“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is…
“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is the most beautiful place on earth.” – Edmondo De Amicis
Here’s the pick of 23 essential do’s in Istanbul;
1. Befriend Turkish people and see for yourself why they are famous for their hospitality
Photo: quinn.anya on Flickr under CC
2. Cross the Bosphorus Bridge
Photo: http://www.bariskaradeniz.com/ on Flickr under CC
3. Try Turkish specialties
4. And beer
Photo: erenemre on Flickr under CC
5. Don’t miss the Asian side, especially the Bağdat Avenue
6. Attend a sport match of one of “The Big Three” teams
The Big Three teams are Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. And all are based in Istanbul.
7. Ride in dolmuş!
Because doing it local style is the way to go!
8. Hang out at Taksim square – the heart of modern Istanbul
Taksim means ‘division’ and originally it was the point where the main water lines from the Belgrade Forest were collected and laid to this point. Nowadays, Taksim is a favorite meeting point for locals and a location for organizing public events and social gatherings.
9. Combine Simit and Ayran
Simit is a popular street food, sold everywhere by street vendors.
10. Stroll along İstiklal Avenue
Beautiful. Vibrant. Cosmopolitan. Sleepless. Visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day.
11. Get on top of Galata tower for spectacular views
A place to see all Istanbul.
12. Climb the Kamondo stairs
Photo: ahunziker on Flickr under CC
13. Feed the cats. They rule the city.
Istanbul is a city of cats.
14. Feel the history in Hagia Sophia
Istanbul’s most famous monument.
Oh, and if you want to be cured from all your ailments, don’t forget to stick your finger in a hole of the weeping column.
15. Visit the stunning Blue Mosque and listen to the call to prayer in the cortyard
Remove your shoes, put on a headscarf and enjoy the beauty around you.
16. Take a ferry trip to the Asian side.
Enjoy the great view!
17. Search for the Medusa heads in the Basilica Cistern
The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film “From Russia with Love”
18. Try your art of bargaining at the Grand Bazaar
Explore, drink lots of tea but don’t get carried away. Note that the Grand Bazaar is a typical tourist trap and everything is overpriced here.
19. Have a cup of Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee) or çay (tea)
Check out the tea gardens (çay bahçesis) or coffee houses (kahvehanes).
20. Explore Üsküdar – One of the city’s more conservative suburbs
One of the streets
21. Istanbul is huge, so don’t forget to have a rest
22. Try tulumba
Besides Turkey, this is a popular dessert throughout the Balkans.
23. And if you have some spare time, escape to the Princes’ Islands
Beautiful white homes of Büyükada
All photos are © Eurotribe except where noted. All rights reserved.