What a great long pre-vacation trip I have had in Istanbul. It was a fantastic city. Huge (app. 17 million inhabitants), trendy, oldfashion, new, crowded, dirty, filled with tulips, cool buildings, ugly buildings, poor people, people living in luxary, a bar street that I loved, super expensive wine, turkish delight stores everywhere and just a perfect spot for a weekend trip that is very different to other European cities.
The holiday started with a run alongside crowded streets with the Bosphorous and the great bridge between Europe and Asia as a view while I was waiting for my Deutch travel partner in crime to arrive.
In the afternoon we reunited and walked around in the city that was covered with tulips at the Bosphorus side and explored that part. Then we got bad sushi cravings and finally we found a sushi place, Zuma, which we both realized we had visited before in other countries. The sushi was brilliant and we also got some wine before we ended the first day with visiting some bars and concluded that the alcohol tax must be high because everything was cheap except alkohol that was even more expensive than in Singapore.
The second day we started at Starbucks then we walked until our feets were almost falling off the bones. First some store visits at the main shoppingstreet Istiklal street then some must-see-sights.
First out was Hagia-Sophia which is supposed to be one of the 100 top attractions in the world, but unfortunatley we were not impressed and it was a waste of time to stand in line to go inside. The outside is beautiful so do not skip that if you go to Istanbul, but the inside is really nothing special at all.
When the muslims Friday praying time was over we covered our heads and checked out the blue mosque. That was a really impressive place and since we are experienced travellers we knew there was a shortcut to avoid the hour long tourist line so we asked some locals that showed us a hidden door to enter so we saved the time that we lost while visiting at Hagia Sophia.
At night we rested our feets and refilled with the truly turkish dish, döner, and wine at a nice bar while watching the livley streets. The turkish people must love french fries because it comes with everything!
The third and last day that also started with a Starbucks visit we took a ferry to the Prince’s islands that are car free islands 1,5 hour from the mainland. The boatride was great the first twenty minutes then the wooden benches was not comfortable anymore and we looked forward to enter the island. We had no expectations and no idea what to do since we forgot our Lonley planet at the hotel so when we arrived we just strolled around, chilled out in the sun and had some meze for dinner before we took the boat back again.
Then we ended the last day as every other days with some wining. This time we found the best bar district right behind the main shoppingstreet and it was absolutley awsome with live music and chic bars! Questions on that?
/ Pernilla that now is home after a fab Istanbul holiday