Planning a vacation in Istanbul is a gift for the adventurous and the dreamers. Each step taken on this city’s streets can be an unforgettable experience. After all, it is said to be the complete city. Find out which are the top five places to visit in Istanbul that guarantee an authentic Turkish vacation.
1. Gülhane Park
Start exploring the city of Istanbul with a view, for nothing compares to the vista offered by the Gülhane Park. Situated next to Topkapi Palace, a walk through the park will fill your senses with delightful colors and scents, as the House of Flowers fully deserves its name in April during the tulip season, while taking you to the best located terrace in the entire city. The charming simplicity of the wooden benches and small tables framed by incredible greenery make a peaceful mood, just right to complete the view of the Bosphorus Strait’s fabulous panorama. Here, don’t hesitate to order the best Turkish coffee in Istanbul, with more sugar than you usually take, so that the caramelized drink can amaze and revitalize you completely.
2. Hagia Sophia
For those of you intrigued by architecture and history, Hagia Sophia is a source of overwhelming complexity. The beauty of this building, standing amongst the most important ever created is partly due to the ingenious and colossal dome that gave its world-wide fame.
Be prepared to sit in line at the entrance though, and while you’re there, complete your spiritual tour by walking a very short distance to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia’s known competitor for receiving the greatest praises and eulogies.
3. Istanbul Modern
Try the pace of the art scene in Istanbul. Like everything else so far, it will be a thrilling endeavor. The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art comes with a view as well, but this time the remarkable vista is the one given by the art collections. The vibrant exhibition spaces, the artworks created by modern and contemporary artists, the famous and impressive Turkish and European creations once discovered will be fitting the developing mood of your vacation.
4. Galata Bridge
This impressive view will embrace you like friend for your entire stay in this attractive destination, especially if you choose a magical sunset walk on the bridge. Underneath the Galata Bridge lies an entire display of restaurants offering excellent seafood options, as fresh and tasty as they get, all at the heart of the Golden Horn.
If you are a gormandizer, go 15 minutes walking distance to the ferry harbor so that you try the famous, cheap and tasty fish sandwich – a bargain really – for the utmost authentic taste of your Turkish treat.
5. Grand Bazaar
The complete city could not be so without its magnificent Grand Bazaar. Vibrant, colorful mosaic lamps, silk clothes, glittering jewelry, exotic artifacts, or handmade carpets with intricate, hallucinating motifs fill Istanbul’s commercial area, making you think of magic. Take up the challenge and experiment the traditional custom of negotiation that comes with buying from the merchants and that constitutes an actual part of the endeavor. If you are the shy type though, at least make sure you’re in the company of someone who enjoys the game. Last but not least, don’t get lost. It can be a tempting thing to do in Istanbul…
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