Istanbul, the city that occupies two continents (Europe and Asia)September 5, 2014
Istanbul, how many do not know (we also did not know) It is not the capital of Turkey, the capital is Ankara, but Istanbul is the most famous city, financial center and is also the country's main gateway.
In ancient times it was called Byzantium and Constantinople.
Istanbul is the only city in the world that is physically on two continents, part is in Europe and elsewhere in Asia, these two parts are connected by bridges over the Bosphorus channel, connecting the Marmara to the Black Sea, we strolled through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea Canal (I swam there, even though a little cold, because I want to swim in all the seas of the planet lol), the ride was cool and different.
We are very fortunate, in our travels always do something different and Istanbul could not be different, we had just arrived in Europe and there were still some 15 days to go to Istanbul, when we heard on TV a large protest what was happening there, then we think how we would do, We cancel the trip and go elsewhere? And the answer is usually always the same lol, ah we'll see what happens in the coming days, protests continued, but still we decided to go and the trip was wonderful, no problem, We know everything we wanted, It was great and did not feel any danger sign next. The only thing that was closed, because the protests were mostly there, was Taksim.
Getting to Istanbul
There are several options to get:
By airplane, as we were in Dubrovnik, Croatia (ver post), the best way to go there flew and Europe tickets are pretty cheap, just it was not very fast, because as we were in Dubrovnik (small town) I had no direct flight to Istanbul and we had to make a connection in Zagreb, but even so it was the best option;
How we stay 4 days Istanbul He gave for lunch and dinner at various restaurants and some legal recommend.
In one of the days we had lunch at a hotel, which has a terrace restaurant, with a wonderful view of the Blue Mosque, the food is normal, but the view is well worth it.
No Grand Bazaar,when we stopped to buy some things, They offered us and we take the famous of tea, It is hot and yummy. Nearby there is a street Cap Ariz Sk, with many typical food restaurants in Turkey and many dishes to seafood base, the place is very touristy and great for eating.
On a boat ride that did the Bosphorus had a dinner included, the food was pretty normal and the tour who spoke that we would see the city at night, after all it was a night walk, Did not happen, because the city was still clear, We think they could have changed the tour's schedule for later, since they knew I would not darken that time and the theme and the ride would be fun just to be night, to seeing all buildings, mosques, etc, with the lights, but it's alright…
One night we went on a busy street of bars which was very close to the hotel, Vila Madalena is the Istanbul rsrsrs , there also has many hostels and hostels, very good for a few beers…
Where to stay
We in the European side of Istanbul (we recommend) very close to some sights, as the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, the hotel we stayed at was the Best Western Citadel Hotel, great hotel, great location, com wi fi, a very good breakfast included and was still in front of the Bosphorus Channel (we were having breakfast looking at him, very cute), as the hotel was very close to these attractions, done many walking tours, as we have already mentioned in previous posts, It is the way we like to know the cities.
Things to do in Istanbul and what are the main tourist attractions of Istanbul.
Blue Mosque, It is the most famous mosque of Turkey, we find much more beautiful place outside than inside (personal opinion) and to visit you should take some precautions, such as not wearing shorts, shorts or short skirts, women should bring a scarf to cover the head (If you are not with the proper clothing, they lend you all there, but it is good to prevent). To enter the mosque there are certain times (schedules that do not have a prayer, Here you can buy tickets and view the schedules, Prayer in time the whole city has speakers, where they begin to call to pray, It is very interesting;
Santa Sofia, you Aya Sofya, this Basilica was already church, It was already mosque and now a museum, with many pictures of the time it was church, But these images are broken, destroyed because of these religious fights. In one of the side aisles is the column whine, which has a small hole to pass the finger, the belief is that the person who puts his finger there, It has all your diseases cured. To visit the museum have to buy tickets, you can buy a package to visit Sophia and the Blue Mosque, more if you just want to visit the Hagia Sophia click here.
Grand Bazaar, it's big, too big even not to mention it is gigantic, is the largest and one of the oldest bazaars in the world covered, with lots of cheap stuff, scarves, house parts, jewels, gold… we bought some things and worth (just beware of the weight in the suitcase, mostly women lol)
Stroll through the Bosphorus, from what we saw and we were there some types of tours (Browse types of tour, and you can buy advance tickets), one which goes to the Black Sea, one that will stopping at various sights (some can only be accessed by the channel) and the other as I said, the night tour that was not so at night so… lol.
Rumelihisari, Istanbul fortress, an amphitheater, towers and walls, beautiful.
Walls of Constantinople
Beylerbeyi Palace, or also known as mini palace, because it has the 4th, the place was only to parties and receptions, but very beautiful.
Ortaköy Mosque, that was under renovation