This past fall, a dream of mine came true when we traveled to Istanbul. I’ve shared a few peeks already of some of the city’s most famous landmarks – the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. But now it’s time to feast your eyes on the colors, street culture, skylines, and architectural details that make this city so magical and vibrant.
We only had a few days in Istanbul, but we easily could have spent a full week wandering the streets, stopping into mosque after mosque that never failed to amaze, observing the local way of life, and indulging in the tourist pleasures of the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. We spent hours gazing in awe at the intricate tile work adorning Topkapi Palace, stepping into the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen. We took in the smells of the mounds upon mounds of spices of the Spice Bazaar as we selected rose petal tea and a selection of Turkish delights to bring home. We sipped hot tea in tiny glasses with the shop owners of each store we visited within the Bazaar (this is tradition), where we selected a rug to have shipped home, discovered my kilim slippers, and sorted through textiles for a few just-right fabrics and towels. Of course, we stopped to refuel here and there on kebabs and other street food. Needless to say, we left Istanbul full, inspired, and happy.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, so take some time to flip through the gallery above for a taste of why I fell in love with this city! I’ll follow up with a city guide with my specific tips for planning a visit and some final photos from our boat trip up the Bosphorus (an Istanbul must).