Istanbul: The Best Off the Beaten Track Attractions.

Istanbul is located in the perfect place to enjoy a diverse mix of cultures and all the attractions that these cultures provide. Situated right in the middle of Europe and Asia, the country is a melting pot of huge civilisations. Imagine being on one continent, and then in an instant, you are transported to another one via a short boat or taxi ride. Its location makes Istanbul a very unique place to visit that very few other destinations can rival.

Istanbul’s major tourist attractions are the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and perhaps the Bosphorus River. It is possible to set sail on one of the Bosphorus cruise tours and discover this beautiful 30 km stretch of water which connects the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

While these are the attractions everybody knows. What other things could you do in Istanbul other than seeing the Istanbul’s historic centre? Well, I am glad you asked, let me give you some tips on how to explore the lesser known areas of this great city.


Fener & Balat Neighborhoods

Fener Balat Neighborhood

Istanbul used to be the capital of Ottoman Empire, a multi-national empire that lasted from the 1300s to the 1900s. Istanbul was at the heart of  this huge empire and had a large Jewish and Greek community

Fener (Phanar) was the major district for the Greek settlers who were living in Istanbul from the time of Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Balat (Palation) was the place where the Jewish community of the city lived. There are still many synagogues around every corner of the neighbourhood. Both these districts offer architecture and food that has its roots in their respective native countries.

While cruising around the old and complicated streets of Fener & Balat neighbourhoods, it’s recommended to hire a tour guide in Istanbul.


Kadıköy At Istanbul’s Asia Side

Kadıkoy Local Markets Dessert

Kadıköy is a lovely spot for the locals to shop around. There are old dessert shops, fish markets, pubs and bars of the city. It’s a great area to walk around, observe the local life, and people watch. Modern and traditional lifestyle is blended in this nice district. If you are staying in a hotel at Istanbul’s old city, Kadıköy is accessible by a simple ferry ride only taking half an hour.


Sirkeci & Eminönü Neighborhoods

Sirkeci-Train-Station-Orient-Express

Sirkeci Train Station used to be where Orient Express train arrived. It’s a special district where you can find some of the oldest Turkish Dessert shops (Especially Turkish Delight). A lot of shops in the area are very good for milky sweets: Hasan Usta, Hafız Mustafa, and Ali Muhittin Hacıbekir are all great sweet and chocolate shops that will surprise you with their fancy creations. Many historic sweet shops that are more than a century old Can be found in Sirkeci area.

Eminönü is known as the transport hub of Old Istanbul: People who want to visit the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and other famous landmarks, first arrive at this sea-side district via ferry, bus, or car. Eminönü is famous for its vibrant Spice Bazaar (also known as Egyptian Market) and is one of the 10 must-see sights of Istanbul city.


Golden Horn District: Eyüp

Mosques of Istanbul

Eyüp is a holy place for Muslims due to the famous mosque (among Muslim World) located there which is called Eyyub Sultan Mosque. But Eyyub is not just for religious visits. There is a lovely hill near the mosque that is called Pierre Loti Hill. From here, you can enjoy the great views of Istanbul that are on offer at the top of the hill. A French Poet named Pierre Loti, spend the half of his life around this area and wrote his famous poems whilst looking at this view. Therefore local authorities named this beautiful area after him.

As well as the places listed above there is another very entertaining museum called Miniaturk. Miniaturk plays host to replica versions of many famous landmarks from Turkey. Small miniature models of Mosques, Early Christian Monasteries, Palaces, Temples and Ancient Cities can be found in the museum. Since Turkey’s land had been a cradle of civilizations, you may see what Turkey can offer by taking a tour through this modern museum. While seeing these beautiful places consider joining one of Istanbul guided tours to gain full knowledge and information about these sites.

 

Compelling Reasons Why You Should Drop Everything & Visit Turkey.

If you are aware of current world events right now, the chances are that Turkey isn’t likely to be on your current ‘must-see’ list. Because of its closeness to the Middle East – in geographical and political terms – a lot of people are thinking twice about visiting.

