Turkey is one of those countries that doesn’t often grace people’s bucket lists, but it totally should be on yours!
Istanbul is a mega metropolis with nearly 15 million people with incredibly cute and diverse neighborhoods:
- Want something on the waterfront that is hip and European? Head to Beşiktaş and enjoy a Turkish coffee.
- Or maybe some fun nightlife? Kadıköy could be a great place to spend an evening.
- How about bargain shopping in one of the world’s oldest covered markets? The Grand Bazaar has everything you never knew you needed.
- Interested in chic, upscale shopping instead? You’ll want to check out Sisli then.
- Do you enjoy cooking different cuisines? All the spices are in the Egyptian Bazaar.
The most beautiful places in Turkey: Istanbul
If you don’t know your geography (no judgment, I had forgotten this too) Turkey sits on both the Asian and European continents. The beautiful Bosphorus Straight divides the country into the two continents right through Istanbul.
Istanbul is a whirlwind city and can be overwhelming. One of the nicest ways I found to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle is to hop on the ferry and go from one continent to the other. The ferry ride lasts about 25-30 minutes and you can order some delicious Turkish tea or coffee right on the boat. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for dolphinssss!
Lovely corner cafes in Beşiktaş
The beautiful Hagia Sophia – my favorite attraction in all of Istanbul. Hagia Sofia was once a basilica, it then became a mosque, and now it is a museum. It is absolutely incredible to wander through here and think about what those walls have seen- I know I’m not the only one that imagines that!
Do not, do not, do not, miss a visit!
Christ Deesis Mosaic in Hagia Sophia
The Blue Mosque…one of the most popular attractions in Istanbul. The tile work in the mosque is out of this world. Do bring a pair of socks because you are required to remove your shoes prior to entering and the carpet was
pretty gross disgusting.
I was really excited to visit the Blue Mosque, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. Like I said, the tile work is incredible but other than that it’s just kinda meh. It is worth a visit to say you did it, but don’t be surprised if it isn’t all wanted it to be and you leave feeling unfulfilled.
Lovely courtyard between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Time your visit to this area right before prayer time. This occurs 5 times per day and the call to prayer is “battled” between the Mosque and Hagia Sophia. It is absolutely beautiful to listen to.
Climb the Galata Tower for an incredible 360-degree view of Istanbul. If your schedule allows, time your trip for sunset. You wanna be at the top of the tower at dusk because the mosques start to light up and it’s something to be seen.
The Basilica Cistern… one of many ancient underground cisterns.
A lovely view of Istanbul from the ferry.
I only spent time in Istanbul, but Turkey has a lot to offer if you’re willing to travel out of the city. How about riding in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia? Or soaking in the hot springs in Pamukkale?
Have I convinced you to add Turkey to your bucket list yet?
Has anyone been to Turkey?
Comment below and let me know!