Hello travel fiends how are you and where have you been? This post is long over due but I’m sharing my 5 reasons to visit Istanbul. Earlier on this year, one of my besties when to Istanbul after having our trip cancelled 3 times. I’ve also included tips to make your visit worthwhile. So if you’re wondering if you should visit, read on!
5 Reasons to Visit Istanbul
Istanbul has an incredibly rich history and it isn’t even the capital of Turkey. For starters, it was originally a Greek colony and was originally called, Constantinople. It was a focal point for numerous ancient empires and has a lot of architectural wonders. There’s the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace to name a few.
Tip: Book the Istanbul Tourist Pass if you’re staying for more than 2 days. You pay 1 price and gain access to alot of the popular sights and more!
It might sound strange but the bosphorus is something worth visiting in Istanbul. It’s a sea strait that divides Istanbul into 2. One side is known as the Asian side and the other European side. You may think that there isn’t much of a difference but there is and its’s something to be seen. Sailing on the Bosphorus can also take you to Prince’s Island which was where exiled royalty were sent. Not much of hardship as the houses they lived in were massive with beautiful views of the sea. Spend a day on the island exploring and eating the beautifully decorated ice creams.
Tip: To explore Prince’s Island take a mini open top bus tour but avoid weekends as it can very busy.
Another reason to visit Istanbul is for the food. Turkish spices do something magical to meats, seafood, vegetables and everything else in between. We had a salad on Prince’s Island and it was the usual suspects: tomatoes, cucumbers etc.. but the spices used improved the salad by 10! I visited one of the many spice markets you will find around the city. I should also note that as mainly muslim country, alcohol isn’t always served. You will find a few places around selling it but it’s slightly higher in price.
The average temperature ranges from 9 degrees celsius in January to 29 in August. A long weekend during the May bank holidays in the UK the perfect time to visit. It isn’t too hot to be walking from historical sight to the next. Plus it’ll probably be warmer and drier than the UK. Alternatively, if you prefer a the heat you could visit during the height of summer especially if you have children.
Tip: go before the school holidays and the height of summer. Also, avoid any religious holidays such as Eid.
One of the most renowned places in Istanbul is the Bazaar. It is similar to a massive indoor market that sells just about everything. It is a weirdly wonderful exciting place to visit on your trip. Prior to the pandemic, you could barter the advertised prices however, it’s since changed. There’s no need to barter as alot of tourists find it uncomfortable. If shoppinng isn’t for you, I’d still recommend that you visit for the experience.
Tip: swap out the shopping for a hamman for a unique spa treatment
These are my 5 reasons to visit Istanbul. Have you been before? What was your favourite thing? Also, were the tips helpful? Let me know in the comments below.