Let me preface this post by apologizing for the recent hiatus! It has been an uncharacteristically busy few weeks for me and writing has unfortunately been pushed a bit to the wayside. But never fear, regular posting starts again now!
The last time I wrote, I had spent time exploring some of the most famous and well known places in Istanbul. However, Istanbul is a truly massive city, and there is so much more to see than just the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. So without further ado, here are a few more of the places that I visited whilst in Istanbul.
Arasta Bazaar is located well within the most touristy part of Istanbul (it lies adjacent to the Blue Mosque) but for some reason, doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic. This was the only market I visited in Istanbul where I wasn’t hassled, I wasn’t yelled at and I wasn’t grabbed at by desperate vendors. Funnily enough, this was also the only market in Istanbul where I bought something – go figure!
I bought a lovely cream coloured silk scarf for only a few lira, and it was this scarf that I ended up wearing for the entire time I was in Iran – so it ended up being a great purchase!
Prior to arriving in Turkey, I had liked the idea of going home with a beautiful Turkish lamp, but the only ones I saw anywhere looked cheap, tacky and nothing like what I had imagined, so my silk scarf was the only souvenir I bought in Istanbul.
Topkapi Palace is an extremely large palace in central Istanbul that was home to Ottoman Sultans for close to 400 years. Dating back to the mid-1400s, Topkapi is one of the best examples of an Ottoman Palace in all of Turkey, and as a result, it is extremely popular amongst both travellers and locals alike.
I will quite openly admit that I am not overly interested in Turkish history. I am not disinterested at all, it’s just not an area of history that I find myself particularly drawn to. So, even though I wasn’t too fussed on learning the ins and outs of the palace, it still kept me occupied and engaged for a good few hours.
I had already seen some incredible examples of architecture and textiles whilst in Istanbul, but some of the design and structure I saw in Topkapi was truly astounding.
The castle overlooks the city below, and even on a cloudy and smoggy day, still provides some pretty amazing views of Istanbul.
Entrance to Topkapi Palace costs 40TL (approx $14) which is pretty steep! So if you plan to visit Topkapi, it pays to take your time and soak up as much as you can. You want to get the most bang for your buck after all!
Here are a few more photographs of my favourite spots in Topkapi Palace.
Galata Bridge and Tower
The Galata Bridge is a famous bridge which spans ‘the golden horn’ of Istanbul. It is a beautiful bridge and it boasts some absolutely lovely views out over the water. However, my feelings about this bridge are mixed.
On the way towards Galata Tower I walked along the top of the bridge and really liked it – I passed friendly fihsermen and got to soak up some sunlight, something which I had been seriously lacking! On my way back across the bridge, I decided to walk along the lower level to try and get some different photographs, but this ended up being very unpleasant. There are restaurants lining the underside of the bridge and some of the vendors were so aggressive in trying to get me into their restaurant that I felt genuine fear.
Instead of taking the time to enjoy the views, I scurried along as quickly as I possibly could to try and get away from the harassment and on occasion, the verbal abuse that was thrown my way when I chose to ignore it.
Seriously, to all the men in Istanbul that think this is the way to attract business – you are sorely mistaken.
Getting to Istanbul: Istanbul is well serviced by two international airports – Ataturk and Sabiha Gökçen
Cheers Hostel: A cheap hostel with wonderful staff and a rooftop bar with brilliant views
Topkapi Palace: For more information about Topkapi Palace – click here
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: Business owners in Istanbul are getting desperate, but they need to learn that their behaviour is completely unnacceptable – if you feel harassed, continue onwards and pay them no mind – they do not deserve your business