Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One Day In Istanbul

The Blue Mosque
     Got a long lay over in Istanbul, or maybe just starting your journey in Turkey but don't want to spend too much time around the capital? Here's how I made the most of about 18 hours there.

      I was excited to see on a flight between Greece and Israel I could manipulate the flight to do a layover trip to Istanbul, I got my Visa beforehand online for only $40 and was ready to see this beautiful city! I landed in the evening around 11pm, took a cab which I got ripped off on for about 35 Euros, it was 20 the next day, but I was freezing and anxious to get some sleep for the next days adventures. Since I landed so late I actually stayed in a hotel, but it was only $40 a night.

     I woke up at the crack of dawn to catch a city bus to Rumeli Fortress, it was not recommended if you didn't have a lot of time because it's off the main tourist path, but my heart was drawn to it, and I have no clue why it's not recommended it's a bit further than the rest of the main Istanbul sites, but it's one train, and a bus that runs along the pier to get there, so a pleasant view for the short ride. And the fortress was well worth it!

Inside Rumeli Fortress 

   After Rumeli I doubled back to the main part of the city, which by the way is only about 20-30 minutes from the airport. I also en route had my real cup of Turkish coffee, which was dumped after a few sips.... In just 19 hours including time to sleep and check in, I was able to do and see all of this:

Vile Turkish coffee!
The Blue Mosque: How can you be in Istanbul and skip it? Entry was either free or really cheap, because I don't remember paying anything. Once you are in downtown Istanbul it's impossible to miss this one. 

Galata Bridge: Legendary in Turkish folklore and literature I enjoyed it both by public transport and on foot catching the morning fishermen make some catches.

Galata Tower: As you may guess, if you found the bridge, you found the tower.


Hagia Sophia: It's literally right next to the Blue Mosque, so you won't miss it!

The Basilica Cistern: I had no idea how cool this would be, and my pictures don't do it justice, built around 300 AD, it's an ancient cistern, and underground water receptacle built by slaves of that era. 

The place is somewhat huge, but also a quick easy tour of 20 minutes to an hour if you are in a rush. 

The Spice Baazar: I was planning on skipping this unless I had time, and it turns out I had time, after a quick and delicious Turkish lunch I went in the spice baazar and got a magnet, I had close to 20 Turks try and sell me a rug.

And of course Rumeli, I hadn't realized it, but correct me if I'm wrong, Yedikule Castle? Was on the way to the airport, I could have squeezed that in too, oh well, next time!

Choose the continent!!!!


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