Here’s a list of what we did, ate, saw, etc. Since we ended up being there for 12 days (instead of 10 as we’d planned), it seems a bit much to try to do a day-by-day recap. I’ll just hit the highlights, and include pictures here and there.

A few of our favorite experiences:

  • The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii)

  • A visit to a hammam (Turkish bath)
  • Archaeological Museum

  • Strolling down Istiklal and around the Beyoglu and Cihangir neighborhoods

  • Drinking lots of great Turkish coffee and tea

  • Eating dinner at a down-home meyhane (complete with raki, of course)
  • Taking the ferry boats up and down the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus

  • Chora Church and walks through some of the surrounding neighborhoods

  • The Hagia Sophia

  • The old city walls

  • Dolmabahce Palace


  • Visiting the Asian side of Istanbul (mostly Uskudar and Kadikoy)
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Grand Bazaar


I really want to return to Turkey to see even more of Istanbul (it’s the 2nd biggest city in the world, after Shanghai) and to branch out to other regions of the country. Turkey is truly the world’s crossroads, and there really is something for everyone there. It’s basically everything I like about travelling in various regions of the world all in one place.