Istanbul in 36 Hours
We all agree that Istanbul is a great big city, that has everything that we might imagine, from the fresh clean nature to the narrow old streets, and from history and ancient buildings to the fancy restaurants and cozy rooftop bars. All of that just get mixed in an amazing fusion creating our beloved Istanbul. But, what if we don’t have that amount of time that allows us to discover all parts of this great mix, in this article I got you covered since I will talk about Istanbul and what to do and where to go if we have a mid-range amount of time which is about 36 hours, believe me you will never get enough from the city, but you will still enjoy it a lot.
Let me suppose that you booked a hotel in Taksim near to the Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul, and you as you might guess, it is the perfect start and the most amazing finish line because Taksim in specific changes a lot between the early morning and late night. Grip your Simit from any cart in the Square maybe have a little nice cup of tea, you can enjoy walking in the Istiklal Street watching all the famous big shops there, consider taking the Istanbul nostalgic tramway because it is one of the most great-rooted symbols in Istanbul. At the end of Istiklal Street you will arrive to the Tower of Galata, you can get a ticket to climb up and have a Turkish Coffee watching the most amazing and cozy view to Bosphorus and the downtown at once. After you finish, just walk down the street for couple of minutes and you arrive to Karaköy and the bridge of Unkapanı, you can walk down and see the people fishing and the tourists are taking photos of them. Once you arrive to Eminönü you have to try the fish sandwiches at the famous boat restaurants. After that take the tramway and head up to Sultan Ahmet tramway station and you arrive to Sultan Ahmet Square. There you have 3 main destinations to visit, first one is the Blue Mosque, which is a big symbol Islamic building in Istanbul, it has 6 main domes and a big illuminated columns, the second destination is Hagia Sofia Basilica, which was an old church before it became a mosque when Sultan Mehmet got to Istanbul. After that it becomes a museum which indicates to the Byzantine and the Turkish arts. The third destination is the Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi with his amazing menu. In that day, you can head back to Beşiktaş to have a smooth drink on a rooftop bar with the amazing seashore view to the Bosphorus in the night. Nights in Istanbul are amazing and soul-relaxing in the amazing sea breeze fresh air.
I recommend in the next day to take up the Belgrad Forest (Belgrad Ormani). It is a very big forest so close to Istanbul with its amazing clean air in the morning. You can grip some Börek with your tea thermos and enjoy a cozy morning on the wooden chairs and tables in the Belgrad Forest. If you find yourself enjoying or you have some extra time you might consider bringing the barbeque equipment, there you will find a lot of beautiful views to enjoy your meal between the trees. On the way back I recommend going to Ortaköy and visit the small Ortaköy Mosque by the seashore. You have to try the famous Turkish ice-cream in the streets. There you will find boats which takes up from many locations from the seashores in Istanbul to go around in the Bosphorus. The Bosphorus Tour is one of the most recommended tours to do in Istanbul. On the boat they serve soft drinks and small snacks to enjoy while you look around to the city from inside the Bosphorus. The city in the night looks different and unforgettable and I promise that you will take a lot of high-quality photos. Don’t forget while heading back to your hotel to bring some Turkish Delights for your close friends as gifts from Koska at Beyoğlu.