Istanbul is a fabulous place to visit, let me start by telling you where we stayed…
Levni Hotel was an excellent option, but what made it even more special was the staff. In particular the guest relations manager, Nural Inciler! This guy was so attentive, from great suggestions, to maps…you name it! On top of that, he knows how to speak several languages and can help big time!
The former Constantinople is the largest city in Turkey, and the fifth largest city proper in the world. Istanbul is a transcontinental city – part in Europe, part in Asia – with a huge population. Traffic can be worst than in São Paulo-Brazil, but different from São Paulo, public transportation in Istanbul works! Subways, trolleys, ferries, are efficient and fast.
Known for Byzantine and Ottoman architecture, Istanbul has much more façades to present. The architecture, in fact, reflects the different empires and cultures that once ruled this beautiful city. There is so much to discover in Istanbul. I really want to go back for more! But let me show you a little bit of what I saw…
Taksim Square – Located in the European part of Istanbul, this is a very popular touristic attraction. You will find a lot of restaurants, shops, hotels, subway stations, and beautiful flowers, they even make flowered tiaras 🙂
Grand Bazaar – This is one of the largest and oldest enclosed markets in the world! It has over 3000 shops !! It’s quite a shopaholic’s dream.
Cashmere Istanbul– It has amazing scarves and the best staff ever! Some of the guys even speak Portuguese – among other many languages.
Spice Bazaar – It’s amongst the largest markets in Istanbul, and it’s the most famous after Grand Bazaar. With 85 stores! At the Spice Bazaar, you will find not only spices, but Turkish delight, sweets, jewelry, souvenirs, dried fruits and nuts. I loved the place.
@the streets – Turkish coffee can be found everywhere, of course, but take a look at how cool they are even on the street… chairs, little tables…only in Istanbul!
Topkapi Palace – Was a royal residence for 400 years! The palace was also a setting for state occasions and royal entertainments, but nowadays it’s a museum. Go there with lots of time because the place is HUGE, beautiful and has a lot of things to be seen!!
Turyol Bosphorus Cruise – With great reviews on TripAdvisor, this is a great tour to take and see a big part of the city comfortably, and in no time. Inexpensive and fun we really enjoyed this, and I and recommend it!