Hear about travel to Istanbul, Turkey as the Amateur Traveler talks to Christopher Mitchell from travelingmitch.com about the city where he lived for 3 years.
Christopher says of Istanbul, “It’s truly one of the world’s great cities. Having lived there for 3 years I can say that I left and I still had things on my todo list. Obviously the big sell is probably the history there. Sometimes you go to a city and you say ‘oh this reminds me of this or this reminds me of that’. The truth is that Istanbul only reminds you of Istanbul because it’s got such a unique place in world history. Obviously you’ve got Constantinople, the eastern Roman Empire coming over, the Byzantine Empire and then the Ottoman Empire all sharing a space and sometimes building on top of each other, hence the Hagia Sophia.”
We talk about spending your first couple days in the historic neighborhood of Sultanahmet where you will find many of the best-known sites of the city such as the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) and Hagia Sophia. He recommends not missing the Basilica Cistern. You will also find the oldest of the palaces from the time of the Ottoman Empire, the very eastern style Topkap? Palace. Both the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar are worth a stop, even if you don’t need a carpet.
On the third day, Christopher directs us north to the neighborhoods of Taksim and Beyo?lu. Walk down the ?stiklâl Caddesi as you people watch on this popular shopping street. Take in the view from the Galata Tower or from one of the rooftop restaurants Christopher suggests.
Explore the shore of the Bosphorus in neighborhoods like Arnavutköy and Ortaköy. Start with a Turkish breakfast which Christopher thinks is the best meal in the world. See the Dolmabahçe Palace and the deathbed of the father of the modern Turkish nation, Atatürk.
On the fifth day, Christopher recommends a trip out on the water to the picturesque Prince Islands with a ferry to Heybeliada Island.
Explore the ancient walls of the city and the beautiful Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora with its beautiful Byzantine mosaics and frescos.
Don’t forget that Istanbul bridges the gap between Europe and Asia. Explore some of the neighborhoods on the Asian side as well.
Istanbul is a beautiful city with centuries of history, great food, and great people. Come see a city both Chris and Christopher rate as one of their favorites in the world.
Istanbul on Amateur Traveler
Sultanahmet Neighborhood Guide
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Istanbul Tulip Festival
Mikla Restaurant (rooftop bar)
Buyuk Londra Hotel (rooftop bar)
Balkon Cafe Bar (rooftop bar)
Pierre Loti Roof Pub and Restaurant
Seven Hills Restaurant
Nezih Kebap Yuvalama (restaurant)
Bebek, Be?ikta? (neighborhod)
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Balat, Fatih (neighborhood)
Walls of Constantinople
Mehmed the Conqueror
Bomonti neighborhood guide
Kedi – Street Cats Documentary
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