Istanbul, a city where east meets west, or a city where one part is Europe and the other part is Asia. It was called Constantinople before until it ruled under Turkish empire. A city where many charms can be found, many colliding cultures, ans a place where a border line between east and west can be found.
I was there during early spring and unfortunately the sun didn't welcome me very well. It was very cloudy and rain poured in between. Nevertheless, it's still a bright city. Istanbul is a mix tradition city. It's showed through it mosques which resemble european architecture. The city is so big that even ten days could not finish a trip here.
Blue mosque (Sultan Ahmed mosque)
One of the most famous mosques in the world. The most is not really blue. It's in grey with five tall minarets. It's located at the old town of Istanbul. It's still operated as a mosque and many worshippers, from locals to tourists, come here to pray. There is a possibility to enter to for foreigners but a dress code must be respected.
It's a biggest mosque so far in Istanbul. Around it, there is a beautiful park where many people go around to promenade. In front of it is Hagia Sophia, a former mosque and cathedral which now been transformed into a museum.
The reason it was built is unclear but locals said that it was built to challenge the biggest cathedral of that time which is Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia, a former cathedral who was one the biggest cathedral in ancient history. Now, it's become a museum and it's just in front of the blue mosque. The minarets were built after Hagia Sophia been transformed into a mosque.
It's another museum near to the Blue mosque. It was a palace before for the Sultans or King of Turkish empire. Now it becomes an islamic historical museum. The museum is divided into several sections. At the middle of the sections, there is a garden.
The best way to see a panoramic view of Istanbul is by ferry ride. There are many ferry tour near to the river which separates Istanbul into two parts. The ride will take at least 45 minutes to one hour depending on the traffic and weather. There are also ferry restaurants near to the harbor but it will be a rough ride.
The grand Bazaar
This bazaar is a maze. It's really easy to get lost in here. So many roads, so many junctions, so many shops, so many people and so many exits. There is no map for this maze so be really careful when enter it. Here, turkish delights, souvenirs, leathers, jewelries and others can be found here. It's like a shopping maze paradise because everything is cheap and can be bargained. Never buy an item with the showed price, try to bargain and the price will become cheaper.
Find a shop called Karaköy Güllüoglu and go there. Then ask for variety of turkish delight. Each of it has different taste. It's really sweet.
A modern city square situated at the european part of Istanbul. Many famous shops can be found here. There is also an old tram that goes from end the other end of the square. It's a best place to have a coffee break.
There are many other places in Istanbul need to be discover as the city is so big that even ten days is insufficient. The local is very friendly but sometimes it can fool us. The best way to discover Istanbul is by having a local to be a guide as most of the turkish people cannot speak english. This will make the trip smoother and enjoyable.