3 Amazing Days in Istanbul Part III

View of Golden Horn

The last of your three days in Istanbul is about to start. If you missed the first two parts of this quick city trip guide of this Turkish jewel, check them out here: Day I and Day II.

This day should be approached differently, depending on where you’re staying, the Asian or the European side. Seeing how the Old City is filled with hotels and most of them are not expensive, I assume most of you will book a room in one of the many hotels in the Sultanahmet area. If however you’re staying on the Asian side, visit those attractions first and save the European side recommendations for the afternoon.

Eminonu - View of Galata Tower

Eminonu – View of Galata Tower

Start early and make your way to Eminonu to enjoy the many aromas of the Spice Bazaar. Yes, you got it, an entire bazaar dedicated to the many spices used in the world’s cuisine. If you have foodie friends, this can be the one place you shop for their souvenir. There are selection of 10-15 spices that you can get for a few Turkish lira and bring back home.

Spice Market entrance, Istanbul

Spice Market entrance, Istanbul

As you’re right next to it, visit the New Mosque (Yeni Camii). The square just in front of the mosque is usually filled with pigeons and there’s always a kid chasing them for the general amusement of the passerby.

New Mosque, Eminonu, Istanbul

New Mosque, Eminonu, Istanbul

When we visited, this happened to be the most lively tour of a mosque. A lot of people were there, but most of them were not tourists, they were there to pray, so the experience was as real as it could have been.

Ceiling shot - New Mosque, Istanbul

Ceiling shot – New Mosque, Istanbul

New Mosque Interior, Istanbul

New Mosque Interior, Istanbul

After seeing the mosque, make your way to the boats – you pretty much cross the street from the mosque and walk for a few minutes. Get your ticked and head to Uskudar. Make sure you’re outside or next to a window (if it’s colder), because the views are magnificent. Seagulls will most surely accompany the boat during your ride!

Boat crossing between continents, Istanbul

Boat crossing between continents, Istanbul

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the Asian side of Istanbul. Your first stop should be Camlica Hill. Other than providing dramatic views of the city, it’s also perfect for picnics, unless you’re more interested in the restaurant up top or one of the many cafes.

View of Golden Horn

View of Golden Horn from Camlica Hill

If you’re hungry, try having manti, a dumpling sort of dish with spiced meat, garlic, yogurt and mint. Absolutely delicious and quite refreshing. If however you’re a fan of fish and seafood, I suggest you hold out and delay lunch a bit! Or, if you’re really hungry, switch between Camlica Hill and the next attraction on the list!

View from Camlica Hill overlooking Golden Horn

View from Camlica Hill overlooking Golden Horn

After enjoying the scenery offered by Istanbul’s highest hill, make your way to Kiz Kulesi or the Maiden Tower. Surrounded by myths and fairy tales, the tower is set a few hundred meters away from the shore (might be more, I am terrible at estimating distances).

Uskudar Coastline, Istanbul

Uskudar Coastline, Istanbul

There’s a boat taking you to and from the tower. The price of this few minute trip will be a bit higher than the round trip between continents, so don’t be surprised! It makes sense, if you think about it, there’s just a small boat that can carry a limited number of people, but the price is well worth it. Climb up in the tower and enjoy the view of the sea and of the Asian side.

Kiz Kulesi close up

Kiz Kulesi close up

The tower is also home to a restaurant specializing in fish and seafood dishes. This is the place to have lunch for those of you who like such culinary treats. I am rarely a fan (no stone throwing please!), so I could only enjoy some cay over here. Or hot chocolate on a different occasion. Somehow I managed to be here on the first day of the year twice (and the third time on the last day of the year). While you wait for the boat (depending on the season it might take about half an hour before your ride comes along), enjoy the nicely placed cushions and the cay served here.

Kiz Kulesi, Istanbul

Kiz Kulesi, Istanbul

The next stop is Moda, with its harbor, baths and beach. There’s always world famous ice cream, you might try a cafe or two, and choose a beach-view restaurant for dinner. The Moda beach is where I saw my first sunset where the sun actually sunk into the Marmara Sea. Somehow, all my previous seaside vacations meant experiencing the sun emerging from the sea. Yes, I took lots of amazingly beautiful photos of that first sunset of mine. Yet somehow I managed to lose them, not really sure why, but I do want to kick myself for it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guide of Istanbul, perfect for a short cityscape. Let me know what you think about it and what you’d do differently!

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3 Amazing Days In Istanbul Part III 3 Amazing Days in Istanbul Part III

3 Amazing Days In Istanbul Part III




6 Comment to “3 Amazing Days in Istanbul Part III”

  1. […] 3 Amazing Days in Istanbul — Part III […]

  2. […] 3 Amazing Days in Istanbul — Part III […]

  3. Istanbul looks wonderful… I can’t wait to go!!!!!

  4. Bethaney, when are you going? I love the city, I’d go as many times as possible without ever getting bored 🙂

  5. […] have it from someone who’s cooking it in the traditional way, as shown in the photo below. In Istanbul, Camlica Hill is a great place to try […]

  6. Crystal says:

    Thanks for all the tips! We’re heading there in a couple days, and can’t wait to (attempt!) to see all of the things you’ve mentioned for all 3 days!

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