Istanbul is the biggest city of Turkey with a population of around 14 million people. It is the only city in the world which is spread across two continents. It is something amazing to think that by crossing a bridge you can move across continents. Though Cappadocia was most interesting part of my trip but Istanbul was not far behind in terms of different experiences.
As soon as I landed on Istanbul airport, I had marked my first entry into Europe. This was my one more step towards achieving my target of visiting all 6 continents 🙂 (Read such more action items in About Me section of blog). There is a saying – First Impression is the Last Impression. Istanbul proved it yet again and the initial one hour spent in city could be summed up in one word simply as “Convenient”. I spent three days in Istanbul and found everything so organized specially from tourist point of view that made a lasting impression on me.
Tram in Istanbul
I used airport metro to reach Sultanahmet area which is the most famous touristy part of Istanbul. All the major tourist spots are visited in this region or nearby. As soon as I came out of train, I felt I have come into a completely new world. There were volunteers in blue t-shirts who were school/college students and helping tourists by providing all information. I had never seen such thing earlier. They had maps ready in their hand and you can ask for any information and they will try to help you out. I asked my way to hotel and they give a simple answer that follow the path along side tram and walk till you see the sea at a distance :). Perfect way to guide as I found my hotel without any further help.
As Sultanahmet is the touristy area it’s also an expensive part of Istanbul with accommodation and food prices slightly higher than other parts of City. But since before I started my journey to Turkey, Taksim square was going through some disturbance, I had booked my stay in Sultanahmet which is on European side. Some of the major attractions in this area are Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace and Grand Bazar.
Istanbul is a happening city and there is so much to do there. Apart from the monuments you can take cruise in Bosphorus. The boat rides in mediterranean sea are fantastic with clear blue water and good connectivity options. There are ferries available throughout the day and you can take rides as per your convenience. I loved just to roam around in city without trying to visit every tourist spots. I loved trams so much that I ended up riding them throughout the day. They are another good way to see the city.
View from Galata Towers
Beautiful Istanbul City
Istanbul was last destination of my trip. As I stood on top of Galata tower which has fantastic views of city, I recalled all my memories in last few days in Turkey. There is a reason so many people visit Turkey every year. Like every other country Turkey has issues sometimes like the recent protest in some areas. But despite all that visitors feel safe and welcome when they travel in Turkey. Finally I said bye-bye to Istanbul and boarded the flight back to India. I successfully completed my adventure of solo trip. I am already thinking what next ? Where next ? When next ? :). Any ideas :).