Tag: Turkey

10 Best Places of Interest in Istanbul

One of the major cities that is highly regarded as a cultural heritage in Turkey is Istanbul. Renowned for its amazing historical sites, Istanbul is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. If you are planning to visit this city, here are some of the top 10 locations to visit. Explore these wonderful tourist attractions and enjoy a wonderful time with friends and family in Istanbul.

1.  Galata Tower

Located in the Beyoglu district, the Galata tower is a 220-foot-tall structure which was built in 1348. Distinguished for its rich historical background, the Galata Tower is one of the major tourist attractions in Istanbul. This tower features a restaurant on the top floor which offers a panoramic view of the city’s landscapes. Apart from that, the place is also surrounded by several restaurants and shops making it ideal for a fun shopping experience. Visit the Galata Tower as part of your Istanbul packages and enjoy a fun time sightseeing the beautiful surroundings from the tower.

Image Credits: Pexels

2.  The Grand Bazaar

To enhance the best shopping experience in Istanbul, visit the Grand Bazaar. From exquisite gift shops to mouth-watering eateries, the Grand Bazaar is the biggest market in the world. Overall, the entire bazaar consists of 61 streets featuring nearly 40,000 shops and restaurants. Even a whole day wouldn’t be sufficient to tour the Grand Bazaar. Many tourists visit this place either to buy souvenirs, clothes, or to taste authentic Turkish cuisines. This place in Istanbul is one of the greatest places for shopping, eating, and sightseeing. Make sure to visit this place to enjoy a fun shopping experience on your trip.

3.  Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Popularly known as the Blue Mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is regarded as one of the most significant historical sites in Turkey. Constructed in the 17th century, the Blue Mosque is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Istanbul. This Islamic structure, which serves as the major cultural hotspot in Istanbul, is a prominent establishment which portrays traditional Islamic architecture. The Blue Mosque features five main domes and six minarets. Every corner of this mosque is intricately constructed in a unique architectural design. Visit this place with your family or friends and get an amazing opportunity to learn about the rich history of Istanbul.

Image Credits: Pexels

4.  Emirgan Park

Are you looking for the best spot for amazing vacation photographs? Then Emirgan Park is the place for you. With its aesthetic appearance and refreshing ambience, this park is a perfect recreational spot in Istanbul. Emirgan Park is one of Istanbul’s biggest parks, which covers an area of 117 acres. The main draw of this place is the international Tulip Festival, which is hosted every April to celebrate the city’s tulip cultivation. Visit this place during the spring season to witness the breathtaking view of the several colourful tulip blossoms.

5.  Taksim Square

If you want to enjoy a charming cosmopolitan vibe in Istanbul, visit Taksim Square. Located in Beyoglu, Taksim Square is a prime spot for exotic nightlife and shopping experiences. With its bustling environment and crowded streets, this location offers a great source of entertainment for tourists. Visit this place as part of your Istanbul trip and take advantage of the fantastic shopping opportunities. From classic restaurants to vintage antique shops, this place has a diverse variety of attractions to visit on your Istanbul package.

Image Credits: Pexels

6.  Vialand

Enjoy your vacation to the fullest by visiting the stunning Vialand theme park in Istanbul. This place is most popular among young tourists as it offers the exotic adventure rides and water activities. This amusement park features three different areas, including a gaming zone, a historical zone, and an adventure zone. For those who are travelling with kids, Vialand is the best location to entertain and engage their children on vacation. Vialand houses numerous shops and restaurants for visitors to experience a fun shopping time. To enjoy the most exhilarating experience, visit Vialand.

7.  Topkapi Palace

Built during the Ottoman Era of the 15th century, Topkapi Palace is a magnificent historical structure in Istanbul. Presently, the Topkapi Palace serves as a museum which restores the marvellous architecture and historic valuables of the Ottoman Empire. This incredible building is one of the popular cultural attractions in Istanbul. With its stunning courtyards, pavilions, and beautiful gardens, this palace looks exquisite and tastefully decorated for visitors to enjoy sightseeing.

