[Featured Destination: Istanbul]: 1 day itinerary in Istanbul

Morning

Try out the sumptuous Turkish breakfast spread that consists of tangy sheep’s milk cheese, plump olives, flavourful tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, home-made jam and baked crusty white bread orsimit.


Bosphorus cruise, Image: Fikret Onal under CC BY 3.0

After the breakfast, head towards the ferry dock at Eminönü to catch the Turyol tourist ferry for a 90-minute Bosphorus cruise to experience the city bearing. Historical narrative unfolds as the ferry cruise along the bodies of three water: the Golden Horn, Bosphorus Strait and Sea of Marmara:

  • white marble palaces where the sultans and their harems lived
  • timber mansions that were the summer residences of the Ottoman nobility
  • majestic stone fortresses that played important roles in the downfall of the mighty Byzantine Empire

Upon the return to Eminönü, a 30 minutes journey to cross over to Asian Istanbul from European Istanbul will bring you to the ancient suburb of kadikoy – known for its fresh produce market.

Within this market, stalls scattered throughout the streets opposite the dock displaying variety of products such as fresh fishes, bars of olive-oil soap to farmhouse cheeses.

Afternoon

Opposite the dock of Eminönü is the famous Spice Bazaar and the Süleymaniye Mosque is located on the other end of the Bazzar. The Süleymaniye Mosque is commissioned by Süleyman the Magnificent and built between 1550 and 1557, it is widely considered to be the most architecturally significant Ottoman building in Istanbul.

The Kapali Carsi (Covered Market), known as the Grand Bazaar that is commissioned by an Ottoman sultan is situated south around the walls of Istanbul University. It is the home to more than 2000 stores which will take at least 2 hours to explore the shopping mall.

Evening

Antiochia (Minare Sokak 21) and Zübeyir Ocakbaşı (Bekar Sokak 28) are 2 of the restaurants that serve excellent mezes (appetisers) andkebaps. At the heart of the modern city is Beyoğlu which is a good place to chill with a cocktail at a glamorous rooftop bars – Mikla, X Bar and Leb-I Derva.

Alternatively head to one of the fashionable superclubs on the Bosphorus and have some apple-scented tobacco at one of the the nargileh(waterpipe) cafés at Tophane.

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