Table of contents:
- Let's walk through the historical center
- Closer to the water
- Down the main street
- To the bazaar
- Separately about animals
- Where to stay?
Let's start with the main thing: you don't need to take a covid-19 test to travel to Turkey. Upon returning to Ukraine, nothing is required either. That is, the matter is small, buy tickets and book a hotel. By the way, here's a piece of advice. It is better to buy a ticket for a regular flight, as charters can also cancel. It is done? Then let's go for impressions!
We will try to take into account the interests of most tourists and tell not only about the historical center, but also about the modern districts of Istanbul, take a ride on the metro under the Bosphorus and on a boat along the strait itself, explore the movement by tram and funicular. And of course, we will discuss which hotel is better to book.
Let's start with the basics though. In Istanbul, mask mode and everywhere you will be reminded to wear a mask. This was achieved through fines (equivalent to $ 120) and clarifications. In addition, guides are required to ensure that the rule is respected among tourists. If there is an intruder in the group … the guide pays a fine. Therefore, do not substitute yours. Note that for a couple of days of wearing full time masks, a quite bearable habit is developed. The main thing is to put a spare in your pocket. Well, and a useful life hack: we carry water with us and occasionally drink. A couple of minutes to breathe deeply!
Let's walk through the historical center
It is important to understand that Istanbul is not all about mosques, palaces and museums. It is a small part of a huge city with a population of over 18 million. But, of course, it cannot be ignored. Conveniently, most of the attractions are concentrated within walking distance from each other.
So, here's a must-see list. Sultanahmet Square, Blue Mosque, Sophia and Suleymaniye Mosque, Topkapi Palace, underground water storage "Basilica Ciserna". You can do it in a day.
For girls, we separately note that in the mosque you will need a scarf or kerchief. Better your own, but you can take it on the spot. And, of course, a mask.
We will also orientate the prices: Topkapi - the business part of 100 lira (377 UAH), harem - 70 lira (265 UAH), the reservoir - 30 lira (115 UAH), visiting mosques - free.
While you're out and about, try some street food. Butter rolls, fried chestnuts and unique viscous ice cream made from goat milk and thickened with wild orchid roots.
Closer to the water
In Istanbul, you won't be able to swim in the sea, unless you find a day and go to the islands. But now, due to quarantine restrictions, the beaches are closed. But a walk along the Bosphorus more than compensates for this small nuance.
A two-hour walk (prices start from 25 liras - 100 UAH) will allow you to enjoy beautiful views and take hundreds of photos of attractions from the water. Better to go towards the end of the day, see everything in the daylight and in the evening lights.
Down the main street
Istiklal Avenue is one of the central arteries of the city. In some ways it can be compared with the Kiev Khreshchatyk, but only distantly. By the way, almost all international and Turkish brand stores are represented here.
Let's start with Taksim Square, where all national protests take place, for example. Then we go down the avenue itself.
Better to walk, turning into narrow streets, say, for a snack and a break for Turkish coffee or tea. Or, for flavor, take a historic tram that runs every 20 minutes.
There is a similar street in the Asian part of Istanbul. But to see it, you have to master the funicular and the metro, having driven under the Bosphorus.
The best way is to buy a card and top up it for a certain amount, and not pay for every trip. The card is suitable for all types of public transport and is sold in vending machines at all stops.
For a reference point, a tram ride costs an average of 4 lira (about 15 UAH), and Marmaray (an underwater railway tunnel under the Bosphorus) - 7, 75 (29 UAH). An important nuance: with a card, depending on the number of transfers, the cost of the trip is reduced by about one and a half times.
To the bazaar
It is impossible to imagine Turkey without the Grand Bazaar. You don't have to buy something there, it is important to feel the atmosphere! Of course, let's go there not for fake Gucci and Louis Vuitton, but for emotions and sweets.
And this is not only the traditional Turkish delight. But also all kinds of nuts, olives and olives, spices, Turkish coffee, tea, cheeses, basturma and sudjuk.
We recommend that girls pay attention to jewelry. Men, on carpets!
Separately about animals
Walking the streets of Istanbul, it is impossible not to notice the huge number of animals. The dogs are all microchipped and fed by the municipality of the city.
There are even special houses for cats. There are also containers of water for animals everywhere. Well, the locals, as a rule, feed the animals with food.
Where to stay?
Our choice fell on the Radisson hotel chain.
Want to see the sights? Conveniently located in the Old Sultanahmet District, Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul is 230 meters from the Grand Bazaar and 160 meters from Beyazit Tram Stop. Everything is within walking distance. But the best part is that you will eat in the restaurant on the view terrace with a panoramic view of the Sea of Marmara!
Another option is Radisson Istanbul Sultanahmet overlooking the Sea of Marmara, which is located near the Blue Mosque.
For business guests - Radisson Blu Hotel, Vadistanbul. It is located next to the airport in the business district of the city with a gorgeous view of the Istanbul Forest.
By the way, there are not only the most technologically advanced and comfortable conference rooms, but also an amazing ballroom for events and weddings!