8.  Istanbul Archaeological Museum

The Istanbul Archaeology Museum is the greatest museum in Istanbul and houses archaeological collections of the ancient civilization of the Ottoman empire. This museum consists of three different buildings, namely the Archaeological Museum, which is the main building; the Museum of the Ancient Orient; and the Museum of Islamic Art. Discover some of the unique exhibits of pre-Islamic art and Middle Eastern artefacts in this museum. You can also locate several statues and graves that belong to the ancient Ottoman Empire. Learn about the city’s history while viewing various antique collections and historical displays from the Turkish, Hellenistic, and Roman eras.

Image Credits: Pexels

9.  Arnavutkoy

If you love coastal areas, then you will certainly enjoy visiting Arnavutkoy. Arnavutkoy is a lovely neighbourhood in the city of Istanbul, which is located close to the Bosphorus coastline on the European side. This place is a quiet and charming location, which is renowned for its wooden Ottoman buildings and authentic Turkish seafoods. Visit Arnavutkoy and take in a stunning sunset view from the coastal area. The place offers some of the most remarkable attractions for capturing amazing photographs with your loved ones. To enjoy the most peaceful and relaxing vacation, visit Arnavutkoy and make the best holiday vacation.

10.  Istanbul Dolphinarium

For those who love marine exploration, Istanbul Dolphinarium is an amazing place to visit. Explore the fascinating world of sea mammals and enjoy a fun time watching the dolphins. Play and take photos while standing next to the dolphins in the aquarium. This place is one of the largest indoor dolphinariums in Istanbul. Kids love this place as it offers an opportunity for children to swim with the dolphins in the pools. Take your family to this wonderful aquarium and enjoy a great time in Istanbul Dolphinarium.

Image Credits: Pexels

Turkish food and sweets

Turkey is literally the bridge between Europe and Asia. Also, it really is the centre of the world.

If you’re a fan of Turkish food, then you NEED to see this.

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What is your favourite street food? Part 15

Simit -Istanbul

Turkey is literally the bridge between Europe and Asia. Also, it really is the centre of the world. You can fly about everywhere from Atatürk Airport.

Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Jul-2016
Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Jul-2016
Image credit- Mitch Altman- Flickr
  • The name of our country actually comes from “Turchia” which means “Anatolia”.
  • Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is considered as our father. He is the founder of modern Turkey. Every year on the 10th of November Turkey stops for 1 minute on at 09:05 the time of his death.
Istanbul grand bazaar Turkish market traditional
Istanbul grand bazaar Turkish market traditional
Image credit-Pixabay
  • Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is the largest and oldest indoor market. It was built in the 15th century.
Türk kahvesi, Turkish coffee, Istanbul
Türk kahvesi, Turkish coffee
Image credit -AlmilaS -Flickr
  • Turks introduced coffee “kahve” to Europe. We are proud of our coffee, it doesn’t taste like any other basic coffee. Its taste is strong and its preparation methods are very special. You don’t know what coffee tastes like until you’ve tried Turkish coffee.
Sabiha gokcen2
Sabiha gokcen2
  • We gave women the right to vote before most European countries and the United States. Women have been ‘equal” since the Hittite civilisation. Also, Sabiha Gökçen was the world’s first female fighter and Turkish pilot.
  • Although the majority of the population is Muslim, Turkey is not officially Muslim. It has been a secular nation since 1927.
  • Santa Claus was born in Turkey.
Simit -Istanbul
Simit
Image credit- Captain Orange
  • Simit is a bagel covered with sesame seeds sold nearly everywhere in the street. So simple yet so good.
  • Istanbul has a population 3 times larger than Ankara, the capital.
  • Turkish Hollywood is called “Yeşilçam”. It is an important part of Turkish cultures and the movies are simply fascinating.
  • Turkey introduced tulips to the world.
  • Historic legends such as Homer the poet, Herodotus, St Paul were born in Anatolia.
  • The world most precious silk carpet is located in a museum (Mevlana Museum) in Konya.
  • Turkish food is more than just kebabs.

~Yasemin studies Chemical Science (2020)

Turkey is a city of contrasts, absolutely different people, from Muslims to gays, from rich to homeless, from Europeans to Asians.

And it’s amazing. A huge city with 20 million inhabitants, impressive size and atmosphere.

You may also like to read Istanbul: Traditional Yet Modern

Street food is awesome. You can find everything. But one of my favourites is a wet burger. No cheese, no lettuce, no pickles – absolutely nothing apart from a wet, sauced up garlic-tomato bun and cutlet. But it’s so delicious. The best place to buy is Taksim Square, the best producers are Kizilkayala or Bambi cafe.


