I spent this morning wandering around the Beyoglu neighbourhood we are staying in. This area of Istanbul was apparently the European Quarter during the Ottoman Empire and you can feel it as you walk along the (steep!) narrow, cobblestoned streets. Now, the neighbourhood seems to be filled with music and instrument shops, quirky boutiques, cafés, and indie clothing stores. It’s lovely.
I walked from our apartment up to the bustling thoroughfare, Istiklal Caddesi, until I reached Taksim Square. Istiklal Caddesi is touted as Istanbul’s “most exciting” street, with all the shops you’d find in a big western city, restaurants, bars, mosques, churches, embassies, and of course, lots of people. I’m pretty sure I counted three Starbucks… It felt very cosmopolitan (if not just very commercial), and was a good little chunk to explore as I wait for my parents to arrive. I made it back to our apartment just as the rain started to fall.
My parents still haven’t arrived (another late flight!), it’s been an unlucky trip over for them, I just hope they’re not too weary when they finally get here! Meanwhile, I’m sitting by the huge window in our living room, watching the rain pour down over the Bosphorus, and sipping my tea…someone pinch me? Life could be worse! Happy Friday to you!
Great pics! I can’t wait… I’ll be in Istanbul very soon (via Espana). Any great recommendations you’ve picked up while there? :)
Lucky you!:) Hmm, as far as recommendations go I’d say all the big, well known sights are totally worth it — The Hagia Sofia (you can pay €10 extra, skip the lines and get a guided tour), Suleymaniye Mosque, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar (closed on Sunday!) and Spice Bazaar. The cisterns are very cool to see as well. It’s a quick (and pretty!) walk across the Bosphorus on the Galata Bridge, and I would definitely recommend walking across (above and below the bridge) to the Beyoğlu neighbourhood, and the Galata Tower (beautiful views of the city). Walk along Istiklal street (look up for amazing architecture) and the old neighbourhoods. Hmm…have some çay (Turkish tea), fresh juice squeezed on the side of the road, and kebab– always delicious. Lastly! Datli Maya is a great hole-in-the-wall restaurant in the Beyoğlu area– worth looking up for unpretentious, delicious, traditional Turkish food. That’s all in a nut shell! Hope you have a great trip!
Thank you! I’ll take your advice. :)