So Istanbul, some people asked me if it’s safe to visit there. Fair enough, they had terrorist attacks, a military coup, and conflicts with Kurds.
But, you know what? I feel very safe here. I feel safer than when I was in Romania. And it’s amazing here! It’s very beautiful, big and quite diverse! 100% recommended!
Places to see in Istanbul
Basically, Istanbul has 3 parts; the old city, the new city and Asian side. If you have only one day, focus on the old city. That’s where the famous Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii), Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya), the Grand Bazaar and the Sultan Palace is.
If you have more time, go to new city center. It’s not really that new. You will see some historical sites like Dolmabahçe Palace.
the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
They are one of the old most mosques in Istanbul, and one of the few touristic mosques in Istanbul. In Istanbul, you will find a lot of big mosques and you will want to enter. It’s not like other mosques are strictly restricted from tourists, but you would feel you are disturbing local good religious people if you enter.
I recommend hiring tour guides. If you are with guides, you don’t have to wait 60 minutes to get in the building, and they give you a very interesting history of Christianity, Egyptian mythology, and Islam.
Dolmabahçe Sarayı (Dolmabahce-Palace)
If you want to see beautiful buildings, Dolmabahce-Palace is the place to go. Seriously, too bad that I cannot show you photos. You are not allowed to take photographs there 🙁
It’s like the main boulevard, you can find souvenirs and eat local foods. It’s very busy during the weekend, so I recommend you go there on weekdays.
Galata Tower or Symbol Cafe
Do you want to see the panoramic view of Istanbul? Then, go to the Galata Tower. It’s really close to Istiklal street. But, you will have to wait 30 minutes to one hour to enter the tower if you go there on weekend. If you don’t want to wait, go to the Symbol Cafe. You won’t have a panoramic view, but you will have a pretty good view from there, too.
Göreme and Cappadocia
I took a vacation and went to Göreme, one of the most popular tourist destination in Turkey.
It’s a famous place for hot air balloon tours.
I’m going back to Japan for a couple of months to do my tax and I’m going to start a new adventure from April 🙂