Travel Diary: New Year in Istanbul

I know some of my Armenian friends will not enjoy reading this but New Year in Istanbul was fun. Visa free, close and relatively cheap, it is the perfect destination for a quick trip. 4 days was a bit short, try spending at least 5 or 6 days to make the most out of it.

Quick tips:

  • Try to get a hotel within a short walking distance from Taksim Square or Istiqlal street.
  • Do some research before traveling since you’ll hardly find signs in English there.
  • Avoid taxis, use the subway.
  • Make sure to check the closing days of each monument since most of them close at least 1 day a week.
  • If you are a group, buy a card for the metro and fill it as you need in order to avoid waiting in line each time you want to take the subway. The card can be used several times at the subway entrance.
  • If you are planning to take a Bosphorus cruise, check the departure times ahead.
  • Do not miss:
Taksim Square & Istiqlal street

Taksim Square & Istiqlal street

Agia Sophia from outside

Agia Sophia from outside

Agia Sophia from inside

Agia Sophia from inside

Blue Mosque more impressive outside than inside

Blue Mosque more impressive outside than inside

Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern

The  road leading to Topkapı Palace

The road leading to Topkapı Palace

Topkapi Palace, including The Harem section which has a different entrance

Topkapi Palace, including The Harem section which has a different entrance

The scenery from Topkapi palace

The scenery from Topkapi palace

Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar

Galata tower

Galata tower

The view on Bosphorus bridge from Galata tower

The view on Bosphorus bridge from Galata tower

View on Agia Sophia and Blue Mosque from the ferry of the Bosphorus cruise

View on Agia Sophia and Blue Mosque from the ferry of the Bosphorus cruise

Seagulls fly all around the ferry are so much fun to watch and feed

Seagulls fly all around the ferry. They are so much fun to watch and feed

Princes' Islands

Princes’ Islands

  • Also, and most importantly, Dolmabahce Palace that I didn’t have the time to visit.

    Dolmabahçe Palace located on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait

    Dolmabahçe Palace located on the European coastline of the Bosphorus strait

  • If you like museums, the Archaeological Museum.
  • You can check this website for all touristic sites information.
  • As for food, do not miss eating:
    • Steak at The House Café in Istiklal Street
    • Ice cream, Sahleb but also all food & pastries at Mado, a chain found at many addresses in Istanbul
    • Simits, Corn on the cob, Sahleb and Kastane from the street vendors, omnipresent in Istanbul

      Simits (a bread ring covered with sesame seeds)

      Simits (a bread ring covered with sesame seeds)

    • Kumpir:
Kumpir, a baked potato with various fillings, a popular fast food in Turkey

Kumpir, a baked potato with various fillings, a popular fast food in Turkey

More photos on Flickr.

This entry was posted in Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Travel Diary: New Year in Istanbul

  1. elmer says:

    Nice photos. Been hearing Istanbul more often now than say, five years ago.

  2. Marie says:

    Thanks! wish I had a professional cam🙂

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