I took a trip to Istanbul when I was living in Croatia in 2012. Istanbul is the largest city I have ever been to, boasting a population of 14 million people. The city is gigantic and spans two continents, Europe and Asia, with the Bosphurus dividing the two. Luckily, I was with my Turkish friend, and her family, who were able to guide us through the busy streets and the network of public transportation systems, and show us the main sites, and trendy neighborhoods.
I spent five days in this city, and hit many of the major sites and districts including the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, a hamam (or bathhouse), the Grand Bazaar, Taksim Square and the surrounding nightlife, and Kadikoy on the Asian side, and it’s surrounding nightlife.
Though five days was adequate, there was so much more to see and do there, and this is one of the few cities that I would recommend a week of sightseeing in. Navigating the transit alone is time consuming, and we often spent 45 minutes to an hour traveling around, and that was with and friend who knew exactly where we were going and could communicate with locals.
Here are the highlights from my trip. Even if you can’t get to Istanbul soon, I hope these photos will take you there…