Tuesday

ISTANBUL DAY 2



Today I won't do only photos, I will do words as well. (ha!)
No need to buy those silly touristy guides, here's what you should and should not see in Istanbul.
Do:
1) Walk around - go off your way for a bit, walk by the shore, see those parts of Istanbul where real people live
2) Visit both the European and the Asian part of town - prices at the Asian part are ridiculously low (I'm talking less than a euro for kebab, fries and a glass of juice)
3) Hit a nargila bar - cause it's different and you'll probably get harrassed with a man holding a monkey
4) Go on a Boshporus tour - cause you'll get the real feel of how big the city really is
5) Visit the spiritual places such as Hagia Sophia (now a museum) and the Blue Mosque (with it's pretty surroundings)
6) Have in mind that the humidity in Istanbul can be absurd and your hair can be wet even when it's not raining (perfect opportunity for hats)

Don't:
1) Buy alcohol in Turkey - it's pricey and  recently alcohol sales restrictions have been implemented
2) Walk alone after 10pm - there are very little people on the streets, and it's not very safe (in my opinion)
3) Forget to buy souvenirs* - the best selection of handmade and unique products out of all places I've been
4) Think it's warm there because it's Turkey, especially in the winter  (the real feel because of the wind rushing from the sea to the land is ten degrees lower than the temperature on the thermometer)
5)  Use the bridges in the afternoon, the traffic jams are mental
6) Forget to always watch your belongings
7) Walk around when there's a football match going on - you cannot miss them, and the turkish football fans have been knows as one of the craziest and most agressive groups in the world

Food & drink:
1) Almost everything's spicy - and by that I mean spi-ceeeeey (especially in restaurants, so try asking when ordering your meal if they can serve the spices separately)
2) Try the real 'turkish kebab' - there's beef, chicken and on the shore you can find fish kebab stands (it didn't work for me, but hey)
3) Salep for when it's cold - Salep's a turkish special, ingredients include: salep (it's a plant), milk, vanilla, honey, cinnamon (it's like vanilla pudding, only much better)
4) There are juice stations everywhere - you can buy juice for less than a euro aaaand freshly juiced in front of you (my favourite is still orange, but people mostly drink rosehip)
5) Lokum, baklava and halva - all known as turkish delight (worth tasting)
6) Simit - my favourite breakfast while in Turkey; it's a turkish pretzel (combine it with the juice) 
7) Turkish coffee - a little cup will make you more alive than any Starbucks, and also you can tell your fortune from the lines coffee leaves in the cup if you turn the cup upside down when you're finished drinking and wait until it dries

Places:
1) Topkapi palace - my definite favourite, beautiful sight, enormous complex of buildings used before as a royal residence
Note: the palace was once a home to 4000 people so you better consider booking your whole day for this beauty (also, the queues for certain venues can be huge)
2)  İstiklal Caddesi - plays a host to over 3 million people every single day, it's a huge pedestrian street filled with boutiques, music stores, cafes, restaurants etc. 
3) Taxim - If you manage to walk through the entire Caddessi street (number 2), you'll come to Taxim, an enormous breathtakingly beautiful square
4) Grand Bazaar - for the shoppaholics, it's a place to be if you're in search of a good bargain
5) Galata Bridge - if you're walking from the tourist centre to Taxim, you'll cross the Galata Bridge - the view from it is breathtaking, and also, every day all day there are people fishing lined up on the bridge as long as it goes

*
This one needed some more tips, so...
Best buys:
1) Spices
2) Pashminas
3) Tea and coffee sets
4) Carpets (but the prices can be pretty steep as all are handmade)
5) Backpacks (leather, handmade, really pretty)
6) Leather jackets (the smell of leather is divine)
Note: 90% of the Grand Bazaar shops sell knock offs, from shoes to scarves to bags and clothing, I don't know whether it's your cup of tea, but there are some pretty good knock offs out there, just don't forget to haggle**

**
As I'm a natural at all things shopping, I will probably do a 'How to haggle at the grand bazaar' guide as it was one of the funniest experiences in my life while a lot of people complained about how they couldn't do it right




























XOXO,
Lucija

2 comments:

  1. super slike!
    xoxo Sienna
    www.fashionintheair.com

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  2. fkt odličan post Lucija :) i super su ti slike, al daj više slika s hraanom :D
    jedva čekam ostale dane :*

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