But while there is an element of risk, the reality is that it is in the same security state as virtually everywhere else in Europe and the western world. And missing out on such a beautiful and welcoming country would be such a shame. With this in mind, here are a few awesome reasons why you should rip up your current travel plans and book a visit to Turkey instead.

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The beaches

The weather and beaches in Turkey are magnificent, and each area has its own distinct appeal. Bodrum and Izmir are well worth a look, and given that the country is located by both the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, you are almost guaranteed warm, crystal blue water for the vast majority of the year. Whether you are looking for incredible sandy beaches for sun lounging, or rocky coves and craggy shorelines for hiking and adventure, Turkey has everything you need when it comes to beaches – and more.

The baths

You haven’t had a bath until you have experienced a Turkish one. Get yourself down to a hamam – there’s one in almost every town and city – and you will experience a bath like no other. Getting scrubbed, washed and massaged at one of these hamams will result in you walking out cleaner and more relaxed than ever before.

The culture

Turkey is the product of a long and eventful history, and much of it is still there to look at and experience for yourself. Book yourself on one of the Ephesus private tours to explore the incredible ruins of an ancient city. Take in the amazing sights and sounds of the mosques and palaces of Istanbul, which have stood for many centuries. And don’t forget to check out the incredible underground city of Cappadocia, which has to be seen to be believed. There is an amazing array of museums to visit, too: the Ottoman palace museum in Istanbul is a big highlight for tourists all over the world.

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Incredible food

Wherever you are in Turkey, there will be local food traditions that you can’t experience anywhere else on the planet. Don’t assume it’s all about doner kebabs, either – at least, not the ones you buy on the way home from the bar. Seafood is huge over in Turkey, and there are amazing dishes and desserts to try out.

Friendly people

The Turks are a friendly bunch, and hospitality comes as second nature to them. You will be made to feel more than welcome and don’t be surprised if you are asked to hang out and spend time with the locals. Many tourists to Turkey come home with tales of being invited to Turkish homes and being served incredible meals and Turkish tea. There is no better way to find out about a culture and country than experiencing its people’s home lives.

Have you ever visited Turkey? Why not share your thoughts about this remarkable country in the comments section below.

 

Norway: The Unsung Beauty Of Europe.

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For most of us when we think of travelling around Europe we would reflect on the more sunny places. From relaxing on a beach in Spain to spending some time in Italy or sampling some food in Greece. Norway might not be at the top of your list for luxurious European destinations, but as a country, it has a lot to offer tourists and seasoned holidaymakers alike. As a destination, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and there are fantastic attractions, but there are also places to relax and soak up the culture. Here are a few.

Your Guide to European City-Hopping On a Budget.

It’s time to explore the large cities of Europe, discover a mix of cuisines in each country, and watch the scenery change as you arrive at your next destination; add your favourite travel companion, and it is a dream come true. The sad thing is that we usually need to save up for these trips, and often an entire year in advance if you’re a student – it kind of puts a damper on the excitement, doesn’t it?

5 Reasons To Make Greece Your Destination This Summer.

Still not sure where to visit this summer? What about planning a trip to Greece? Whether that is mainland Greece, the Cyclades group, or the Dodecanese Islands, Greece could be the perfect destination for a summer holiday, as it has a lot to offer any traveller. From white sand beaches with azure seas, ancient ruins to multi cultural towns. and cities with plenty of nightlife, there is a lot more to Greece than meets the eye.

Fancy spending a week or two in Greece? Here are five reasons why Greece would make the perfect summer holiday destination.

Europe Is Great In All Seasons!

Europe offers so many cultures, culinary delights, and climates. No wonder it is such a holiday favourite, no matter where you’re from. There are plenty of choices, and the ease of travel from country to country on the mainland makes it a traveller’s delight too. Best of all, it’s still pretty easy to hop over for a spur-of-the-moment long weekend. Here’s where to head to for each season of the year:

Top 5 cities in Eastern Europe

With a look of old and new, sharp and soft, Eastern Europe invites visitors for an untimely experience. If you are enthusiastic about discovering grand history, or a person seeking modern excitement, this place is ideal for you. This region will gift you a one of a kind experience that will last a lifetime.