Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Istanbul, Turkey (VLOG)

I spent Christmas in sunny Istanbul. And boy, did that city leave an impression on me


My friend Vanessa and I decided to spend the first half of our two-week vacation exploring this mecca of eastern and western culture. Lucky for you, I vlogged the entire trip!


In case that video didn't send you over the edge with wanderlust, here are a few photos.

View from the top of Galata Tower.
Bosphorus cruise!
Hagia Sophia
Blue Mosque
Isn't the Blue Mosque breathtaking?
View from Topkapi Palace.
The Rüstem Pasha Mosque was my favorite mosque we visited. The tiles and architecture are magnificent.
TIPS FOR ISTANBUL:
  • Bargain hard at the bazaars. All of them.
  • Speaking of bazaars, Vanessa and I much preferred the Arasta Bazaar (behind the Blue Mosque) and the Egyptian Bazaar (near Eminönü Pier) to the Grand Bazaar.
  • Trust your gut. If you think someone is acting strange, step away.
  • Try gözleme, the savory Turkish pancake you see in the video!
  • Turkish çay (tea) and apple çay are also must-haves!
  • Get a transportation card for the tram, and utilize the tram. It costs a few lira, but you end up saving so much in the end.
  • Indulge yourself and go to a Turkish bath, or hamam! We paid 55 TL ($23.40) for a traditional bath treatment, and tipped 5 TL ($2.13) each. Make sure to bring your own kese, or exfoliating mitt--otherwise you'll have to use the communal ones, and yuck! These are cheap and easy to find, and I think we got ours for about 5 TL. I recommend going to Kadirga Hamam, which is near Çemberlitaş.
  • Look out for the wild parrots at Gülhane Park! They're green and live in the treetops. If you hear a bird call that you don't recognize...that's them.
  • Have a gözleme and some çay at the Meşale Café (in the Arasta Bazaar) at around 7:00 p.m., when you can enjoy watching a traditional Dervish dance!
  • Go up Galata Tower on a sunny day for the best panoramic views of Istanbul.
  • Ladies, always carry a scarf with you in case you make an impromptu visit to a mosque. But fear not if you forget, because the mosques have scarves that you can borrow to cover yourselves.
Keep an eye out for a future post in which I'll show you all of the Turkish goodies I picked up!

Do any of you have Istanbul tips to add?

11 comments:

  1. Omg omg omg!!! I have been waiting for this post!!! Love all the photos :) I want to go now!!

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  2. I never thought about traveling to Turkey until I saw someone post about going to a hamam, and now it's definitely on my travel list. It seems like such a cool place! I bet the food is amazing! =)

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  3. I've been reading so many blogs about Turkey lately. I am wanderlusting to go there so bad! Looks like you had a great time!

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  4. That seriously looks amazing! Wonderful video...makes me want to visit myself.

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  5. Such beautiful pictures...a place I hadn't thought of, but now want to visit!

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  6. The mosques look beautiful, and you photographed them wonderfully! :D

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  7. Ah! I was there about a month before you, and it looks like you had SO much better weather! I'm jealous! (It was cold and rainy for my whole trip, but I still fell in love with the city)!

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  8. It was cold and rainy for the second half! I didn't vlog much the fourth/last day, as we essentially were just shopping. But toward the end of the video you can see how grey it is!

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  9. Have you been to other cities in Turkey or just Istanbul? I really want to see the rest of the country now!

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I'd love to hear what you have to say!

 
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