~ Nataly Lytvyn
, PR & Marketing Manager

You will not leave Turkey without trying “Adana Kebap” or any kind of another kebap. I highly recommend “Urfa Usta” in Aksaray (if I am misspelt something, I hope Turkish friends will correct me). There you will get additional side dishes and a glass of ayran. You should definitely try “Dolma” in grape leaves. And don’t forget to try street food.

~ Šarūnė Zybartaitė lived in Istanbul

Turkey is very agricultural and one of the few countries globally which can easily feed itself. The varied geography, access to the sea on 3 sides, and climate offer superb growing conditions for vegetables, seafood and livestock.

The incredible flavours which go into mezes, the olives and olive oils of the Aegean, the freshly baked bread in every village and city in the country, and most importantly, the time it takes to properly prepare the food to suggest that it’s hard to replicate in a restaurant in Berlin or Chicago.

~Dina Street, Self-taught with lots of trial and error, specializing in Turkish and Indian.

Street food depends on where you are.
For Istanbul, we can say “Pilavcı” :

Pilavcı, Street food Istanbul
İstanbul’un En İyi 7 Pilavcısı – 2018 https://harbiyiyorum.com/istanbulun-en-iyi-7-pilavcisi-2018/

and also “Kokoreç“-

Kitir: Kokorec with Beer, Turkish street food
Kitir: Kokorec with Beer
Image credit-Tripadvisor

Kokoreç or Kokoretsi is a dish of the Balkans and Turkey consisting mainly of lamb or goat intestines, often wrapping seasoned offal, including sweetbreads, hearts, lungs, or kidneys. The intestines of suckling lambs are preferred.

Kokorec recipe The offal, along with some fat, is washed and cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick pieces, and lightly seasoned with lemon, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper, and sometimes garlic.

The intestine is turned inside out and carefully washed, then rubbed with salt and often soaked in vinegar or lemon juice and water. The filling meats are threaded onto a long skewer and wrapped with the intestine to hold them together, forming a compact roll usually about 16″-24″ long by 1 1/2″ to 3″ in diameter.

Kokoretsi is usually roasted on a horizontal skewer over a charcoal, gas, or electric burner, and maybe basted with lemon juice and olive oil. A quite different preparation mixes the chopped innards with chopped tomatoes and green peppers and then cooks them on a large griddle with hot red pepper and oregano added.

The cook constantly mixes and chops the mixture using two spatulas. When done, the dish is kept warm aside on the griddle until someone orders a serving. The cooked kokoretsi is chopped or sliced, sprinkled with oregano, and served on a plate.

Sometimes it is served on a piece of flatbread. Some add tomatoes or spices in it. It may also (especially in Turkey) be served in half a baguette or in a sandwich bun, plain or garnished, almost always with oregano and red pepper.

In Turkey, common side dishes are pickled peppers or cucumbers. It is often seasoned with lemon, oregano, salt, a pepper, and typically accompanied by wine or raki.

For Eminönü(a district of Istanbul) “Balık Ekmek(fish)“:

Balik ekmek Galata Bridge

Extra: “Midye Dolma”(stuffed mussels)

Midye dolma-Istanbul street food
Midye dolma….mmm YUMMY! by ximenacab

Another: “Kestane Kebap”(chestnut)

Kestane Kebap- Istanbul street food
Image result for Kestane Kebap
1280 × 902Images may be subject to copyright. Find out more
Kestane Kebap Nasıl Yapılır? | Pinterest |

Kumpir”(baked potato):

Kumpir - Turkish Cuisine

Mısır”:(Corn)

Misir, Turkish street food
mısır fındık gıda mısır koçanı saman altın tahıl

That’s the best. From city(Gaziantep): “Nohut Dürüm”(chickpea)

So, what is your favourite street food from Turkey?

Istanbul: Traditional Yet Modern

Istanbul, Turkey, Bosphorus, Sea, Outlook, View Image credit -Maxpixal.net

Istanbul is unique. Do you know that this city stands half in Europe and half in Asia? Straddling the two continents on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul is the cultural hub and the most populous city of Turkey. The city is proud of its seventy museums, 17 palaces, 64 mosques, and 49 churches of historical significance.’

