🕌Istanbul, Turkey🕌

Around the World


Best time of year to go: September-November (great weather, less crowds, cheaper rates)

Fun Fact: Istanbul is the only city in the world that is on two continents.  It is a part of both Europe and Asia. In the picture above everything behind me is the Europe side but the top left corner across the water you can see the Asia side.  Cool huh? (Travel.usnews.com)

Language: Turkish (Goodluck! But everyone is very nice!)

  • Hello – Merhaba
  • Bye – Güle Güle
  • Thank you – Tesekkür Ederim

1. Where I stayed..

-Hotel Levni (http://www.levnihotel.com/)

  • great central location, walked almost everywhere I went
  • staff is friendly and speaks English
  • complimentary drink upon arrival
  • complimentary traditional Turkish breakfast
  • beautiful Turkish bath
  • to the right behind the hotel is more local food, shops, atmosphere
  • to the left you head towards the touristy area as well as many great restaurants (more pricy)

2. All things food & Drink! (Bread, Meat, Dessert, Tea)

img_4999-3~Try the street corn and roasted chestnuts!

~Try the street carts selling fresh squeezed juices! Delicious, cheap and sweet locals! (<-)

~Drink lots of Turkish Tea! I basically drank tea like it was air, couldn’t get enough of it!

~For a nicer evening out I would recommend going to the Panoramic Restaurant (https://g.co/kgs/Axw2a1).  The view is stunning and the food was good.  A little more pricy but not bad for what you get. (View is the featured picture of this post at the top)

~Traditional breakfast includes: Always bread, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, Turkish tea and coffee, cheeses, honey, jams, olives, omelets, boiled eggs, sliced meats like salami, fruit, Turkish delight, croissants (It is definitely different from American breakfast but try it, it’s yummy!)

Picture: Top two are traditional breakfast from hotel (<–)

:Bottom Left is baklava

:Bottom Right is dinner (bread, meat, veggies, yum!)

~Desserts: Baklava, Turkish Delight, Lokma (sweet fried sweet dough)

3. What to do:

~Hagia Sophia (beautiful cathedral museum)

~Sultan Ahmed Mosque/Blue Mosque (women need head covering/scarf, don’t go during prayer as I was unable to go inside)

~Grand Bazaar (Don’t buy but it is fun to explore and see, outside the grand bazaar the locals have a market through the streets and it is dirt cheap for food and products)

~Explore on foot! Walk around the local markets, eat in crowded tucked away restaurants, walk along the water and drink a lot of tea!

~Do not fall to tourist traps even if hotels recommend them, research before you agree! (Example: the hotel recommended this Sufi whirling show. We watched men twirl in circles in the dark meditating for about an hour.  Not worth it!)


4. To do list:

~Traditional Turkish bath

~Boat tour of Old and New Istanbul

~Try more street food

~Hot air balloon in Cappadocia

~Hot Springs (Pamukkale) in Denizli


Grand Bazaar

Local Bazaar: Purchase products here! (ex: shirt in Grand Bazaar is $25 and in local Bazaar in 3 for $5). Also great place to have street food.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque/Blue Mosque

Inside Hagia Sophia Museum

Hagia Sophia from Panoramic Restaurant

Hotel Levni is on the left of the red striped government building.


Turkish Tea all day long:

This is one of my favorite memories.  Getting past the language barrier and ordering fresh juice from this man on night one.

Dinner on the couch? Yes please!

Ladies beware! You may have to pee in a hole so be prepared with your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer!



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