Discovering Istanbul’s Fascinating History

April 15, 2013

Haga Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

My Korean classmate and I hopped on a plane to Turkey because we wanted to explore this beautiful country. My classmate DH turned out to be the one of the nicest and smartest and most resourceful travel partners I have ever traveled with. She booked all the hotels, she researched every destination we were traveling to. We arrived to Istanbul after a quiet long flight and the trip started with sightseeing. istanbul turkey

Streets of Istanbul Turkey

Streets of Istanbul Turkey

We checked out the city center and some mosques.

Mosque in Istambul Turkey

Mosque in Istanbul Turkey

We had dinner at a random Turkish restaurant. It was a complete tourist trap and they tried to rip us off, so I had to negotiate hard. DH was impressed by my negotiation skills. In the end, we paid much less than they would have liked us to pay. You have to know the rules in these countries otherwise you will be paying the “white men tax” I call it. White men always pay extra in the Third World. We visited the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

It was beautiful and huge inside, all decorated with gold. It was impressive. The garden around the Haga Sophia was also very beautiful. We also visited the Blue Mosque, which was an enormous mosque in the middle of Istanbul.

Blue Mosque - Istanbul Turkey

Blue Mosque – Istanbul Turkey

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Turkey

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Turkey

You could see it from anywhere in the city. We visited the underground World of Basilica Cistern. It was a large bath under the ground with massive columns and statues. It was dark and humid down there, but it was nice to see what was built a 1000 years ago.

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Turkey

Basilica Cistern, Istanbul Turkey

 We continued our journey to the Grand Bazaar for some shopping. As you know, girls love shopping…. You could buy lots of beautiful stuff there everything was made of  gold to ceramics. You could also bargain. It was great fun!

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Turkey

Grand Bazaar, Istanbul Turkey

Then we took the train to Eminonu and then we took the boat to the Asian side, we hopped over to the other continent, visited the Bosphorus Bridge. We found a beautiful garden right near the bridge. It was a garden of an old palace that served as a museum today. We hang out there for the afternoon. After seeing enough of Istanbul, we went to Cappadoccia and Pamukkale.

Return to Istanbul Turkey

After a big journey all around Turkey, we went back to Istanbul for two more nights. We stayed in Taksim this time.

Taksim, Istanbul

Taksim, Istanbul

It was the center of the modern district with a mall and all the trendy shops. Many sights were within walking distance. We spent our last days shopping in the Grand Bazaar again. My friend bought so much Turkish delight that she could barely take all that home. We stuffed ourselves with Turkish delight. I also bought some as souvenirs. My friend was slightly addicted to them. On our last day, we wanted to visit the Topkapi Palace. The palace was the primary residence of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was luxurious with all the expensive furniture and chandeliers that you can think of. What I found most fascinating about the palace was that it had a separate part for the harem. It was called Imperial Harem with about 400 rooms.

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey

The palace was overdecorated and beautiful, but we did not have too much time to explore it as we had to rush back to the airport and fly back to London. We almost missed our flights again. The trip around Turkey was interesting, but tiring.

What other city do you think we should have visited in Turkey? Leave a comment below with your suggestion.

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Article Name
Discovering Istanbul's Fascinating History
Author
Jet-Settera

About Barbara

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She started traveling through Paris, London, New York, Milan, Tokyo at the age of 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since, she has visited 67 countries. She writes about the most exclusive jet-set destinations such as Cannes, Venice Film Festivals, Monaco Grand Prix, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris as well as yacht parties in St-Tropez, Miami Art Basel, Biennale in Venice, Frieze in London or the Royal Wedding in Monaco.

1 comment

  1. Comment by himlen

    himlen Reply May 22, 2015 at 4:54 am

    I was able to find good info from your articles.

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