This is what I’d do on a roaming around day in Istanbul if it’s a repeat trip. It’s a two-third day because I walk everywhere and inevitably I’m shattered by the time it’s mid-afternoon. So, here’s my top 5, assuming you’ve already visited the granddaddies, i.e. the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sofia.
1. Coffee and cake at Edebiyat Kiraathanesi. In my case, it’s tea rather than coffee. But here’s what swings it. They have a 100-page cake menu, in addition to the rows of lusciously glazed tarts and cakes that line their shelves. You’ll need all that energy to fuel the walking.
2. Shopping at the Grand Bazaar. You can get all your Turkish souvenirs here. There’s a lot of tat, but there’s also interesting and good quality stuff. On my last trip, I bought some beautiful hammam towels to use as rugs to wrap up in the British winter.
3. An aromatic stroll through the Spice Bazaar. I always pick up some chilli flakes – pul biber, which I think is the medium heat one. They vacuum pack it for you so that the clothes in your suitcase don’t end up smelling of chilli.
4. People-watching on the steps of the New Mosque. The “New” Mosque dates from the 16th century. It’s a good place for taking a breather and watching the children feed the pigeons.
5. Walk across the Galata Bridge and grab a fish sandwich for lunch. Locals cast their fishing lines off the bridge at all times of day, and you can grab one of the famed fish sandwiches on the opposite bank. Either get one from a stall or sit down at an open air restaurant and be served. You can guess what I chose !
All the photos here were taken with my phone camera because I wanted a carefree day. The results weren’t a bad compromise.
~ Spotted Cow