Istanbul, Turkey 2015

In Istanbul we stationed ourselves in the Sultanahmet neighborhood or the “Old City” at the Seven Hills Hotel about a five- minute walk to the Ayasofya aka Hagia Sophia, Cisterns, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace. These places are the main tourist attractions and if you only have a couple days in Istanbul it is a very convenient area to stay in. Some of the other places not in Sultanahmet that I highly suggest visiting are the Grand Bazaar (goes without saying), Galata Tower, Istiklal (the New City), Taksim Square, the Asia side of town, Chora Church, Ortakoy Mosque (my favorite mosque) and to take a Bosphorus Cruise.

If you like history, food, shopping and are looking to go somewhere that will both excite you and welcome you with open arms then go to Istanbul! Someday when I return to Turkey, I would like to visit Ephesus, Cappadocia and head north to the Black Sea.

On another note- we felt completely safe. There is a lot of buzz about safety traveling in Istanbul but we never once felt insecure. Obviously be sure to take precaution when traveling anywhere but overall I felt safer in Istanbul than a lot of western cities.

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Ayasofya
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In front of the Blue Mosque
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Blue Mosque
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Mom inside the Blue Mosque
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Mom inside Ayasofya
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Aunt Lynda and Mom outside Ayasofya
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Turkish Coffee outside of Topkapi Palace
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Another grand food presentation at Topkapi Palace. Sitting next to the Bosphorus
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Interior inside the Harem of Topkapi Palace
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Making my Turkish Kebab. Both delicious and entertaining
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Inside the amazing and crazy Spice Bazaar!
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Spice Bazaar
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Outside Istanbul University.
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Inside the Grand Bazaar
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Inside the Grand Bazaar. Evil Eyes is a common motif and souvenir. It wards off jealousy and evil spirits/ intentions.
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Hand of Fatima outside of a Mosque.
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Ortakoy Mosque next to the bridge connecting Europe and Asia.
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A dizzying shot of the ceiling in Ortakoy Mosque.
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Me sitting on the floor in Ortakoy Mosque. You must remove your shoes and women must cover their heads before entering any mosque.
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Inside Ortakoy Mosque.
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One more shot of my favorite Mosque.
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Galata Tower
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Istiklal Neighborhood

 

Istanbul, Turkey 2015