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heatherina Istanbul - A travel report by tinyislandgirl
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Istanbul,  Turkey - flag Turkey -  Istanbul
2762 readers

heatherina's travel reports

Turkey - Istanbul

  12 votes
I went to Istanbul last year after christmas and celebrated my new year's day there. At the same time, it was the Kurban Bayramı which commemorates İbrahim's near-sacrifice of İsmael on Mt Moriah. Traffic was very crazy during that time but we managed.


Istanbul travelogue picture
Turkey is a very open city and it actually lies between both Europe and Asia. The Bosphorus connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, and separates Europe and Asia. The population in Istanbul is between 11 and 15 million people and the city is rich with history from different empires ruling the country. People in Turkey are very warm, friendly and nice. The only thing a little bit dangerous is the traffic but it seems like the locals know exactly where to go so you feel safe too. The currency is Turkish Lira and most of the shops/restaurant close very late at night.

Favourite spots:
My favourite spot is Taksim square. It is actually the main shopping street in Istanbul. There you can find a variety of shops and restaurant. Other places which you shouldn't miss is the Grand palace known as Topkapi, Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya and Ephesus (which is outside of Istanbul). Almost everywhere you go, you see the cultural aspect of Istanbul and the way people live. The market places are very nice.. there is the Grand Bazaar but I prefer to walk outside where there are these local markets. (Not so touristy..) There is also the Egyptian Market and continue walking up along the short, narrow street to its end, you will get to Çarsi Caddesi (Market Street), a broader street choked with traffic.

What's really great:
Istanbul travelogue picture
The local restaurants along the main street where you get to pick different dishes served with rice (pilaf) and bread. There are also middle range to expensive restaurant serving kebabs and food from around the world. I recommend Turkish food cos' they are really delicious. Borek is a type of thinly rolled pastry wrapped around various savory fillings. I love the cheese one and you can eat those for breakfast/lunch. Of course, you should try the Turkish coffee or tea known as Çay. They serve them in such cute cups that brings an interesting touch to beverage drinking. Sweets and desserts are all over the place and is part of the Turkish cuisine. If you are someone who likes sweet. Then try the variety of puddings, some of which are baked. Keskul is a milk pudding made with coconut. Gullac is a lovely confection of thin sheets of pastry in a milk sauce to which rosewater is added. I like sütlac and baklava.

Sights:
Istanbul travelogue picture
1. Topkapi Palace
2. Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia)
3. Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque
4. Byzantine Hippodrome
5. Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum
6. Sunken Palace Cistern (Yerebatan Saray)
7. Grand Bazaar
8. Egyptian (Spice) Market
9. Taksim Square
10. Dolmabahce Palace

Accommodations:
We stayed at Triada Residence in Taksim area. It is very convenient as it was on a small lane just on the main street of the shopping area. It is like a boutique hotel with kitchen where you can make your own food, internet acess (computer provided) and also breakfast included.

Here is a very good link if you are planning to find accomodation in Istanbul.
http://www.flatsinistanbul.com/

Apricot hotel is a very good choice as well.
http://www.apricothotel.com/

Restaurants:
Go to those hazir yemek (Ready food) Restaurant and try Turkish food. :) you won't regret it and it is cheap.

There are also restaurants in Sultanahmet but they are more European/western food. On the side of Yeniçeriler Caddesi are lots of small restaurants, snack shops, pastry shops, etc.

Other recommendations:
if you have time, you should visit other parts of Turkey.

Published on Saturday May 5th, 2007


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Sat, May 12 2007 - 04:15 PM rating by maratonturk

Heather you are all right. But your first word in your report should be Istanbul instead of Turkey.
www.maratonturk.com

Sun, May 06 2007 - 12:25 PM rating by rangutan

A nice new fresh report ....

Sun, May 06 2007 - 07:19 AM rating by marianne

Heather,
Some good information. I wish you had told a bit more about the sights as a list doesn't tell why these places should be visited

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