Istanbul Travel Beautiful Places
Istanbul Unforgettable – An Authentic Taste of Real Istanbul
Istanbul Travel Beautiful Places. Istanbul, like any other city, offers a variety and different grades of tourist attractions based on your budget and your interests. It is not your budget that determines the kind of tourism you will experience, but rather the approach you take.
The best way to enjoy oneself as a tourist is to decide what type of tourist you wish to be. Do you wish to be packaged in a package tour, or do you trust your own wisdom for what makes a great visit? I presume here that you are decided to make the most of your visit and that the way you wish to explore Istanbul is by appreciating its value as the cross-road of European and Asian Culture. Istanbul is about fusion. I will walk you through the minimum of what you shouldn’t miss getting a real taste of this city. You may fill in the blanks as you travel.
The Ottoman Era left a definite print on this city. The best place to visit is the Dolmabahce Palace. This will stretch your knowledge and strolling around this palace will put you in the skin of the greatest Pashas of the Ottoman Empire. You will also feel in Europe. This palace is filled with the world’s largest and most impressive chandeliers.
Top this up with eating at one of the many traditional and authentic Ottoman-style cuisine restaurants. In the evening, dare to pamper yourself at a traditional and very reasonably priced Turkish Bath – Hammam. Dive 300 years back on a reasonable budget. Take back a souvenir of Ottoman opulence. Traditional ceramic tiles are a must. Check on a reverse for a signature of authenticity. Read also: Egypt Travel Beautiful Places
Enjoy the Views and the Landscapes
Istanbul is a strategically located city and is all about views! Appreciate the landscape – your budget is a good pair of walking shoes and your senses. Go to the Golden Horn, an area where Istanbul is divided between the East and the West. Get on the Galata bridge and enjoy the breath-taking views. If you can splurge, visit the Princess Islands where the Byzantine princes and princesses would spend their summertime vacations.
Experience Diverse Spirituality
Istanbul is the home to three major religions. For Islam, many mosques are available for visits. The Blue Mosque and its amazing courtyard are a great place to experience the Islamic faith. There you can attend the Dervish Ceremony for a more mystic and liberal taste of Islam. For Christianity, a must is to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the official seat of the Orthodox Church for the past 1,700 years – it is located in the neighborhood of Fener and reachable through public transportation.
For a feel of Byzantine Christianity, visit the Church of Chora, very peaceful and well preserved. For Judaism, the Grand Rabbinate of Turkey is the place to visit and get informed on the Judaic Heritage of Istanbul. Many Synagogues are still active and smaller ones can be visited some feature museum exhibits as well. The Italian Synagogue is by far one of the most beautiful Synagogues you will ever see.
Markets and shopping
Istanbul is all about trade and commerce. The traditional markets are great for shopping with your eyes. Prices there ‘ouch’ even if the quality of the goods is superior. Do not give in to merchant pressure. If you really want to get your money’s worth in the tourist areas, try the Egyptian Bazaar. The shops that surround all Bazaars provide the same products for up to 30% less with less decor.
Side shops are great for food, spices, tea, clothing, household items. Remember if you are not sure where to shop, look if locals shop there and keep an eye on what they are paying – you shouldn’t pay more. Do not be intimidated to bargain, but realize that it must be done in a respectful way to attain a win-win situation. Read: Milan Italy Travel Beautiful Places
Istanbul offers a variety of ‘Oriental Shows’ including belly-dancing and intense partying. Try to find authentic Turkish Nights and shows that are not infested with groups of 300 tourists at a time, especially if you are traveling in a small group, you may not be able to enter or will feel the severe difference in the level of customer services. Taxim is a great place for a cup of coffee even late at night and certainly, Istanbul buzzes with night-life. Fish restaurants is a must in Istanbul with great views of the Bosporus. Gastronomy is also on the rise with a variety of fusion restaurants.
I recommend a minimum of 5 days to enjoy the above and combine it with your personalized interests.
And remember, slower tourism is quality tourism!
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