Hello friends. So I recently returned from a trip to Turkey. We stayed in Instanbul for the majority of our time there, which is one of the most amazing European cities ever. Im the type of person who needs to explore every street and this is impossible to do in Istanbul. It is so massive with thousands of tiny cafés, stalls & vendors as far as the eye can see and beyond.
We had 2 weeks in Istanbul and I will share with you what I found the most special, for people who are having shorter stays. One App I downloaded on the last day of my trip, which I wish I had had from the first, is called Transportist. Download the Istanbul map and you can use it without internet to navigate as you walk around the city. It picks up your location and ‘pings’ your current spot at you! Love it! Oh and it also can map your route out for you and give you the public transport routes you should take to get there. Very very handy!
Ortaköy – A charming little area with cafés and amazing jewellery for sale right on the Bosphorus. Grab a waffle filled with nuttella and fresh fruit & take in the view of the colourful boats going by. Get there via a short walk from the Taksim metro or grab a taxi.
Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar & Old City – Everything is so close together, spend a day walking around & visiting the best spots. We had a great time paying a little extra to have the audio guides in some of these spots. Go at your own pace and know what you are seeing. Naturally I was obsessed with all the cats everywhere, Grand Bazaar is cat paradise!
Taksim & Istiklal Street – A walk down this street is a must! Start at the top (Taksim Square) and walk down all the way to the Galata Tower. This area by the tower is full of boutique stores, music shops, design studios and is just all round eye candy. Go before 10am (when the shops open) to see some really fun graffiti on the shops security doors.
We also visited the Prince’s Islands (pink shutters below) & Cappadocia which were both incredible. Cappadocia is a 1 hour flight from Istanbul and it is like no other! Watching the hot air balloons (at 5am) go up must be one of my best holiday memories.
& the Cappadocians have really good taste in airport chairs (in the tiniest airport on the planet for sure.)
We had an amazing time, cannot wait to go back!