Day 3 we stayed closer to our hotel to fit in some last minute sights! We started our day at Basilica Cistern, the largest of many Cistern’s in Istanbul. Descending the steps you really feel the atmosphere change and as you walk around you hear the dripping of the water from above and the echoes bouncing your voice. There is something really peaceful and calming about the silent and dark setting, and we thought it was really worth seeing if you are in İstanbul as I am sure a lot of people miss it. Do get your camera on the right settings as we found it hard to take decent photos, but the camera really doesn’t so this place justice, you have to go yourself to feel its dramatic setting atmosphere.
Next sight for our morning was a trip to Topkapi Palace, the court of the Ottoman empire. Covering a vast space, we visited Palace kitchens, The gate of felicity, audience chamber, imperial treasury and the harem all which had detailed exhibits on Turkish culture, artefacts and Turk armoury. This was the former to Dolmabahce and has a more medieval feel with its three courtyards and twin towers at the entrance. The detail of the wall and ceiling murals are breath taking, the positioning of the Palace is right on the edge of Europe so make your way to the edge of the palace grounds and you get magnificent views across the Bosphorous too. Make sure you check out the Museum card if you will be visiting a lot of the palaces and museums as they can quickly add up.
The last place on our visit was the Grand Bazaar, we couldn’t leave Istanbul without a visit to one of the largest, oldest and most famous bazaars in the world. With over 4000 shops and a maze of walkways, it is very easy to lose yourself in the whole theatre of it all (both literally and metaphorically!). Stall owners lure you in with free Turkish delight samples, but shop around as you can pay a pretty fortune for something you could get around the corner for a much better price. To be honest though you could just eat a year’s worth of Turkish delight in one day if you wanted to as there are free samples pretty much everywhere! You can easily get lost as you wander the maze streets and past the latern covered shops in this gigantic aladdin’s cave, you can end up exiting a good way away from where you entered! I created this time lapse too, I love creating these and watching them back!
Our adventure continued in Istanbul with a visit to Buyukada – The largest of Istanbul’s Islands just a short ferry ride away! Link will appear here soon when published!
More from my Turkish Travels:
Pammukale – Cotton Candy Castle
Cappadocia – Turkey’s Grand Canyon
Antalya – History, Fantasy & Paradise