No first-time trip to Istanbul is complete without a visit to the Grand and Egyptian Spice Bazaars, both of which can easily be reached from Sultanahmet on foot.
We had already seen all of Istanbul’s major sites so we wanted to do something that was still fun but a little more relaxed on our fifth and final day. Going on a scenic all-day cruise of the Bosphorus — an experience that some say is one of Istanbul’s greatest pleasures — was exactly that.
Despite being out of the way, this tiny museum that’s just a fraction of the size of its more celebrated counterparts was my favorite historic site in Istanbul. The mosaics and frescoes adorning its walls and ceilings are drop dead stunning.
As enticing a reason as any to cross the Bosphorus into Asia, Çiya Sofrası has been hailed by more than one source as possibly the best restaurant in all of Istanbul.
Turkish food is described as the continuation of Ottoman Empire cuisine. The Ottomans fused Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Balkan cuisines to create one of the world’s most diverse and influential cuisines.
Dürümzade: Home to Some of the Best Wraps in Istanbul, Turkey (As Seen on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain)
We ate many delicious things in Turkey, but if I had to eat just one dish for the entire two weeks, then I would happily choose dürüm. And not just any dürüm, but the dürüm from Dürümzade, hailed by Anthony Bourdain as some of the best wraps in Istanbul.
Yes, I’m frugal when it comes to material things. But when presented with a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I rarely give the cost a second thought. I value experiences over things, and this hot air balloon ride over the moonscape of Cappadocia is an embodiment of that.
After contacting over 20 agencies, I went with Bridge of the World because of a combination of factors — tours offered, prices, positive reviews (5/5), and professionalism.
I’ve never experienced claustrophobia in my life, but being in a tight space like that, crouched down almost 300 feet below the surface of the earth, it wasn’t hard to understand the feeling.
When ready, the blazing hot jug is brought out and cracked in front of you, releasing the aroma of its still gurgling contents whilst treating the diners to a little tableside theater.