It’s been a long time since I wrote my travel journey about Three Beauties of Cappadocia. I have been so busy since I got back from Turkey. Besides, Cappadocia, I could say that Istanbul has been my no.1 favorite city in Turkey, perhaps in Europe. I have been to London and Paris. They are beautiful, so vintage, so classic. However, Istanbul can wrap all of them into one. It is the home of breathtaking architecture, buildings, tasty food, amazing art, and pretty flowers. It’s also a perfect place for street photography.
For you who want to go to Turkey, I give you a few must visit places for sightseeing and shopping for Istanbul’s first timers:
It was my first destination when I arrived at Turkey. It is a historical urban parks at the Emirgan neighbourhood in the Sarıyer district of Istanbul, Turkey, on the European coast of the Bosphorus. It is one of the largest public parks in Istanbul. I saw lots of beautiful tulips and sakura trees. I arrived at 7 AM, so it was still quiet and peaceful for photoshoot.
Hagia Sophia / Aya Sofia Mosque
It is built 1500 years ago as an orthodox Catholic church. After Turkey was defeated in Cross War, the church was re-built as a mosque withour removing the relics and pictures of Christian. You can see the picture of Jesus, Gabriel, and Virgin Mary on the 2nd floor of Aya Sofia. Now, it is a museum with a stunning Byzantine and Islamic architecture. The grand dome of Aya Sofia that towers over the sky of Istanbul is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside.
Sultan Ahmed Blue Mosque
Standing beautifully at the opposite of Aya Sofia, the Bluq Mosque was built by The Great Sultan Ahmed. However, the mosque was still in renovation and closed. Too bad 😦 Just seeing from the outside, the cascading domes are amazing. I love taking pictures on the outdoor area.
The Grand Bazaar / Kalpali Çarsi
For you who like to go shopping (like me!), Istanbul Grand Bazaar is a must visit place. Be careful of entrance and exit doors. It’s as overwhelming with hundreds of mazes and passages filled with thousands of vendors selling everything from spices, lamps, carpets, jewelries to lanterns. just like a labyrinth with the same interior and decoration. Try to wander around first before settling in buying something at the first stall.There are many vendors selling the same thing. Besides, the place is also photogenic to be missed.
P.S.: there are also many vendors outside the Grand Bazaar which sell similar things with lower price! The T-shirts and souvenirs are so cheap!
Arasta Bazaar is located hundreds meter from Aya Sofia. It’s a long tidy street with shops lining on both sides, like the Asiatic Market in Bangkok. Homewares, souvenirs, antiques are sold in Arasta Bazaar, perhaps much better and curated than the Grand Bazaar. It is a pleasant interlude from the bustle of the main tourist attractions with selections of cafes and restaurant inside. Since i got there at 6 PM, the market was closed. Just take a photo in this area since it is also photogenic place.
The Spice Market
The interior of Spice Market adopt the Egyptioan relics and atract me to go through into its labyrinth. It’s not as overwhelming as The Grand Bazaar and of course, they sell mostly the herbs and spices. You can get rugs and wallets here as well as the keychains and magnets. The hundreds centuries old Mısır Çarşısı / Egyptian Spice Bazaar, open seven days a week, is full of tourist from many countries due to its low price. It is the best place to buy oils, soap, dried fruits, spices, and Turkish delights as souvenirs.
Located in Beyoğlu in the European part of Istanbul, Turkey, Taksim Square is a major tourist and leisure district famed for its restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is considered the heart of modern Istanbul, with the central station of the Istanbul Metro network. Taksim Square is also the location of the Monument of the Republic which was crafted by Pietro Canonica and inaugurated in 1928. The monument commemorates the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, following the Turkish War of Independence.
This is my favorite for shopping, eating delicious foods, taking street photograph, and sightseeing. There are many shops such as H&M, Sephora, YSL, Forever 21, and many more. I had my lunch at McD. You can also spot KFC and Burger King along the street. The price was fine and cheaper than in Indonesia. The sun light, the vintage-look shops, and the aroma of the fresh baked cakes are just perfect for me.
The Topkapi Palace
The palace was built in 15th-19th centuries by Ottoman Sultans. The palace complex consists of four main courtyards and many smaller buildings. Female members of the Sultan’s family lived in the harem and leading state officials, including the Grand Vizier, held meetings in the Imperial Council building. The palace complex has hundreds of rooms and chambers, but only the most important are accessible to the public today, including the Ottoman imperial harem and the treasury, called hazine where the Spoonmaker’s Diamond and Topkapi Dagger are on display. The museum collection also includes Ottoman clothing, weapons, armor, miniatures, religious relics, and illuminated manuscripts like the Topkapi manuscript. The complex is guarded by officials of the ministry as well as armed guards of the Turkish military. Unfortunately photography is prohibited in certain places so I can’t give too many photos of the interiors. You will see the hair of Mohammad; the beautiful antique clocks from the 15th century; the sword of David; and the rod of Moses.
Bosphorus Ferry Cruise
One of my favorite part of my travel journey. It’s my final destination of my Turkey travel journey. During 1 hour ferry ride, I enjoyed my last day in Istanbul by the beautiful sea view from Asia to Europe, passing the bridge which links both lands. There were many historical buildings and beautiful sightseeing. Although it was so hot and sunny, the ferry ride wrapped up my Turkey journey from the beginning till the end.
Stay tune for my travel journey in Turkey. If you want to ask about Cappadocia, you can DM me on my instagram @jessica_sisy
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ENJOY YOUR DAY ♥
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