ISTANBUL 🇹🇷

A story of a fabulous trip to Istanbul. I discovered the biggest city and metropolis in Turkey: Istanbul. This city, located in the region of Marmara, counting today more than 15 million inhabitants, was formerly called historically “Constantinople” until 1930. As usual, I tell you all the history of this beautiful city, my good addresses! Culinary level, there is the embarrassment of choice between “Boui Boui”, Kokorec, kebabs and the places to do you are served. Let yourself be transported by the view of the Bosphorus, cross the Galata Bridge over the Golden Horn, lose yourself in the Grand Bazaar, go around Leander or visit the business districts of Maslak and Hagia Sophia. Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to Istanbul.

 

Istanbul a timeless city

For fans of stories like me, did you know that Istanbul was originally an ancient Roman city? yeah, you read correctly. Constantinople was founded by the first Roman Emperor Constantine on the site of the ancient Greek colony “Byzantium” that exists since VII century BC. The city was named in honor of the Emperor. It was not until March 28, 1930, that the name Istanbul became official. The city was the eastern capital of the Roman Empire until it fell in 1453. And yes, ladies and gentlemen. It’s not over! After the fall of Constantinople, she was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire with Mehmet. The city underwent serious changes from the end of the 1850s, such as the creation of a tramway network and a water supply system. The population increases until the beginning of the 20th century. Here we are again in 1923 until today, a remarkable period! The country loses its function of capital on October 1, 1923, in favor of Ankara. Although the city is lost its status, it is still the major city of Turkey economically, industrially (many things you find in Istanbul are for any budget), educational and cultural. Following several migrations around 1950, the capital quickly became one of the most important cities in Europe. To give you an idea, the city originally had 700,000 inhabitants in 1927, 1 million inhabitants in 1950, 2 million in the 60s, 3 and a half million in 1970 and finally more than 15 million to date. It is really impressive. The first time we come to Istanbul, we do not expect such greatness with a really dense population. The city was always an important center for Christian and Muslim religions. This culture remains perpetual.

 

 

 

 

Istanbul: The city of a thousand and one night

Every day, many visitors to Istanbul ask themselves the same question (me included): what activities can be done, in summer and rainy weather? What are the restaurants and places that I should not miss during my trip to Istanbul? During our stay, we had rain for a few days. Indeed, it makes you want to lock yourself in the hotel and not move. it’s the opposite, imagine that in Istanbul, there are several cafes and lounges bars in the colors of Turkey with several tapestries inside, carpets and oriental cushions. Really cool places to relax, play Backgammon (it’s the traditional Turkish game) or work quietly. We have the Coffee Society, The Galata Cafe at the top of the tower, the Cafe The Han located near the Hagia Sophia Mosque. For fans of museums or exhibitions, there are several libraries such as SALT or Beyazit or the Dolmabahçe Palace with its 6 Turkish hammams, 280 pieces, crystal chandeliers, in other words, a marvel. For adventurers, you can go underground and contemplate Istanbul’s famous Cistern Basilica or climb to the top of the Galata Tower and have an impressive view of the Bosphorus. Without forgetting Istiklal Caddesi, a very long street for strolling or shopping with its little red tram. One thing I will do the next time I go back is to take a boat tour and see the wonders of this city. For curious people, visit the mosques is to do. For restaurants, there are many to try! They will all be listed with my suggestions at the end of this article. We were able to try the Sura Kebab restaurant located near the Hagia Sophia district which offers varied and great food, The Terrace Istanbul, a sublime restaurant with a magnificent view of the blue and pink mosques. An exceptional and chic dinner with the Zeferan Restaurant located in a luxurious hotel called the Ajwa Hotel. And finally lunch at the Deraliye Restaurant.

 

 

 

 

All in all Turkish gastronomy is really varied, it has many flavors and different choices. There is one thing to see that is the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul located in the middle of the fast center between the Nuruosmaniye and Beyezid mosques. It’s one of the biggest bazaars in the world. He mesures on 200000m2! It’s impressive we get lost literally. It has more than 4,000 shops, located along 58 interior streets accessed by 18 doors. Istanbul may be comparable to Marrakech but I must say that in terms of area, this bazaar includes some types of crafts such as jewelry, carpets, textiles, condiments, silverware or countless junk like dishes, ornaments .. etc. .

The 10 things I love about Istanbul!

1. Feed the seagulls. It is true that this city is like Italy known for these seagulls. 2. Drink Turkish coffee, you do not come to Turkey without having good tea or coffee. 3. Watch cats all day. 4. Eat good I think this part is obvious, we eat very well in Istanbul 5. Listen to the warm Turkish hello every day “Günaydin” 6. Go to a steam room 7. Contemplate Bosphorus from the top. It’s so nice to see the extent of the city. 8. To dance to Turkish music, one must be able to soak up the culture to the maximum. 9. Discover a new extraordinary place and especially well decorated. 10. Get lost in this great bazaar for hours.

Note: Even though I like the city, I noticed some negative points 11. Some Turks are macho 12. Many people come to the street to ask you for money or to try to buy their goods. Here you have toured Istanbul. In any case, I hope that it makes you want to go to visit this city. This trip in one word: Wonderful. I hope this makes you want to come to Cannes. Need some information? Questions I can answer? Leave me a little comment at the bottom of the article, I will be happy to answer you, see you soon in The Charles Diaries.

GOOD DEALS

As usual I put the scale to give you an idea, again this is my point of view. You are free to make your own opinion once there.

* no price / quality ratio

** poor value for money

*** is expensive but worth it

**** good value for money

***** Very good value for money

Museums & Places

  • Dolmabache Sarayi

  • Topkapi Sarayi

  • Istanbul Modern

  • Hagia Sophia Mosque

  • Suleymaniye Mosque

  • Galata Tower

  • Hippodrome of Constantinople

  • Bosphorus

  • Basilica Cistern

  • Istiklal Caddezi

Restaurants

  • Deraliye Restaurant ****

  • The Terrace ****

  • Sura Kebab ***

  • Zeferan Restaurant ****

  • The Cafe Han ****

  • The Cafe Society ****

  • Ciya ***

  • Galata Coffee **

  • Ozzie’s Kokorec *****

  • Ali Usta Cigkofteci ***

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