Area we stayed: Sultanahmet.
This was the older part of town and I was so glad we stayed on this side of Istanbul. It was close to many places like: The Blue Mosque, Grand Bazzar, Basilica Cistern, Hippodrome of Constantinople and the Topkapi Palace.
We walked to the Grand Bazzar and looked around for a long time, getting lost in is passages filled with amazing jewellery, lanterns, pottery and textiles. I can't tell you the name of where we had lunch, it was just a small shop and we ate a typical kebab. ha!
Along the way, we enjoyed a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice, delish!
We had a look inside the Basilica Cistern and found Medusas head, made a wish and went to walk by The Blue Mosque.
We went back to check out the Blue Mosque after we visited the Topkapi Palace. There was a huge line in front of the palace but, like all good tourists, we waited in line and it was such a delight to see! The gardens that surround the palace have so many stray dogs, lying under the trees. I noticed many stray animals in Istanbul. The Blue Mosque was something that I was really looking forward to, I had already seen so many images of it online. It was really beautiful inside, something that a camera just can't capture.
That night, we went to go shopping on İstiklal Caddesi (on the newer side of Istanbul) and found a great place for dinner around there too.
This was maybe the nicest day we had in Istanbul, weather wise. So, we took the opportunity to travel to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was so nice to travel on the ferry and relax. We just took a walk around and headed back on the ferry toward the Spice Market. This was another highlight I was looking forward to but, after visiting the Grand Bazzar earlier, I felt a little underwhelmed at the Spice Market. Although, I did recognise parts around there that were shot during The Amazing Race!
We had an ice cream and caught a tram back toward Sultanahmet and found a rooftop bar to relax at.
That night, we decided to go out for a Turkish bath, it was definitely an experience. The one we went to was clean, the people were nice but, I wish they scrubbed me more. I'm really glad that I went to experience a traditional turkish bath. The only awkward part is being topless but, once you get over that, it's fine. Also, it was really nice to go with a friend, I think I would have felt awkward if I went alone. Plus, this one was a little bit difficult to find but, I assure you, it's there!
This was our last day Istanbul and it was a whirlwind. We went back to The Grand Bazzar and bought last minute gifts for friends and family. Adrian and I were on the lookout for a post office, which was pretty hard to find! We ended up running into a hotel and asking them if they could direct us, luckily it was about 3 minutes away. Even though we had been searching for 20 minutes or longer.
FYI the post office in the Grand Bazzar is no longer there, we learnt that the hard way. If you're looking out for post boxes, they are yellow and post offices have PTT written on them. It's also just best to ask someone.
We then went back to our accommodation to dry off as it had been raining.We settled in to have some lunch. At this stage, I was addicted to Lentil soup from a kebab shop down the road. If you're ever around Sultanahmet, this is THE BEST place to eat, it's cheap, friendly and the lentil soup is like no other!
Adrian, his mum and myself decided we wanted to see the whirling dervishes and there was a show starting near by. After watching this, I honestly felt like my entire experience in Istanbul was complete. I think any whirling dervish place would be great, so I've just provided this link. While heading back to our accommodation, we walked through the Hippodrome for the last time. I snapped the second last image, capturing the stars in the sky, I think it looks so beautiful.
This last image we took as we were landing back into Melbourne. I'm heading off to Europe again on Wednesday. Our first stop is Barcelona, so if you have any tips, please leave me a comment!