i wish i could go here 1 day...
The constant calls to prayer that echo across the city will be one of the first things you notice once you arrive in Istanbul. The largest and most famous of the mosques is the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque because of the colour of the interior tiles. There are always big crowds at this tourist attraction, and you’ll be expected to remove your shoes and cover up when you visit.
Just a hop, skip and a jump across the road from the Blue Mosque is the Aya Sofya, which has served as both a mosque and church, and is these days referred to as a museum. The sprawling Grand Bazaar market is also close by, and packed with stalls selling knock-off designer handbags, carpets and glassware. Make sure you bring your best haggling game.
Chow down and try the local tipple
As Istanbul is located on the Bosphorus Strait, you’ll be able to satisfy your taste buds with some fresh seafood. Head to Kumkapi Street, which is filled with seafood restaurants. You’ll also be spoilt for choice with Turkish sweets, as every other street vendor has large trays of delicious Turkish delight and nougat.
Alcohol is quite cheap in Turkey, but be mindful as this is a Muslim country and heavy drinking sessions are frowned upon. Shopkeepers will also offer you apple tea and it’s polite to accept.
Get the camera out
Take a cruise on the Bosphorus to get some river-view snaps of the main sights. Also make sure you point your camera upwards at the domes while you’re in the Blue Mosque.
A bit of history
Istanbul has had several names through the ages. It was initially known as Byzantium when it was an ancient port, and later changed to Constantinople after Constantine the Great.
And a random fact
Istanbul is actually on two continents as the city is split by the Bosphorus Strait and straddles both Europe and Asia.