Istanbul In February
In the last month of winter, it is cold and rainy mostly in Istanbul in February. If you are lucky, you may see some snowy days but do not worry since it usually lasts less than a week. Grayish Istanbul sky may make you feel a bit depressed, yet you can still feel warm and have a colorful day in the old city in Istanbul.
Here some tricks to feel warm and have color in a winter day in Istanbul!
Drink a glass of Turkish tea
Even though the production of tea in Turkey starts at the beginning of the 20th century, it is a must for Turkish culture. Especially, during winter days, it is the best way to start your day with a cup of Turkish tea. Mostly, Turkish people serve tea in a slender glass, so you can hold the glass with your fingertips and place the bottom part of it for feeling warm in your palm. Besides, when you order a glass of Turkish tea, you should ask if it is soaked or not since it is crucial to have the taste of real Turkish tea. Since it contains some amount of caffeine, you will feel better after a glass of tea in your breakfast.
Taste some special winter drinks
If you taste Turkish tea already or not like it much, you may try other drinks special for winter. First one of them is “Salep” and its main ingredient made from the flowers of an orchid. It is an intense, milky drink and tastes better if you add some cinnamon. Besides, it can make you feel full for a while. Another winter drink is “Boza” and it is a product of the fermentation of yeast and some grains. It has an intense texture and sweet taste. You can add some chickpeas powder and enjoy it. Besides, it is good at supporting your immune system during cold days in Istanbul.
Visit Balat and its lovely cafes
You should visit Balat, especially in winter, since it promises you a colorful day. Its narrow streets, charming little houses, and warm and cozy cafes appeal you immediately. One of the colorful places in Balat is Fener district. You can visit Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate and Church of Saint Mary. You should visit there and experience its peaceful atmosphere. After taking photos/selfies for social media in those lovely streets in Balat, you may drink some coffee and eat some dessert to make an excellent finish for your colorful winter day.
Taste Turkish street foods
In the streets of old Istanbul, namely around of Sultanahmet, you can see at least one person selling warm and crispy “simit”. It is a street food save many peoples’ lives when they have no time to make their breakfast. Initially, it made for festivals in Ottoman palace, yet it became a popular street food for all Turkish people. You can eat while you wander around in any part of Istanbul. Since sesame makes you feel full for a while, you may prefer it as your breakfast with a glass of Turkish tea. Another street food classic in winter is the grilled chestnut. Many Turkish people made it in their kitchen to enjoy with their families along the winter nights. It is delicious and when you started to eat, you may not stop for a while. You can find it in many central areas of Istanbul.
Visit historical places in Fatih
Since the old Istanbul is mostly within the borders of Fatih, you may spend a whole winter day in there. You may start with visiting Hagia Sophia and go to Sultanahmet just walking a few minutes. When you exit there, you may visit Basilica cistern. When you continue to follow the line of the tramway, you can find a way for Archeology Museums. If you follow the slope from the door of the museum, you can find the way for Topkapı Palace. When you exit from Topkapı, you may turn back from the way you came and continue to follow the line of the tramway to find Eminönü. As you get closer to there, you heard salesman’s yelling to pull customers’ attention. Finally, you may finish your Istanbul old city tour by visiting Spice Bazaar and enjoy some Turkish delight or buy some fantastic souvenirs for your loved ones or just yourself.
February is a cold and rainy month for Istanbul, yet you can feel warm and make your winter days colorful. You should taste Turkish tea and enjoy it whenever you want to feel warm. You may taste some Turkish beverages special for winters such as Boza and Salep. You can visit colorful streets of Balat as well as churches in Fener district. You may try Turkish street foods such as simit and grilled chestnut to feel full for a while. Besides, you may spend you’re a whole winter day for discovering old Istanbul by starting to walk from Hagia Sophia to Eminönü. Whenever you come, you are welcome! For learn more about Istanbul, you may visit Istanbul.com!