Founded in 660 BCE as Byzantium, and as Constantinople in 330 CE, the Old City is amazing. Go around the Sultanahmet district, and see the open-air Roman-era Hippodrome (the ancient site of chariot races), Egyptian obelisks and the Byzantine Hagia Sophia which has a soaring 6th-century dome and rare Christian mosaics.

Do you know that Bosphorus, being the only sea route between the oil-rich Black Sea and the Mediterranean, is one of the busiest waterways in the world – three times that on the Suez Canal?!

Hamam, Akko | by Jean-David & Anne-Laure, Istanbul Turkey
Hamam, Akko | by Jean-David & Anne-Laure

Hamam- Not to be missed – are the famous Turkish Baths and the Belly Dancers! The Turkish Baths, or hamams, are a great escape for all seasons.

Turkish belly dancers are known for their energetic, athletic style of moving their torso, and their adept use of finger cymbals.

Istanbul is famous for its historic seafood restaurants, many of which you will find along the Bosphorus, along with the Sea of Marmara, at the Prince Islands, and the Eminonu Pier. Head for the Corlulu Ali Pasa Medresesi for smoking some flavoured tobacco as well as for the traditional tea and Turkish coffee.

Don’t miss out on Istanbul’s famous nightlife, wine houses, pubs and historic taverns, which you will find along the Istiklal Avenue, Çiçek Pasajı or Nevizade Street as also Nişantaşı, Ortakoy, Bebek, Kadıkoy and the Beyoglu Square.

Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque Istanbul Turkey mosque architecture Image credit-Pixabay

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Exploring the city’s rich historical sites will be a rewarding experience. One of the most famous is the Blue Mosque with its huge dome, its lighting, the bright blue of the shining tiles, the awesome blue stained glass windows and blue painted ceilings! The Rustem Pasha Mosque, on the other hand, was built by Rüstem Pasa, the Vizir of Suleyman the Magnificent, as atonement for his very sinful life! In addition, do go to the Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and see the Viking graffiti carved into the wooden rails of the top floor.

At Basilica Cistern, remember to keep your camera ready. The ancient ruins are the largest of the many hundred ancient cisterns lying beneath the streets of Istanbul. Also, don’t miss the upside-down Medusa and the Carps! Attending a concert here would be an amazing opportunity to enjoy the unique acoustics here.

istanbul turkey topkapi palace castle sultan, Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul Turkey Topkapi palace castle sultan
Image credit-pixabay
The Topkapi Palace is famous not only for its large collection of jewels and artefacts but its harem too! Include a tour to see the sacred relics believed to be Abraham’s Pot, Moses’s Staff, David’s Sword, Muhammad’s footprints and much more.

An unparalleled shopping experience awaits you at Grand Bazar in the dozens of covered streets and thousands of shops. However, try to keep an eye on the signage’s pointing to the different exits if don’t want to get lost. Haggling is OK here!

Spend a day at the Golden Horn and see the Eyup Sultan Mosque, the Saint’s tomb, shop for Turkish Oya scarves and pashminas, and rose and jasmine oils, and visit the old Ottoman cemetery and the Sufi Monastery.

Spice Market, Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul Turkey spice market colourful local shop
Image credit-pixabay

The famous centuries-old Spice Bazaar is a haven for budget shopping and delectable food. Pick up gifts, sweets, spices, rose and jasmine oils, saffron or pastrami or plenty of traditional Turkish meats and cheese, as you wind your way through this aromatic place. Harking back to the 6th century the Galata Bridge is famous for its numerous bars and restaurants and the sunset views. The 1,500-year-old Galata Tower offers some of the best views of the city, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus.

Scan the local news before heading for Taksim Square as this is the place not only for festivities like New Year’s Eve but also for hosting political protests! You must also enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus which will give you a chance to explore the 15th-century Yoros Castle, views of the Black Sea and to have a seafood lunch near the base of the castle or on the waterfront. The gardens and the fountains at Dolmabahce Palace are gorgeous. This is the modern palace of the Sultans, but more importantly the place Atatürk passed on.

Always carry a scarf and a long-sleeved cardigan to wear to mosques, etc. as shorts and miniskirts are not allowed. Also, Istanbul is a very hilly city, so wear comfortable shoes and bring your own socks because you’ll need to take your shoes off to enter mosques. Unfortunately, if you are wheelchair bound, I do not recommend Istanbul.



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