24 hours in Intriguing Istanbul

A little blog post on our time in Istanbul, especially written for our friends Brett and Alan. 

The buzzing city of Turkey, with mosques and bazaars, and a lot of culture and history.

We spent 24 hours in this amazing city. We tried our best to figure out the tram situation but from what we could work out, you either needed a tram card or small notes (10 and 5 Lyra and exact change). It is cheap though, at just under 10 Lyra for one way. It’s a shame we didn’t manage to figure it out, or should i say, had the time to figure it out, as it would have been nice to venture to the other parts on the other side of the bridges.

We visited the Blue mosque but sadly it was closed for repairs for a couple of months. But we enjoyed it nonetheless from the outside. Hearing the call to prayer between the Blue mosque and the Ayasofya mosque opposite was really special, sounding as though they are singing to each other. We did head back to the Blue mosque in the evening when it was dark to see it and the fountain all lit up, but again because of repairs or being out of season it wasn’t on. Luckily there was a local guy coming around the park benches selling Çay (Turkish tea) so we enjoyed a cup admiring the view!

The Ayasofya Mosque

Touristy pic in front of the Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque at night

There are a lot of mosques in Istanbul as you can imagine, and they really do make for beautiful photos as every one of them is stunning. 

Just nearby is also the Obelisk of Theodosius, which is from 1450 BC, and an impressive feature, in near immaculate condition. So definitely be sure to check that out.

We also visited the famous Grand Bazaar, which ended up being a lot more expensive than we thought it would be. But I suppose it’s because it’s for tourists. You should definitely go for a wander through it though, but be aware you’re likely to find any bits you want  at a fraction of the cost elsewhere. We personally enjoyed the Egyptian Bazaar and the streets around it. And be sure to haggle! 

The Egyptian Bazaar.

Stacey enjoying the local Baklava!

We went for lunch at a “locals” spot, and enjoyed a fish (might have been mackerel) sandwich, chips, a salad and a drink for 110 Lyra each (€5.50). The host was very friendly too, like all Turkish people, and made sure to ask our names and keep us happy! 

At the end of our night we passed through an energetic and lively square filled with restaurants. Cakmaktasi street is filled with locals enjoying great food and plenty of live music. Each restaurant was bustling and each had there own “band” outside with clashing music coming from all directions which sounded fantastic! 

View point over some of the city from one of the may mosques we visited!

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