most populated cities:
- Hagia Sophia. The building of the former Orthodox cathedral and mosque, the epitome of Byzantine architecture and now museum is a sight one should not miss. Be sure to book a certified Turkish guide to truly feel the grandeur and the historical importance of the building, taking note of every little detail.
- Bosphorus Cruise. To get an overview of the amazingly big city, admire century old palaces, feel the breeze on your face and watch numerous seagulls while sipping Turkish tea – is an adventure you will definitely enjoy!
- Topkapi Palace. You will have the chance to glimpse into the lifestyle, craftsmanship, culture and rituals of sultans: be sure to visit the Harem, the treasury and the weapons room.
- Bazars: Grand Bazar and Spices (Egyptian Bazar). Such places are so associated with Turkish culture that it is impossible to have at least a short look at the hustle of the endless shopping rows.
- Galata Tower: a beautiful city icon that offers a panoramic view of Istanbul. The cozy streets around the tower are perfect for a rest in a cute coffee shop.
- Istiklal Avenue: a busy but super exciting place with nice architecture and famous red historic trams makes it a perfect place for a city stroll.
- Be sure to try: Turskish tea, Turkish coffee, pistachio Baklava (local pasty), hookah (water pipe), local food (Meze, Kebab, stuffed aubergine, Lachmacun, etc.)
I traveled light with super comfortable carry-on luggage from Victorinox: Spectra 2.0 Global Carry-On. This bag is very light, scratch-resistant, has 360-degree rotation wheels and a separate and a very useful separate laptop compartment.