First Stop: Istanbul

Holy cow. This place.

I am obsessed with the old era architecture that persists throughout this city. There are so many landmarks that have been around since the Ottoman era. Whaaat. I mean, I’m kind of a nerd, but isn’t that just insane?

We spent our days in Istanbul exploring the city surrounding our hotel and it has been so amazing hearing such a radical difference in mouth. We stayed at the Acropol Suites, and I am so glad we did. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly. It’s located in the heart of Istanbul which makes all of the main spots in Istanbul really accessible. PLUS, their breakfast is freaking killer. Never have I ever had such good eggs in my life. So, yeah, if you choose hotels solely on their breakfast reputation, this place is an A+ choice. And, I suppose it’s nice that the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkaki Palace are super close to the hotel so that you could easily explore for hours on hours.

Ramadan is taking place right now so there are literally thousands of people who gather around in the area outside of the Blue Mosque around sundown and wait for the signal to break the fast, which happens around 9 PM. It was crazy cool seeing thousands of people gathered and worshipping their God.

Serious props to them because I can not imagine not drinking or eating until 9 PM for a whole month. So incredible.

In addition, The Blue Mosque is open to the public so we got to take a look inside. The design of the interior took my breath away. It was so intricate and everything I imagined when I pictured Istanbul.

TBH I still am processing that I’m here right now because never in a million years did I imagine I would actually make it here. I’m just glad I snagged some photographic proof along the way for when I finally snap out of it.

Below are pictures of some the places that I apparently went to.

The Blue Mosque AKA Sultan Ahmed Mosque

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Topkapi Palace

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Hagia Sophia

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The Grand Bazaar

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Basilica Cistern

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I really loved each and every one of these places, but if I had to choose a favorite the Basilica Cistern would be the top choice. On the other hand, if I had to cut one of these out of the trip it would have been the Grand Bazaar. To me, it’s extremely similar to the underground shopping in New York City, just unbelievably massive. I never particularly enjoyed that part of NY, but that’s just me. Our time there was also limited so I’m sure there were some good spots that we may have missed.

Travel Tips:

  • As with all places, be cautious when carrying around expensive items. It’s a busy place and there are pick-pocketers
  • It’s a tourist heavy town, so be wary, there are lots of scammers present!
  • Cover up and avoid showing too much skin to avoid any unwanted attention.

I really hope that you guys enjoy this advice and find yourself in this city one day. I’d have to say it’s definitely worth it.

BONUS: You guys. Their food is delicious as heck and reaaal cheap. Istanbul just keeps getting better and better.

2 Comments

  • Reply Shannon Jenkins June 26, 2016 at 11:35 PM

    Wow how gorgeous are these pictures! I have never been to Istanbul but it looks stunning!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

    • Reply Sara Mirza June 27, 2016 at 1:06 AM

      It’s insane!! Definitely one of my favorite place I’ve ever been so far. I hiiighly suggest it.

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